Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Natasha's work life

So after two months of working two jobs, both part-time, I have switched to working one job, full-time. I knew that both of my jobs had the potential to go full-time sooner rather than later and our pace of life helped me to make the decision to give up one on the sooner side. So I now work full-time as a research assistant for the Kidney Health Research Group at the University of Alberta.

In this position I gather articles, both from on-line and in the library, coordinate the articles, and generally keep track of all the details. I have worked on two new systematic reviews since I've been there and both have included about 300 articles which I tracked down (with a lot of help from a snazzy on-line system that directs me on where to find them), photocopied in triplicate, entered the results of whether or not they were relevant for the review, and other details. Actually, one of the reviews is just starting so I'm still at the tracking down and photocopying stage. I am also learning how to do data extraction.

One day a week I am also providing some assistance to the woman who is in charge of the finances. I just learned how to do cheque requisitions. And I can reconcile the accounts. It has been a little complicated to learn the ins and outs of the university accounting system but I am glad to be able to learn more about financial systems in general.

I decided to go with this job for a number of reasons. It is a little closer to our house and both the daily and yearly schedule work better with Dave's schedule (we get to walk one way together every day, except Fridays when Dave doesn't go to school, and we will have all the same holidays -- like the Winter break). I can see myself doing work like this more long term (I get to spend hours in the library!) and it fits in with my social conscience. And with only working one job I get to sleep in a little more -- attempting to wake up at 7am was really difficult for me.

So that's what is happening with my work life. My days fly by and I am always really busy, which I love. Right now I am considered casual which means I am paid per hour, but next September I will be permanent full-time which means paid holidays and benefits. For now I like the flexibility of being casual -- it means I can take as much time off as I need this coming year to visit Ontario, attend weddings, and take time for a honeymoon after ours!


  1. This job sounds like it fits in well with your life; congratulations! I hope the financial stuff is coming along okay. There can be a steep learning curve - at least that's what I found last year. Reconciling can be a pain. The research assistance/library perusing sounds great though!

  2. Hey guys, sorry we missed your visit to Ontario! Hope you had a good time while you were here. Much love and good luck with the wedding preparations!

    Lyd and Matt


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