It’s off to work I go!
Finally, after months of looking and waiting for the right job, I’ve got one. I’m a bit nervous, quite excited, and will likely be tired for a week or so until I adjust to the new routine. I’ll be working as a laboratory technician, conducting microbiology tests for quality control purposes. I’m not planning on getting into more detail at this point. Not sure how much I can or should talk about.
But it’s SCIENCE! and that means the new career is creaking into motion, one small step at a time. The plan is to work, gain experience, and parlay that in a few years into doing what I really want to do. Which may well change between here, and there. I’m just happy to be getting the chance to put all this education into real-world use.
For you, my readers, I don’t know yet how much I’ll be blogging until I settle into a routine. I have a book to finish editing and prep for publication and I want to have that complete by the end of the month. I have some design projects on the back burners, simmering. And certainly not least, the demands of family, especially family that has become accustomed to my being on hand all the time every day.
Job hunting was painful, but then again it always is. I did figure a few things out – a bachelor’s degree, even in a broad STEM degree, is absolutely no guarantee of a job. My recommendation to students is to either work in your field at entry level while in school, or land an internship, any internship, in your desired field. Ask about independent research opportunities – I didn’t know until my senior year that the option was there for me, and I didn’t take advantage of it (also, this requires your grades be high. No one after school cares if you’re on the Dean’s list, but it can be parlayed into this valuable experience while in school). If you don’t do this, it will make the job hunt after school that much harder. Even if you don’t get an offer from where you intern, it will be experience on your resume.
Don’t take this lightly – I was working two jobs and taking a very heavy class load, so I assumed that I could skip the internship, and I was wrong. If you have to live on rice and beans, and no social life whatsoever, get the internship under your belt. You do have, in some cases, up to a semester after you graduate to still get into an internship, but don’t dilly dally.
It is possible to find a job without it, because I just did. However, I’m starting at least one rung, and possibly more like two or three, lower on the ladder than I would have with some pertinent experience to show on the resume. Also, don’t assume that just because you have a degree, you’ll get into the best jobs, or even what is considered ‘entry-level’ jobs. With no experience, you’ll likely start at a level below what you think your degree prepared you for. Take a deep breath, dive in, and work your tail off. That’s my plan, and this isn’t the first time I’ve been in a situation where I was starting a job with a lot to prove. I can assure you, it works.
And with that, I’m off to pack a lunch and lay out my clothes. This is going to be fun!