August 23, 2007 at 6:26 am #776
Howdy all, new member.
The wife and I have talked about taking contract work in Antarctica for several years but life never allowed it. We’re now getting to the point where we want to make it happen, and we’re trying to plan accordingly next year.
I don’t have any specific questions at this stage, but I thought I’d introduce myself and explain our background in hopes of soaking up any advice that you’ve got.
We’ve both got engineering backgrounds (she = civil, me = chemical). After a couple of years in industry I went back to school and she’s been working for several engineering/consulting firms. We’re currently living overseas but we realize we’d likely have to make our way back to the States during the hiring process to make it happen.
To be honest – we’d be happy to do just about any job(s) they have us do, as this is certainly more about the experience than the money or the career benefits… however, with that said – if something applicable to our work interests is available we’d go for it.
I’ve been looking at research associate positions and she’s been looking at a few things, most recently the draftsman and surveyor jobs (she could write a book on just about all the CAD packages out there and she’s a licensed/certified surveyor).
Truthfully, I’d be keen to try out something a little more hands-on, via one of the apprentice positions but without any direct experience I’m not holding out for them.
I’ve read on other forums that going down “as a couple” is seen as a positive when they’re considering your application. Any insight into that would be appreciated.
I’ll continue to monitor this forum, but if anyone has a comment or advice based on what I’ve written – just send it my way.
Cheers.August 24, 2007 at 3:33 am #7847
I’m deploying right now so I don’t have much time to chat, but I’ll comment on what I can — perhaps others will join in too.
> To be honest – we’d be happy to do just about any job(s)
Here’s a tip: the jobs requiring a high skill level are harder for the company to fill. This means your chances are better if your skills match the position. Entry-level jobs get thousands of applications and they also don’t pay as well.
> I’ve been looking at research associate positions
> and she’s been looking at a few things
Be aware that RA positions are typically full-year contracts. Most other positions are austral summer only.
Know anything about cryogenics? The pole often looks for a cryo tech (again, full-year). Also consider Assistant Lab Manager or Marine Science Tech (for you).
>Truthfully, I’d be keen to try out something a little more hands-on,
> via one of the apprentice positions
Apprentice positions are typically entry level. You can probably do any of them, but again you’re up against some stiff competition.
> I’ve read on other forums that going down “as a couple” is seen as a
> positive when they’re considering your application.
Sometimes, but not necessarily — especially not if you’re new in the program. Going as a couple means you both have to PQ, both have to get job offers, and both have to be willing to go. IMO, many managers are reluctant to take that gamble on new hires. After you’ve done a few contracts it gets easier to arrange.
Good luck – and don’t give up! Many things can happen.
glennAugust 24, 2007 at 5:12 am #7846
I’ve seen your numerous posts on this board, so let me say thanks for chiming in with your advice. Always helps to hear from the experts.
We’d certainly like to go for some of the “higher skill level” jobs but I guess I was just trying to convey the fact that we’re more than happy to step outside our comfort zone to get this opportunity (as are most people now that I think about it). So point taken.
The RA position sounds like a damn perfect fit with both my interests and research experience. I’m a bit of a lab rat, but I also know more than my fair share about computer/network repair and maintenance, and I’ve been writing reports for other people for longer than I care to remember. Unfortunately a full-year commitment is unlikely on my part so I’ll have to be up-front about that. I may get down there and love it, but it’s a lot to sign on for without any first hand knowledge. I’ll keep my eye open on the asst lab mgr and marine sci tech positions you mentioned. Frankly my [scientific] interests are broad and I’d welcome the chance to branch out into something new.
As for the couple issue… I’m afraid that’s going to be a deal breaker. I understand how it decreases our chances in the eyes of some hiring managers, but this was my wife’s passion to begin with… I just jumped on the bandwagon. Now I’m leading the charge but there’d be hell to pay if I tried to go without her (and vice versa). I suppose we’ll have to take our chances. We’re both fit and skilled, so hopefully we can convince someone to take a gamble.
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