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Career Advice

Discussion of all aspects of biological molecules, biochemical processes and laboratory procedures in the field.

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Career Advice

Postby BioGuy123 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:52 am

Hello everyone,

This is my first time posting in these forums, so I'd like to start by telling you all a little about myself.

I have a B.S. in Molecular Biology, and for the past year and a half since graduating I've been working at an aggresive startup company. I'm part of the R&D team, and do a lot of DNA work (PCRs, restriction digests, ligations, electrophoresis, etc).

To be perfectly honest, I'm having somewhat of an identity crisis, because I feel like I've been doing this work long enough to know that I don't particularly enjoy it. I don't want to do research, but feel like I don't have too many other options available to me. I never wanted to go to medical school, and the idea of going to graduate school just to be doing more of the same doesn't interest me either.

Don't get me wrong, I want to advance in my career. But I want to advance in a career that I like and I honestly don't think I like this very much. It's not that I can't do the work, I'm doing quite well according to my boss. It's just that I still have self-doubts about whether I want to be doing this for the rest of my life. It's a big decision to commit to a line of work like this, and I feel like I'm getting cold feet and want to back out while I'm still young enough to do so.

I just don't know what I'd do instead. What else is there other than research? Teaching, perhaps. But I don't think I'd like being a professor or even a high school teacher. I don't think I have the patience for either line of work. Maybe I'm just having a quarter life crisis, but I just don't know what to do with myself!

Has anyone else out there gone through post-graduation anxiety/uncertainty? Does anyone have any advice they could throw my way?

Thanks in advance
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Postby mith » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:03 am

Apply to grad school under another program.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
~Niebuhr
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Re: Career Advice

Postby BioCore » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:27 pm

I was going to recommend the same thing. If you can or are interested in the business side of science, why not try to find a graduate degree/program that is tailored towards giving you some business or managerial expertise. I know of this one program at my University which is tailored to the Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical industry. Basically it is a curriculum based program split 50/50 between science and business. After finishing the program, graduates can do both research/clinical work and business work such as marketing, advertising, or if after a while I think even managing as the program does focus a bit on managing projects.
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Postby kk » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:30 pm

Hello BioGuy123,

I hear you on that!! I'm pretty much in the same situation. Except in a few months I'll get the PhD. I don't want to scare you but actually I got to the point where you are after my postgraduate studies. I personally kind of took time off from research, going into teaching. And it worked! Now I teach and I love it! Still, the old question "do I really want this for a lifetime?" is lingering around. Once becoming a postdoc though, things may change.
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