So the moon is making its transition into Leo (either today
or tomorrow depending on where you live). The transition today will make it the
second new moon in July (and a super black moon at that). This also means that
the month is over, and there are only five months left in the year. I’m getting
better at not asking where the time is going, and I’m trying to get better at
So what are some of things that one can do during the Leo
thyself—self-love, work on confidence, and leadership skills.
These are all good for being within the Leo constellation,
but one should also look to see what house/zone the moon & Leo are
progressing through as well. For me, that means that Leo is going through my 10th
house, or my career zone. This is about my career & reputation
So what are some of the things that one can do during this
time in regards to the career zone?
your boss about how you’re doing.
colleague out of a rut.
you’ve not become status mad.
Start a new
business as close to the new moon as you can.
new jobs with confidence.
earned it, take the credit.
next best career move.
I finding it reassuring that the career zone and new moon
are falling within this period again this year. It seems like the universe is
nudging me to leave my current position—when I need something ordered for my
job, the item is on backorder for months (and now there are two items). Last
year, it was a computer issue—this year it is a technical issue. I am currently
plotting my next move—it’s going to be a reboot break/pause. This way I can
figure out what the hell I want to do with the second half of my life (as I’m
looking at entering the last year of my thirties pretty soon).
So looking at these two lists, my goals for the Leo New Moon
will include the following:
planning/outlining my reboot break/pause time.
part with #1—plan at least one trip (either total mental break or a combination
mental break/networking/job searching).
on creating more content for the blog and getting back into creative writing.
with the photography challenge
on my daily meditation practice (try to get back to meditating 5-10 minutes a
As always my current motto is: Progress over perfection. Right now slow is the pace I need to be going, as I try to focus on both my health and moving my career forward.
So we’re officially a little over halfway through 2019, which means that there are 815 days left in this challenge (as today is July 5th 2019). So I decided that I should probably do a check-in on the goals and see where I’m at with them. Updates are in bold.
The dates for my 101 goal challenges are:
So my original start and finish dates were:
Start Date: January 1 2018
Finish Date: September 28 2020
My new start and finish dates:
Start Date: January 1, 2019
Finish Date: September 28, 2021
Here are my 101 goals for the next 1001 days
(random and non-grouped):
Transition into a biotech or
biopharma company as a research scientist
Become fluent in Spanish
Become fluent in German
Learn to program (R and maybe
Visit at least three new
Finish the various other e-course
bundles that I bought (list out later)
Move to a new(ish) city for #1
Make it through at least 250 days
of beachbody workouts (share on twitter?) (0/250) *Luckily it doesn’t have to be consecutive days (though I would like
that)—I haven’t done a Beachbody workout in awhile (I also can’t remember how
many I’d done before I hit my slump).
Paint & frame at least one
original painting (0/1)
Finish the Dream Job Hack program
Finish the Youtube for bosses course
Finish the Youtube course creation for bosses course
Launch a youtube channel
Launch a online course
Get blog traffic to 500+ views/day
Publish 5-10 scientific blog posts (0/10)
Practice more photography (1-2 posts a week) I’ve managed to stick with the photography challenge so far, so at
least on the blog there have been new pictures post on a semi-constant basis
(at least for the past three-four months).
Get instagram followers to 800+
Showcase crafts on blog (afghans, artwork, jewelry)
Learn to make my own jewelry
Re-pierce my ears
Finish at least 200 personal/professional development books (and
post reviews) (35/200) *So out of
the 274 books I have on my book reading list for both personal and professional
development (and this number is growing)—I’ve read 20 in 2018, and 15 so far in
2019—that means I only have another 238 books to read to finish the list (and
that is only if I don’t add anymore books to the list).
Interact more on Linkedin (actually network with connections) (at
least 4 a week) (0/140)
Reach at least 14,014,000 steps (0/14,014,000); though if I add in
the steps from 2018—this could actually be closer to 20,000,000 steps
(goal—19,124,000 by Sept 28 2021 (as of yesterday (07/04/19) 8,047,645/19,124,000).
Visit at least one new national (or state) park (0/1)
Visit at least one new national (or state) monument (0/1)
5 pushups on toes (0/5)
10 pushups on toes (0/10)
Fly/land at least 3 new airports
Visit one new city & state (US) (0/1; 0/1)
Go to one or more scientific conferences (0/1)
Go to a blogging conference (0/1)
See the Northern Lights
Present at a scientific conference (0/1)
Post free monthly challenges in facebook groups
Write (or start) a book
Complete a 365 day photography challenge (137/365) I started the
challenge a little late this year, or more accurately it took me awhile to
build momentum to continue posting a daily picture.
