I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2023 Building Biotech event from The Student Biotechnology Network (theSBN.ca). The following is my speech from that evening.
“By mid-November 2021, after more than 18 years, I was abruptly out of my work-job-career.” I wrote that in a post in April 2022, and said that it was a story for another time. That time has arrived.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on a staycation. It was my first extended time off in nearly two years, and while the camping getaway plans were abruptly cancelled, I still wanted to spend time away from work and the computer, so I stuck to my scheduled break. I had lots of books to read and a few decluttering projects around the house I could tackle.
There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job, by Kikuko Tsumura. Pub 2015. Translation by Polly Barton. Pub 2020.
I don’t usually include fiction on this blog. When I first received this book (as part of a set of books won in a raffle earlier this year), I thought it was a non-fiction book, a guide to job hunting in the realities of a complicated world. It is not really that, but it is a good fable about the difficulties of finding work that is utterly easy, disconnected, or non-impactful.
Last year, I started a new program called the Leadership Square*. Modelled after the concept of a Mastermind Group, the Square is a monthly-ish virtual gathering to talk about leadership, work, balance, and all manner of topics. I provide a topic and some suggested reading, and then those who are interest gather in the virtual square for discussion.
The topic for February’s Square was passion and purpose.
As leaders, we have to pay attention to each of our team members and learn to hear what they’re saying – even (or perhaps especially) when they are not saying much. If we’re doing a good job of supporting and engaging on an ongoing basis, we’ll get to know our team members’ communication styles and hear about what’s going on for them – at work, at home, in their lives – and can incorporate this into our work with them. When someone who is usually enthusiastic starts to be listless or quiet, we are responsible for exploring that with them.
Who is Robyn?
My career as a research project manager is rewarding, dynamic, challenging, and fun. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in communication, organization, and common sense approaches in research management and leadership, and to enabling others to learn and grow in this exciting career.