Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Job

The stories on the “NJ Segment” of this blog are almost over. In March, 2002, I interviewed for a job in RTP at GSK. It was a job I wanted back in ’98 but I didn’t feel my resume was strong enough to gain a position there. That was one reason I didn’t apply in ’98 along with the fact that I wasn’t going to get a good recommendation from my research advisor. As a matter of fact, I didn’t get a good one from him in ’98. Some were tepid and others were almost career killers. For those wondering how I know, some of my interviewers brought up what my research advisor said about me. The point is a place as picky as GSK wouldn’t take onboard someone with that kind of baggage. Fortunately for me, in the late 90’s, the economy was red hot and the pharmaceutical industry had a shortage of scientists so I was able to find work somewhere.

What is note worthy about my job search in 2002 was that 1) I didn’t use my research advisor as a reference 2) GSK called him anyway and 3) my old research advisor had good things to say about me. I don’t know what led to my research advisor’s change of heart. I ended up receiving a job offer from GSK. I felt like I had redemption. My sole purpose at Aventis was to strengthen my resume so I could go to GSK. One time the manager of our department commented to my supervisor at Aventis that my work seemed like more than just a job to me. He was right. I was on a mission.

So, I was about to end a chapter in my life that ended on a good note—a rarity in my life. I had built up some goodwill and was making a lateral move to a company that I had heard some not so nice rumors about. I remember meeting about 12 or so people during the 7hrs I was interviewing out there. A little voice in my head said “Something doesn’t seem right.” Red flags popped up all around me but I chose to ignore them. I wanted to go back to NC so bad that against my better judgment, I accepted the offer made to me.

I would leave Aventis with mixed emotions. I really liked my coworkers and for the most part they liked me. I had made decent progress and at one point, the subject of the company sending me back to grad school so I could get a PhD was brought up by my department manager. In one of my many bad decisions in my adult life, I turned it down. Had I accepted the offer, I would have pretty much spent the rest of my career in NJ. I wanted to go back to NC even if it meant I would not go as far in my career as I otherwise could have gone. I would go to GSK.

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