Learn to cross-stitch
Reach 400+ followers on pintrest
Reach 1000+ followers on twitter
Publish at least two blog series (0/2)
Mediate at least 5 minutes a day (0/1001)
This one has been an off and on success—there have been at least one or two
weeks when I didn’t feel like meditating nightly, and therefore I didn’t—but
I’m slowly getting back into the routine.
No extra snacks at work (i.e. no hitting the coffee shop for cookies
in the morning) This one is a work in
progress, there are some days when I’m really good at not getting extra snacks
at work, and there are other days when I cave and get chocolate.
Declutter the movies in the house
Create an editorial calendar for blog (0/33) Well I’m slowly starting to try creating editorial calendars, but have
only been really good at posting certain topics (new/full moon goals &
updates, monthly updates & photography challenge). This is something I
still need to work on.
Credit card debt down to less than $500 a month (and getting paid
off monthly in full) This is almost
happening—I do have my debt at a level that I can pay off monthly, though some
bills get a little higher than planned.
Monthly budget (plus list of monthly recurring charges on credit
cards) (0/33) I’ve been doing this,
though not listing the recurring charges on my credit cards.
Learn to give mani/pedi and give myself one a month (0/33)This one is off the
list—because I have yet to do it, and while I might in the future I don’t see
me doing it quite yet.
Get a new sewing machine and make a new quilt for bed. This one is on hold until I move and then
I’ll be buying a new sewing machine.
Make my new moon & full moon goals (0/66) I’ve been keeping up with this one. Though I may not hit all the goals
for both the new moon & the full moon—I’m at least putting my intentions
out there for the universe to hear.
Buy a new couch and chair for my living room. This one and #s 52-54 are dependent on success with #1 & #7
Buy a new dresser for my bedroom
Buy a new mattress & box-spring for my bed
Buy a new TV & stand for living room
Reorganize my storage unit
Buy fabric & foam and make new cushions for rocking chair
Create a posting schedule (editorial calendar) for facebook pages
(0/66) I’m behind on this.
Generate at least three months of memes for facebook pages (0/3)
Create posting schedule (editorial calendar) for instagram (0/33) Behind on this.
Learn to use photoshop for memes & posts
Make a 30-day Zumba schedule & stick with it (0/30) Haven’t done this yet.
Visit one or more new zoos (0/1)
Visit one or more new aquariums (0/1)
Make a top 10 favorite author list (for different genera; romance,
fantasy/sci-fi, mystery/thriller, non-fiction) for blog
Write and share at least two posts on linkedin every two months (0/32) Behind on this as well.
Ask for endorsements from 6 well known connections on linkedin
(0/6) Behind on this well.
Endorse 3 to 5 people on linkedin every four months (0/40) Behind on this.
Renew professional memberships (0/6) Need to do this soon.
Get into the “best shape” of my life. This is one of the things I’m going to try to focus on more, and maybe
should be moved higher in the list.
Finish reading books on scientific writing (review and post) (0/7)
Take a multivitamin & supplements daily (0/1001). There have been several days (going on to
a week) that I’ve missed taking my multivitamin & supplements.
Design a logo for my blog/website
Finish 3 hidden object games without using hints, or the strategy
Go to a author-reader conference and meet authors
Write in journal daily (0/1001). There have been several weeks that I didn’t do this (mainly due to my
current mood—even though I know when I’m feeling down or in a funk that is
actually a good time to journal).
Complete my book of Sudoku puzzles (minus the ones crossed out)
Drink 70 oz of water a day (0/1001). There have been quite a few days when this hasn’t happened.
Color in two coloring books (0/2) (pictures on blog/instagram)
Knit another afghan (diamond pattern) This has been started, and hopefully will be finished this coming
Watch all the episodes of Hawaii 5-0
Go to at least 2 professional networking events (0/2)
Update Linkedin profile (0/2)
Watch all the episodes of Grimm
Design a science based board game
Hold a two minute plank (on forearms)
Hold a 90 second plank (full)
Go at least one weekend a month without social media (0/33) This hasn’t happened yet, though with the
way the world is going I might start doing it.
Create (and update) a vision board. I’ve created and updated a digital vision board, and will probably
try to update it at least every two to three months.
