” The Juggling Microbiologist”

What a year 2017 has been!

First and foremost, a new addition to the family. I wasn’t expecting that at the start of the year! Even more unexpected was the fact she needed emergency heart surgery at two weeks of age. A stressful time for everyone, and it definitely put work in perspective . As you can see however, she is now thriving.

Baby Isobel

I also managed to travel to a few new countries:- Austria, Hungary and New Caledonia. Each one was interesting in their own way. It is great to have the opportunity to visit new places, and experience different cultures.

And on top of all that, a new job!

Never being one to turn down a challenge, I have recently accepted a part-time job at the national Public Health microbiology laboratory in New Zealand. This means I now have two jobs, one that is focused on diagnostic microbiology, the other on Public Health microbiology (surveillance, typing, etc.).

It is a good mix, but you are right, I am a complete sucker for punishment…!

However, the main upside to having two jobs is variety. I have worked solely as a diagnostic clinical microbiologist for 11 years now. Same place, same job, day after day, week after week, month after month. I was slowly but surely becoming institutionalised. Change was badly needed, and this new post has given me that change. The learning curve will be steep, and the dynamics and politics of my new workplace will need to be learnt over the forthcoming months. I am looking forward to building lots of new working relationships.

Change is good.

The main downside of having two part-time jobs is that they might be part-time on paper, but full-time in reality! I will need to be very careful not to fall into that trap. Over the years I have seen many “martyrs” do full-time jobs on part-time wages. I always promised myself that would never happen to me.

I will need strong resolve to keep that promise.

So now I am juggling two jobs and a family of eight! As a consequence I will need to be utterly ruthless with regards to time management. I am looking forward to the challenge nevertheless.  Thankfully I am still young(ish), and hopefully I will be able to cope.

Is it sustainable in the long term? Who knows?

What I do know is that nothing is forever…

I suspect 2018 will be an interesting and challenging year, and like 2017, will hopefully bring a surprise or two.

This year, I am just going to relax, keep myself mentally and physically healthy, and juggle the very best I can.

Happy New Year!


4 thoughts on “” The Juggling Microbiologist”

  1. All the best for 2018 Michael, and the challenges of your new job. I’m still enjoying your blogs even though I have had a change of career. Cheers Kathryn

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