Tag: work-life balance

Settling into the job

So I’m settling into my position as a senior research specialist in charge of DNA sequencing. Right now I’m just making sure that I have my feet under me, to where I can handle doing the sequencing on a day-to-day basis without too many mishaps (loose lid……), before trying to do anything more in terms of protocol modifications/development–that will probably be after the new year.

Right now I’d say my job is 80% technical (with 75% of that being pipetting for anywhere from thirty minutes to three plus hours, depending on the number of samples for the day; and the other 5% is taking care of the machine). Of the remaining 20%, I’d say 15% is dedicated to customer service (looking at the data before the customers get it, and letting them know what happened with their samples (which ones failed/which ones gave noisy reads/and which ones ran fine). The last 5% of my job is administrative paperwork (filling out log sheets, order forms, making copies, tabulating charges, and getting the paperwork to the finance guy in the department).

While it can be tedious and repetitive, it is also interesting because if something doesn’t work–you get to work with the lab to try to figure out what when wrong, and what a possible solution to the problem could be.

I’ve also decided that while I’ve applied for academic positions over the last few months (mainly to make the weekly quota of job applications for unemployment)–that isn’t where I really want to be anymore–I don’t want to be stuck teaching 12 credits a semester and trying to get a research program up and running at the same time. I’d rather find a good position within a company that does outreach (or maybe spearhead an outreach program for a company), then try to survive in the academic rat race.

I’m starting to listen to my gut and realize that it is okay to turn down a potential job offer if it doesn’t seem like it is going to be what I want out of life. A few years ago I may have wanted to have my own lab and do my own research–now I want to work for a company that is trying to do something good in the world (say try to find a treatment for cancer, or a neuro-degenerative disease), and still be able to have a life outside of a lab.

I want to be able to work on crafts, continue working on personal development, getting into shape, spending time with my pets, friends, and remember that there is more to life than the nine-to-five rat race (that is found no matter where you get a job).

No Comments careerScience

Reflecting on the past year……

I bet you’ve clicked on this post because of the title—right? Or I may be wrong. But it is a catchy title…

So Wednesday was the birthday, and I’ve taken the past couple of days trying to reflect on the past year, how things have gone, what I want to change (or what needs to change), and where would I like to be by my birthday next year. I’ve been doing a lot of reading of personal development books since the job ended July 31st, and several of them have gotten me thinking about my career.

 

I love science, the research (not so much the hours or low pay), the collaborative environment that most academic places have, and just always getting to meet new people. One drawback on that is—scientific research is really the only thing I know (not counting the paper route that I had as a kid), I’ve been doing research in some form since I was a senior in high school—so basically half my life (or a little over that now) has been spent in a lab doing something.  Read More

No Comments Personal Development