Extension of contract: good news or bad news?

My postdoctoral contract is being extended another 7 months, which seems like good news. Coz that lets me stay here in the same lab for some time while I look for a new postdoctoral job. I am grateful that at least I have this job, while some of my friends are yet to find one because of funding issues or have had to leave one because of visa issues. So far, I face neither. I accepted the offer and then I found out that the salary I was being offered was less than even the minimum stated by the NIH. And that, when I was eligible for more than the minimum because at the start of my reappointment, I will have 2 years of experience. But no, I am being offered less than the minimum given to someone with 0 years of postdoctoral experience.

I hate this systemic exploitation. I know I don’t have another job lined up right now. But, this only motivates me to leave this place sooner. How can someone be given so little when so much is demanded from them?

Sometimes I think why I even did a PhD when I don’t even get valued for it! I do love research, but hey, if your boss does not even acknowledge your years of experience, then it is sheer disrespect to yourself. Postdocs are the rare breed that are at that stage in their lives when they want to have a stable life. But, we are over-worked and underpaid to the extent that we have no personal life left and are working even on weekends. I want to move out of this misery. I want to be free, free to work with people who value my contribution, free to have a life and free to be stable and live my life the way I want with no guilt hovering over me when I don’t work in weekends.

My personal goals would then be to:

  1. Get a new job with better pay where I am valued.
  2. Find out all the J visa loopholes and rules and regulations and get the waiver in a timely manner.
  3. Explore options in industry.
  4. Finally settle down with my boyfriend and stop this horrible long-distance that we’ve been having for almost 3 years now.

Hope I can finally get on with my life…



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