Pandemic Diary #38 – 7 Mar



pondering that this grasping robotics startup I know is hiring at $20-$25 an hour… that’s lower than I had at fitbit as an undergrad without negotiating. they seemed to want me full-time but also declined to write me a rec letter for things… so.

in any case, the path to my goal may have to be riskier than job-seeking. I doubt my salary could be higher than 120k ish (which by god that is absurdly high, i’m sure the complaint reeks of absurdity to some people. but in terms of making up the gender pay gap, I’m not sure is doing much)

old paper old label is getting some press i guess – talking to some media people. not sure how to describe my feelings. on the one hand, okay great, publicity never hurts when i’m still building my career. win-win right? but on the hand, it feels unjust somehow. i was paid, i guess, for most of it maybe. but it does feel like i got used for this paper, mit gets publicity, my pi gets to use it for grants, and here i am unemployed. this feels exactly like when harvard didn’t even contact me and put out some stupid newsletter saying oh hey look at these harvard students who got fellowships. and meanwhile i don’t have an advisor and am fighting like heck to stay in grad school.


then again maybe it’s all in my head. jobs really depend on who else is applying or skill, but also fit of character, whether the project has stability, location, etc. all these things. taking a chance on people… i’m a chance i guess. “when there’s fresh grads in line”

somehow, it’s always the unjustness of a situation. like if everyone else had to teach. then great, i will teach. but this sense of compounding injustice from the start… it can be hard to bear. maybe i’m okay now being explicit about the challenges i overcame in my applications. but probably it just makes me even riskier rather than appear strong. i’ve had making that mistake cost me tens of thousands of dollars before.

it’s hard to tell how far i’ve come, and be grateful about that, mostly because i avoid thinking about the past because it feels so awful. living in the present.

maybe write a tool to compare job openings vs job applicants now and projected into the future (based on graduation rates). would that actually help me have insight into where to apply? i’m guessing that a lot depends on how good the other people are at advertising. or maybe just make a tool to aggregate university job listings?