Get an additional external hard drive to back up the laptop &
external DVD drive for installing printer program on laptop
Create my own coffee table photography book
Touch base with friends that I haven’t talked to lately
Savings up another 20K (0/20K)
Get at least three plants and keep them alive (0/3)
Stretch daily (0/1001)
Watch all the episodes of The Librarians
Watch all the episodes of Once Upon A Time
Get Fit with Jessi to 1000+ likes
Get BecomingJessi to 1000+ likes
I’ve only removed one goal from the
list—giving myself a mani/pedi monthly. I’ve never been the type to fuss with
their nails (though I know with job searching, I do need to start taking better
care of my nails, and this does include painting them every so often). I’ve
realized that I have fallen behind on some of the daily goals (taking my
multivitamins, drinking a certain amount of water a day, and writing in my
journal every day)—but at least I do start back up, even if it tampers off, and
then starts again.
I also know that there are goals that I
haven’t started on, and others that require another goal to be accomplished
before they are looked at. I know where I need to try to focus for the next few
months (personal care—mental and physical health, and slowly figuring out my
career objectives), and once these are on track, I think the others will follow
So the moon is going to be entering it’s latest full moon
stage tomorrow, and actually should be within the Scorpio constellation. I will
admit that this year has totally confused me on which constellation the moon is
in and when, since there have been a couple of times that it seems to have
transitioned quickly back into the same constellation it was in the previous
month. So it looks like I’m going to have another chance on working on my goals
for a Scorpio full moon, as that is the constellation that it will be going
through tomorrow. That means that it’s time to look back on the first round of
Scorpio goals and see how I did with each one.
So goals for this full moon period are going to include:
fitness and nutrition back on track.
my transition plan.
gratitude/happiness/keeping a positive outlook daily.
So how did I do with each one?
In terms of
fitness and nutrition—this didn’t really happen, though I am trying not to buy
as many sweets on campus. Now that our wifi/internet is hopefully back to it’s
normal speed and not disappearing at the drop of a dime I will hopefully try to
get back into doing a workout daily.
realized that at times I get bored with the workout because I’ve done it before
and then I lose interest in the entire program. I’m thinking that I’m going to
have to push myself to get through a program and try to lift a little heavier
each week (if possible) in certain exercises and see if that can help propel me
through various programs.
terms of nutrition, I need to figure out a better way of dealing with stress
and irritation—currently it’s going to buy some type of sweet/candy that I know
I don’t need but I usually eat it anyway (or I save it for the weekend at
home). If I can avoid getting the sweets (and the extra coffee) in the
morning/during the day—besides losing some weight I will also be saving some
In terms of
working on my transition plan, so far the only book that I’ve finished reading
so far has been: “Reboot your life: energize your career and life by taking a
break” by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith. This book
has shown me that its fine wanting to take a break from things, and that it’s
even expected that people do that (I had no idea that companies like Google and
Genetech actually support employees doing this).
this is something that I’m seriously thinking of doing. I know that I have
enough money saved (one nice thing about my current living arrangements), and
that this is the perfect time for me to do so. Therefore sometime by the end of
the year I’m going to embark on my own “reboot break”.
also joined another subgroup within a professional group I’m in—this one
focusing on different aspects of scientific writing (but focused on
non-academia areas). There are two other books that I’m currently reading (and
hopefully will be finishing within the next full moon), and they are: “The
Renaissance Soul: How to make your passions your life” by Margaret Loensteine
and “Next Gen PhD” by Melanie Sinche.
Listening to a teambeachbody podcast this week (and
currently I forget which April one it was), but one thing that stuck with me
was—working the personal development that I
need to be working on for myself and
not what others think (or I think I should do to be like others). Listening to
some of the podcasts have been reminding me that I really haven’t been working
on me for me; and that is another reason why I’m leaning towards doing a
Finally in terms of trying to practice happiness/gratitude
daily—this is a hit and miss. I realize that the part of my day that I’m
currently at times the unhappiest is when I’m at work. One reason is that we’re
getting into the nicer weather and I don’t like being stuck indoors all day. I
think that I’d almost prefer a job that had flexible hours/schedule to where I
could work from both an office and then from home (or a park or somewhere I
could take a break and get outdoors). I’m trying to find things to be happy/grateful
for daily, and it boosts my mood for a while—but if others are in a bad mood
that seems to spread around everyone and it’s hard to stay upbeat. So that is
yet another nudge I need for taking a “reboot break” so that I can figure out
what the next stage of my career is going to be.
