Tuesday, January 30, 2007

On being a Newfoundlander...


I guess something I didn't immediately put in my profile is that I'm a Newfoundlander. I was born and raised there, and extremely proud of that fact. In fact, I'm the only member of my extended family who doesn't live on 'the rock'. Seeing that I'm also the most highly educated member of my family (a family of well educated people, I might add) I find it kind of sad. I used to joke that I intended to be so educated that they couldn't not give me a job at home, but ironically, it appears thats exactly what happened. Although the government of my fine home province gives a lot of lip service to bringing people home, I sit with a PhD in Ontario. I'm interviewing for a new position, and labs that I have interviewed with have no problem seeing both my experience and passion for the research that I do. These are some of the biggest and most successful labs in the country. They also are quick to recognize my hard working nature. These are all things that I directly correlate with my being raised in Newfoundland. However, despite numerous attempts to make an in at Memorial University (where I acheived two of my three degrees) as well as every fledgling biotech company in the province, I've recieved zero response. I fully understand that I'm still relatively early in my career (I received my PhD in 2004) yet with everyone but those in Newfoundland willing to see my potential, its very difficult for me to set my sights clearly on coming home. I find that very distressing. Number one, because I love my family and being away from them is very difficult and they want to see me succeed at home. Number two, because for all of the rhetoric about Newfoundlanders not getting a fair shake with regards to being as good as the rest of Canada, the only ones who appear to be seeing me as 'not good enough' are those at home. Wise up people! We can't build a bigger and better province until we acknowledge that we're sending our best and brightest away. And I want to be home, and I'm doing everything in my power to come home to add to my culture in a positive way. There has to be a better way.

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