Sunday, July 08, 2007

I start my first real job tomorrow and I have very little idea of what to expect. Here's why:

I got a great job. I have autonomy, responsibility, and variety to look forward to. I'll be working as a researcher on a project led by the woman who interviewed me. There is another researcher much like myself only more experienced and at a higher level.

The project is based on a theory of how alzheimer's patients maintain their self-concept despite a lack in cognitive ability. My boss has developed a 12-week training program for health care workers to undergo that is supposed to improve the overall environment of long-term healthcare facilities.

This project is a year and a half long exploratory study meant to determine whether this theory and training program is actually effective. We are using two Toronto long-term care facilities for the study.

My job is to do all the research at one of the two facilities. I have to solicit and secure participants in the study including both health care workers and patients. I have to look at archival data, run focus groups, conduct interviews, orchestrate surveys and survey collection, manage data, analyze incident reports, and other things like that. I do that for a period of time, we run the training program, and then I do it again.

My boss doesn't care where I work, whether it is at home or at the office or at the health care facility, as long as I get the job done. If I have an appointment I have to make I don't need to ask permission. This is what I want in life. I also get to interact with people. I also get to do a lot of different things. Who knew I'd be excited about work? I cross my fingers that that excitement doesn't diminish.

In preparation for this first week I needed to go shopping. There's certainly no way my jeans and t-shirt student uniform would suffice. So I spent a hell of a lot of money and now I have woman-clothes. Wow. They're nice. I need hangers. I need an iron and an ironing board. I need a closet to hang things. I need an air conditioner. I need to pay off my credit card bill in a few installments.

So, I don't know what I can expect tomorrow at my 9:30am meeting. We're signing contracts and then what? How does one start this kind of work?

I feel so very lucky.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I got the job!!!

I haven't written since last week when I'd been asked to come in for a second interview. I went in for that second interview yesterday.

There were three people sitting around a table; the original interviewer (the head of the study/my new boss), a friendly man and a friendly woman. The man started with questions that were much easier than the first ones I'd had. He just asked me to talk about the plastic surgery project I'd done, and some of the other work experience I'd had. These kinds of questions allowed me to speak with animation about a project that I'd truly enjoyed. Bonus. At one point he said, "you will be asking very busy people for their time. Are you a persistent person? How will you handle that?" I said, "Well, I have a very endearing smile... " and everyone laughed. I had them laughing up a storm. They loved it.

The second woman asked a few questions too.

Then I had a chance to ask some questions. I had asked most of the questions I'd had during the first interview so didn't have as many good ones this time around. But what I did end off with was, "Is there any skill or experience that I am lacking or that concerns you that I can address?" They all shrugged and said no.

I walked out of there after only 25 minutes and felt good about the atmosphere in the room but still uncertain.

Until I got a call from an unfamiliar number at 9am this morning. "I have some good news for you," she said. "That is fantastic news," I responded.

I have a horshoe up my bum. That's the only explanation. Oh, except for my Peace Boat failure. Whatever, man.

Great success!