Things were hit and miss this last month, and I’m not sure
if it was just because the semester was winding down or if I was going through
another small bout of depression (or both). Since we’re going to be cycling
back through Scorpio, I will have the chance to modify the goals and figure out
the best plan for moving forward again—since the moon in Scorpio will also mark
the start of the full moon going through all my houses (from the first).
So the next full moon happened yesterday (April 19), and technically is the second Libra Full moon, transitioning quickly into Scorpio. So both my review and my new full moon goals are going to be a couple of days late in posting. In terms of the next full moon goal post—I’m probably going to go with Scorpio goals, as the moon will have transitioned into the Scorpio constellation by the time I get to posting that entry. But for now lets look back at the goals I’d set for the Libra Full moon and see how I did with each one of them.
The goals for the Libra Full Moon included:
and modifying my transition plan as needed.
making the lists/goals for the set of job titles that I’ve initially chosen so
that I can narrow it down to say three to four (out of the seven).
fitness/nutrition plan/goals and make another long-term list (including rewards
for hitting certain benchmarks).
So how did I do with each one?
I’m still going through and modifying my transition
plan—I’ve realized that one area that I haven’t been clear on is the exact type
of position (or companies) I want and that I’d want to work for. It’s difficult
to move forward in the transition if I’m not sure where I want to end up. So
I’m also reading some other books to help in the self-assessment and
self-reflection to help narrow down some ideas of what I would like to do.
I am making lists and goals of what I should be doing (and
trying to make a weekly post on how I’ve done with everything that I said I
wanted to get accomplished that week). I am probably going to be reworking the
lists and goals as I work through other questionnaires and really try to get a
good idea of what I want to be doing with my life.
In terms of the nutrition/fitness goals—I’ve reworked this
as well, and I am going to be trying to make a weekly (or biweekly) update on the
blog on how I’ve done the previous week in terms of the mini goals that I’ve
So far in terms of the last two goals—I only managed to do
one update last week for the fitness/nutrition and then my finance goals. I
will probably try to do what is turning out to be a biweekly update on the job
transition/career goals and then my other personal development goals. There won’t
be an update this week for the fitness goals as all I managed to get done is
really walking this week (though I have managed to surpass my step goal for the
So I am still working my way through various transition
plans trying to forge the correct mix of all for myself. I’ve managed to figure
out quite a bit over the past ten weeks, and while some of the answers are
still slightly broad (since I haven’t quite fine tuned the positions and/or
companies), I have a better idea of what I should be working towards.
I’ve managed to answer one of my “why” questions—why am I
still in science, and why do I want to potentially stay in research. I’ve also
managed to use it to help me figure out that if I stay in biomedical—that is
where I may switch to data analysis (or maybe go in the direction of
scientific/medical writing), but at the same time I could switch to the
agricultural industry or cosmetic research sector & stay within research by
helping to improve crop production (or maybe even biofuel production), or
cosmetic products. I also need to remember how my Clifton Strength Assessment
went and that I’m more of an inward working person (thinking & executing)
than people facing person; out of my top fifteen traits only three are in the
relating clade. My top five traits are: learner, intellection, input, achiever,
and deliberative. These are also things that I need to take into account when
choosing what type of professional lifestyle I want to live.
Then when I turn to thinking about the professional
lifestyle that I would prefer to have, it includes some time in the lab doing
research. I realize that going into industry will actually decrease the amount
of time in the lab (based on a forty hour week), as there will be meetings that
will have to be attended as well. I also know that at times science isn’t a
nine to five job (experiments can run late, especially if they follow a meeting
that might have started a little late), so I know that hours might have to be
flexible. I’m fine with that, because I know that I should be getting paid well
enough to compensate for the extra hours (and maybe an occasional weekend). In
terms of traveling, I’d prefer to only have to do it less than say ten percent
of the time (so mainly going to conferences and local symposiums). While I want
to travel—I want to travel for enjoyment and not the job (or at least not one
where I’d be in potential meetings all day). I can probably do data analysis,
though sitting in front of a computer for eight hours doesn’t sound like a lot
of fun—I know that there would probably be meetings throughout the week to
break up the monotony of staring at a computer screen. I also know that I need
to try to start reading more articles (and I think I might have to schedule it
into my day in order to make sure that I actually do it).
So with these thoughts in mind, I’ve decided on the
following prospective positions (though the list will probably change as I
start to go more in-depth research on each one and the companies within
different industry sectors):
(1) R&D scientist
(2) Health Economist and Outcome Research
(3) Market Research Analyst
(4) Marking Communications Specialist
(5) Clinical Data Manager
(6) Scientific/Medical Writing
(7) Quantitative Analyst
So other than #1 (and that depends on the industry sector I
go into), the others are all slightly outside my comfort zone. They are all
interesting to me (though two of the bottom [5 &6] could have a little more
travel than I’d want—but that could be something that can be worked with).
