I am currently realizing that I have made a wrong turn and would love and available advise.
Here is what is going on. I am a lab technician. I sometimes enjoy the relaxing repetition of doing the same procedure over and over mindlessly but most of the time, I don't. The typical step up is to get a PhD and write journal articles while your own lab technician does those procedures. I don't want that either.
What do I want? To work for private industry. To get out of the lab. To not be directly involved with the lab. To find a job with more social interact, upward mobility, maybe in more of the business sector. To not live in a basement apartment without an oven or stove, not replacing my broken computer and still having at 28 to use the credit card that is billed to my father from time to time.
Future plans and interests: I'm fascinated by green roofs and green walls, I look at the open greenspace in business parks and residental areas and think of all of the possible ways that they can be put to use. I want people to know what a strawberry is supposed to taste like... I think opportunities in these areas are extremely limited but will not be in the coming years and my current plan is to work my way there, possibly make my own way there by starting a business.
Due to the political climate and whatever other reasons, the USDA doesn't hire permanent employees, so I am temporary. They have renewed me as long as possible and my time is up in September. I don't have kids, my car is paid off, it is not completely the end of the world to move home and substitute teach and wait tables but it is far from ideal. I am forcing myself out of the funk that I have been in thinking about how to find a rich husband while gaining weight and making my chances even less.
My recently rennovated resume (which may possibly need another edit) that is now no longer three pages long and roughly follows the podcast's advise is below.
The question is - What are the opportunities open to me? What other careers could I pursue? I look at job postings and get overwhelmed thinking nothing but lab technicianing seems to be an option.
Scottie Lynn Sklanka
September 2009 to Present: USDA-ARS, Biological Science Technician, New Orleans, LA
Develops and implements study designs for a research team focusing on Louisiana’s sugar and ethanol industries. Responsibilities include: trail design and setup, laboratory work, data collection, recording keeping, laboratory safety, and other aspects of research. Summarizes and reports data in group meetings and conference presentations.
-Created out of the box solutions to problems occurring during research projects in the areas of juice transport, sample storage, and experiment design.
-Aided in the transition of a new supervisor unfamiliar with past research, assisting her transition while simultaneously learning an unfamiliar field of study.
-Used strong decision making skills for immediate adaptations to research plans when required.
-Received two “Spot Awards” from the USDA given for going above and beyond general work duties.
August 2007 to September 2009: Graduate Research Assistant, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Research focused on evaluating potential methods of measurement for earlier determination of high yielding feedstocks for use in bioenergy production. Duties included: measured yield, growth rate, and other morphological features while also supervising student workers involved in similar activities. Analyzed and interpreted data which was presented along with their implications in a department wide seminar.
Summer 2008: Intern, Ceres, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California
Applied knowledge gained from coursework to real world applications in a biotechnology lab focused on breeding improved bioenergy feedstocks.
June 2005 to January 2006: Science Intern, Epcot, Walt Disney World
Major duty was giving an hour long “Behind the Seeds” tour to park guests exhibiting part of Walt Disney’s vision of an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow and its possibilities of ongoing innovation as applied to urban food production. Personally responsible for maintained a half acre hydroponics greenhouse showcased as part of a Disney attraction.
-Honoree for consistent excellence in diversity awareness and communicate from Walt Disney World.
Part time jobs while at Auburn University:
Lowe’s Garden Center Opelika, Alabama
Out in the Garden Nursery Auburn, Alabama
Olive Garden Opelika, Alabama
Volunteer at Chewacla State Park, Auburn, Alabama.
Member of 504ward a young philanthropist organization in New Orleans and participant in their 504connect program.
Volunteer judge at the Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair.
Volunteer with Parkway Partners, an organization committed to community revitalization in New Orleans.
Participated in the USDA’s cultural and diversity programs as well as its community garden.
M.S., Agronomy and Soils – Auburn University GPA: 3.67 Graduated Spring 2013
B.S., Horticulture – Auburn University GPA: 3.10 Graduated Summer 2007
-Recipient of Henry P. Orr Endowment sponsored horticulture trip to France, Spring 2007.