27 September 2013

careers

What a fascinating article. From the title, I thought it would be about something else entirely. I miss performing scientific experiments-- even psychological ones.

As a child I always wanted to be a teacher. I don't remember the age when I stopped wanting to be a teacher. I wavered around psychology in my teens, then realized how much it bored me when I started taking college courses. It wasn't until well into college that I decided that Scientist was the job title for me. Which also contributed to why it took me 7 years to earn a Bachelor's. But that's another story.

It occurred to me the other day that I am, in fact, fulfilling my childhood dream of teaching. In a way. For the past few months, I've been teaching small groups of professionals several times a week. And you know what? It's the highlight of my day. I love commanding the attention of a room, hearing a chuckle when I make a joke. I love the challenge of bringing daydreamers and rushers back on track, and seeing the understanding in people's faces.

In this particular position, I still hold the same job title as I did before, but it's a different department and my actual duties are worlds apart.

I frequently check in with myself and ask myself a few questions: If I miss the bench, if I want to get back into patient testing, if I miss the lab.

When I walk through core lab, I don't get a pang. Patient testing and its repetitive stressful urgency don't make my heart pitter-patter.

When I walk down the hallways and peer into research or student labs, I do get a pang. I want to don a lab coat and gloves and get right into something biohazardous. To execute delicate techniques and develop experiments. To identify something neat under a microscope. To test hypotheses. To learn.
The thing is, the opportunities and stability of those types of jobs are not as good as what I've already got.

So while I am content in my daily activities that don't include patient testing, I still yearn. I keep my eyes open for new opportunities and ways to "move up." One problem is, most of those require at least a Master's degree, and that can't happen right away. Not to mention I only have 3 years of experience in a laboratory profession. What I do know is that I won't stay here forever. I will eventually outgrow this position, and honestly I think that's expected of any halfway decent person.

P.S. We got inspected this week, and the only problem when was someone (not in our department) made a really stupid, dumbass, careless move RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE INSPECTOR. Violating hospital and lab policy. It was one of those facepalm moments.

1 comment:

ashley bennett said...

That really is a great feeling. Someone chuckling at your joke. And yeah I vaguely remember being your "student" as a child. Nice to see you've gotten it right this time. Haha :)