If I go a little slow (mainly to keep the anxiety in check),
I will probably get quite a few lists made of things to work on for each
position (including ideas for better networking on linkedin). I’ve realized
over the past two weeks, that I have been letting my anxiety and stress hold me
back this month in terms of trying to really move forward on the transition
plan. Now that I have ideas of the types of positions, I need to look into
different large cities (or biotech hubs) and see what companies are in those
locations. While I am willing to relocate outside of Oklahoma—I do have a
certain criteria that I’m going to be looking for in terms of places I’m
willing to move. Once I know that a city has a large enough variation in
companies—then I will start really researching the companies.
So I have made some strides in what I’m wanting to do—the
list hasn’t changed that much since I first made it back in September—I’ve
figure most of them (other than R&D scientist) can be considered a data
analyst position of some type.
There are different definitions of the word value, depending
on whether or not the word is being used as a noun or as a verb. When used as a
noun (especially in terms of job searching, professional, and personal
development) the definition of value then can be considered: “a person’s
principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment on what is important in
Everyone can share certain values and then also have completely different values as well. This is one important aspect of both personal and professional development that one has to think on throughout their lives and careers. Truthfully, this is one area that I’ve always been weak on (namely because I’ve always had a hard time trying to figure out what I want to do with my degree and what direction my career should go).
So over the past year and half, I’ve read several different personal/professional development books and worked through some e-courses, and they all had one exercise in common: picking out words from a list that resonated with you in terms of both your personal life and your professional life. Some told you to pick words that resonated with both (or to have a short list that encompassed both aspects), others had you do the activity twice: once for personal and then again for professional.
So while I’m including three of my value lists (one done from a book, one from an e-course, and the other from another program). They are in picture format (love using word cloud to make pictures out of words). There are words that show up multiple times, and now it is time for me to merge these lists into one list, and hopefully then get a “core list” and an “additional” value list made from these three.
So the first list of value words came from an exercise from the book: “Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking” by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport. This was one of the first personal development books that I read last year after being laid off. It has wonderful insights and exercises for one to do, and I’m slowly starting to stop worrying about things that I can’t control and learning how to re-frame my negative thoughts into more positive ones.
This exercise had you make a list of values for both your personal and professional lifestyles (going with first your personal and then your professional). I will admit that the list for professional was shorter than the list for personal (but this is again due to me still trying to figure out the type of professional lifestyle that I would like to have).
My second list of core values come from my transition plan that I’ve been developing and modifying via of my enrollment and involvement in the Cheeky Scientist Association (which is an company/association that helps people with PhDs (and Masters) degrees transition into industry positions). This list is smaller than the other two, because I was trying to limit the list to no more than ten or twelve values (and one way I did this was by finding values that also could be considered combinations of other values together). This shorter list of values include:
Vitality (combination of health & fitness),
Synergy (combination of teamwork & collaboration),
Intuition, and finally
The final list comes from an e-course that I took on the topic of career development/searching for the right job. The actual title of the course is: Deciding your career path—even if you have no idea how! on udemy.com. I found this to be a little bit of a refresher course, though it did offer one new trick on trying to match your skills with the skills that the job posting has listed (but that is a topic for another post). This short refresher (at least for me) asked that you make a list of the values that resonated with you, and then rank them to find your top five to seven. Below is my unranked list of values that I listed (and I have them covering again both personal and professional):
So as you can see—I have basically one very large list of
values (both personal and professional), now I have to either rank them or
choose the ones that resonate the most with me to focus on during this current
When you use a program that groups or changes the size of the word depending on the number of times you have it listed, you can get a cool picture.
I’ve also realized that there are several values added to
the image that aren’t found on the list (or I’ve added in the word again); but
that I also left off hard work from my value list. This isn’t to say that I
One thing I thought of doing was grouping some together
under an overarching theme, and I think that the current theme could be
continuous improvement (which can mean numerous things in terms of both
personal and professional development). So while I’m sure that I could continue
to add to the above lists in terms of things that resonate with me, the ones
that I’m going to focus on for the next few years include:
can encompass fitness, health, and nutrition
encompass collaboration and teamwork
So I think that I need to be looking for companies that have
a sense of community, and also programs to help employees grow as
professionals. In addition if I stick with research, going a different
direction from what I’ve been doing will be another way to ensure that I’m
continuing to learn and gain knowledge.
