I have been in the office for three consecutive Sunday afternoons, and there is never anybody here to give me a round of applause/guard of honour.
I’d love to say that coming in on the day of rest is a manifestation of my tireless work ethic, but the reality is that I just quite like the peace and quiet at this time. Or at least I can turn up the music in my earphones full-blast without disturbing any of my colleagues.
So yes, what have I been up to? Reading, mostly. Although my experience hasn’t been particularly peaceable as it appears to be for the young fella in the photo above; it has involved a fair bit of (mental) graft.
Currently I am ploughing through employment research articles, mostly related to the concept of employability and the changing labour market. I find it difficult to stay focused on a singular subject for too long though, and so have been interspersing this with bouts of social capital/network capital theory. Then, just to mix it up a wee bit more, I spend time collating contemporary and historical data relating to Scotland’s employment statistics.
I have to say, I am finding the work to be engrossing, if slightly overwhelming. Reading isn’t about opening a book/PDF and getting stuck in anymore. It’s about devising a strict time schedule, organising notes, extrapolating key themes, critically analysing findings and methodologies, noting key authors/journals, and trying not to be distracted by the sheer volume of published material in the field of research (think of a huge number, then double it several times). I am also at the mercy of a continual avalanche of thoughts, ideas and concerns that rush through my mind at the most inopportune moments.
Thankfully though, I have something of a deadline coming up to focus my attention.
On Monday 15th December at 3pm (room TBC), I will be giving a presentation to the Employment Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier’s Craiglockhart Campus. The idea is to talk through my subject, and explain why the research I am conducting is important. It will also be a chance for me to get some valuable feedback on my work at this early stage. So, please feel free to come along (but go easy on me!). I will post up more details closer to the time.