So to summarize, I’m going to be focusing on aspects/values that will allow me to continue to grow and learn (something that I pushed aside for awhile after finishing graduate school), and become a better me. Those values again are:
Now to start looking for companies that will allow me to
focus on both these values and also have the type of professional lifestyle
that I probably would enjoy. That lifestyle I think is a mixture of both lab
work and data analysis (I don’t think I really want to be sitting behind a desk
all the time; and I do miss being at the bench and actually working on “my”
research). In addition, while there may be some long days (and/or weekends) of
work, I am duly compensated for that time. There is also an company culture
that emphasizes the balance of both work and having a life away from the
business (i.e. you don’t have to worry about checking emails after hours, on
the weekends, or on holidays). So I am slowly starting make the progress needed
for my transition from academia to industry.
So I’ve realized that in any career change, there are three
questions that one needs to have the answers to as they move along in their
transition. The first question refers to your area of work—why are you in the
current field. The second question will be why this company/sector, and then
the final question would be where do you see yourself in five (or ten) years
(which isn’t necessarily a “why” question—but is related to the “why this
company” question—most companies want to know that you are going to stick around
for a good amount of time).
So I’ve been able to make a few baby steps forward in my job transition—namely slowly starting to define my “why” of being in science (or more specifically scientific research). I won’t even get into the reasons of just being around scientific research my whole life and just “falling” into it. This past week or so, I’ve been asking myself this question of “why am I in science (specifically in scientific research)” as I had been going on about my day. The answer I kept coming back to was some form of the following: I want to help figure out a cure/treatment for cancer and/or help improve the food production/distribution for the world—in other words I’m in research because I feel a need to help better society by helping to find solutions to pressing issues through the use of scientific research.
This is still a very broad “why” as I haven’t narrowed down
the industry sectors or companies that I would potentially like to work for. I
just realize that I want to be part of a team that helps answer a pressing
question or concern using science. To help narrow down the industry sector and
companies that I would potentially like to go work for, I will need to try to
answer another “why” or “how”: what do I want to learn in the new position? Not
to say that I’d apply for a position that I’m unqualified for—but a position
that would allow me to grow within the company. As a “learner” I need to figure
out the type of positions that will allow me to continue to learn and grow both
as a scientist and as a business professional. This has been one issue with
some of my past positions—once it became more routine repetition, I lost some
interest in the position (I continued to do my job, but it became more
automatic and I counted down to the weekends).
Though if I look at my why of being in science in a more
broad view—I also want to help educate and train the next generation of
scientists. Currently I think the best way to help do this is through online
mentoring (as I’m not sure how many companies offer summer internships for
undergraduates or high school students), writing blog posts/articles, and
creating online e-courses in different subject areas. Once I’m in an established
position I will try to work with the company in terms of trying do community
outreach to help bring a better understanding of complex science issues to the
The writing of blog posts/articles can also address the
issue of community outreach, where certain topics are addressed in basic,
common language where there is a limit on the amount of scientific jargon used
(which is one problem scientists have when trying to communicate their
work—they forget at times not everyone is a specialist in a certain niche).
Topics that I could see me trying to write over include: GMOs (and why they
won’t kill you), why organic isn’t necessarily better for you, why vaccines are
good, and those are just topics that are current in the media (both mainstream
and social). This particular method has been slow going, only because I’ve been
trying to do all the graphics by hand (or PowerPoint) and that is slow going
(only because of my limited artistic abilities—though I am trying to improve
those this year).
So I can say that I would like to potentially stay within
research, or a position that touches on it somehow (such as potentially doing
market research analysis—still research, just on the business side), and at the
same time try to figure out how to deal with the idea that at some point I
could possibly have an entire “desk” job—I’ve realized that I get antsy during
the week if I’m sitting still too long (don’t seem to have a problem on the
weekend—probably because I’m trying to figure out and plan for the coming
As to the second question—why this company? I won’t be able
to have a good idea on that until I really narrow down my previous why
statement for being in research. I will have to make a decision on whether to
go with small to mid size companies (ones that grow mainly to be bought by
larger companies) or larger companies, where there could possibly be more job
security but less learning other areas of business. Which then will bring me to
the final question of where would I see myself in five or ten years?
This five (or ten) year question is one that everyone
suggests you think on and have an answer to both in terms of job searching and
then for job interviews (companies want to know that you’ve done research and
have figure out how you would be able to fit in and progress and where you’d be
within a time frame).
Currently I’d say that in five years I see myself working as either a senior research scientist (some amount of management, but with the hopeful potential of still being in the lab for at least one day a week), high ranked data analyst, or potentially a senior scientific (or medical) writer. I do see myself working my way up the business ladder, but at the same time not working too far up—as that isn’t my personality. This answer still needs fine-tuning (mainly in determining how to break it into numerous statements and part of an elevator pitch). The above answer is also broad—but since I haven’t really narrowed down my original why, and haven’t started really looking at different companies I think it’s a good start on the “where do you see yourself in “x” years” question.
So I think that I’ve managed to make a few strides in the right direction. I’m going to also try engaging more on various platforms (such as linkedin) and start trying to network enough that I can possibly start asking people for informational interviews within a few months to also start helping to narrow down the “why” of my career choice, but also start working on narrowing down some of the companies as well. Not bad for it only being January–I’m further long in a few short weeks than I was all of last year.
One of the things that I obviously needed reminding of doing
is going back over my Clifton Strength Assessment scores. Last fall (after
basically being laid off due to budget cuts) I was in a personal/professional
development/assessment kick and took the Clifton Strength Assessment quiz to
try to figure out what some of my strengths and weaknesses were. After taking
the quiz and looking at the results—I basically filed it all under “okay, done,
check, and move on”. I’d basically forgotten about these results until I
started to read the book “YouMap: Find Yourself, Blaze Your Path, Show the
World!” by Kristin Sherry.
One of the things that she suggested in the book was either
taking the Clifton Strength Assessment quiz, or reading through the thirty-four
different strengths and trying to see which ones would be in our top five. I’d
thought that I’d taken the quiz, searched my laptop and wouldn’t you know it—I
saved the results. I had both the top five strengths, and the full assessment
This quiz/assessment ranks you on thirty-four different
traits—and as the author states even if something isn’t in your top area,
doesn’t mean you incapable of that over-arching theme. This assessment is just
one of the many windows we can look through in trying to determine what our
strengths and weaknesses are—it will also can give us a clue on things we might
want to try to improve on; though moving one strength up means that another has
to move down.
I’ve always realized that I’m a unique individual and that
one of my weaknesses is always trying to get along with other people and not
make waves. Taking the strength assessment has allowed for me to see exactly
how unique I am—as very few people have the same assessment profile.
My Clifton Strength Assessment Profile is as follows:
These traits are divided into four different categories:
Relating and Influencing (People-facing traits), and then Thinking and
Executing (Inward facing traits). My top five strengths are within the inward
facing traits (3 are within the thinking category and the other two are within
the executing category). Even if I look at just the top half (so the first
seventeen), majority are still within the inward facing traits (there would
only be four traits from the relating category, and one trait from the
Basically this is telling me that I’m happier (or maybe more
at ease) when I’m in a position to do more investigate work (or as I see
it—being at the bench). While harmony was low on the list—I still feel like
this is a higher trait at times, because I do try to get along with everyone
and not really rock the boat (I don’t like confrontations) when at work. This
also has me realizing that I really don’t like (or put much effort) into trying
to sway people’s opinions (which could also explain why I haven’t really built
up my Beachbody business), as the bottom five traits are all within the
Basically I’m someone who is more than willing to think on a
problem and come up with possible ideas/solutions for said problem. Seven of
the eight “thinking” traits are in the top half of my list (ideation is towards
the top of the bottom half at number 19). Five out of nine executing traits are
also in my top half. I’m better at relating to people than I am at trying to
This also means that as I’m moving forward in job
search/transition this coming year I need to make sure that I’m going with jobs
that reflect my strengths (and still try to strengthen some of my
“weaknesses”). This means that I also need to start pushing myself again in
terms of becoming a lifelong learner again (something I’ve been slightly
slacking on the past couple of years).
So what are my goals (based on this assessment)?
lifelong learner again.
ways of accountability
Basically the main goals for 2019—transition into an
industry position, and find the joy in learning again. Also as I start looking
at other personal and professional development assessment tools, I will find a
way to blend them all together—this will allow for me to develop a transition
plan that uniquely me and hopefully help me start my reinvention of myself.
As I’m looking at both the calendar and my various goal lists—I’ve realized that I’ve become slightly stagnant in terms of trying to transition into an industry role from academia. Though on an upbeat note, I think I’ve also managed to pinpoint certain areas that have been behind the stagnation in my transition.
Some of the things that I’ve been “allowing” to slow down my transition have been the following:
I’m still not completely sure what I want to do in industry.I know of things that I don’t want to do (which I know if almost half the battle of job searching), but I’m still bouncing between different perspective job titles/positions.
I’m extremely slow in networking/adding value to connections. It isn’t that I don’t want to connect and build a strong network—it’s just I feel award in my progression (probably a hang-up of childhood) and attempts in doing it.
I don’t consider myself an “expert” in things—I enjoy science, but I don’t do nearly as much scientific reading as I should be doing (something I hope to start correcting come the new year).
I have very little knowledge of the biotech, biopharm, and agricultural business worlds (and I read even less on those topics).
So how can I try to fix these issues so that I’m still not stagnate on my career transition, this time next year?
In terms of networking and adding value I’m going to do the following:
Strike up at least 5 linkedin conversations a week (even if it’s just going back and thanking someone for accepting my connection request). I’ll go through and make a spreadsheet (and then a weekly list of who I want to reconnect with) and keep track of things that way. I’ll also try to set aside a specific time period daily to do this.
I’ll also start being more active on linkedin (in terms of liking and commenting on people’s posts). I will also try to be more active indifferent groups on linkedin as well.
In reconnecting with my linkedin network, it will also hopefully help me in time also answer the question of: what position(s) do I want to be targeting. Also over time it should also allow for me to start setting up informational interviews (even if they’re over the phone or via Skype or zoom).
When it comes to trying to determine what position(s) that I may want to start targeting, I’ve realized that it will also require a bit of soul searching, and assessment. I’d actually started doing some of the different assessment quizzes last fall (after becoming unemployed for the third time) to try and start figuring out my strengths and weaknesses.
Though I’ve also realized that after doing the different assessment quizzes, I looked at the results, contemplated them for a while and then shuffled them away and basically “forgot” about them until recently. Going back through one of the assessments, I’ve realized that I’m more of a thinker and a doer, than a manager type of person (based on my Clifton Strength Assessment profile; another post coming on this topic). I’ve realized that I’d probably be happier in positions where I’m learning/thinking/working in a team than being a solo worker and having to oversee a lot of people.
So in addition to trying to figure out the professional lifestyle that I want, I need to make sure that it also complements the personal lifestyle that I want as well. This means that I would prefer positions that allow me to continue to learn and grow, but at the same time has a “manageable” time frame—basically I would prefer job positions that don’t exceed fifty to sixty hour workweeks (basically no more than an ten to possibly twelve hour work day). I know that long days (and possible weekends) are a part of doing scientific research, but I would like that to be balanced with “normal”or even “short” workdays as well.
What am I going to do in terms of becoming an “expert” in my
One of the things that I’ve realized that I don’t do enough of is reading scientific papers. This is in part due to the fact that through grad school and then both my postdoc positions, I was “semi” limited on the papers that I should be reading. Basically, I was told that I should really just focus on the papers in my field. This meant either reading small RNA papers (both grad school and my first postdoc) or yeast cell cycle regulation papers (my second postdoc). In theory I could still read other papers in other areas, but it had to be in my “free time”, not when I was at work. So, in part I quit reading scientific papers as a way of “thumbing my nose” at everyone. Not the most mature thing to do, but at the time it was how I felt.
So, now I’m going to write a list of scientific topics that interest me; (and see if I can branch out from things I’ve been around fo ryears) and then start downloading different papers in those areas. One goal is going to be trying to write a small review on one or two papers a week for the blog (adding to the science section).
I’m also going to try to read at least one article every other day from various biotech pages, and start following different companies. Basically, I’m going to start trying to get out of the academia mindset and start branching out into the biotech/business mindset as well.
I’m also going to try to get to at least one national meeting in 2019. There are three in the spring (and two are almost back to back in Orlando) that I need to decide which I’m going to attend. Going to a national meeting will allow me to both network more and also see what new trends are happening in the various scientific fields (and hopefully will give me some more ideas for blog (or scientific) topics.
So basically, the goals for 2019 are to get better at time management, and make it the year I transition into an industry position. Look for most posts, as I’m also going to blog updates as a way of accountability as well.
So I’m currently in the process of trying to move my job transition into industry into a higher gear than what I’ve been doing for the past year. I’ve realized that I’ve allowed having a job to give me a little too much breathing room, and that I need to start acting like the job is going to be ending and kick things into high gear.
So one thing I’m going to be trying to do is write at least one weekly summary of some of the things I’ve been doing over the week in pushing the transition forward. Read More