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Old 2013-06-17, 12:50   Link #141
SaintessHeart
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Age: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
If they come right out and say "How do we know you'll be loyal", the correct answer is "I'll be loyal if I feel your company deserves my loyalty", which is really how everyone is (no one just gives their loyalty away!). Of course, that isn't particularly diplomatic.
If you are looking for money, that is the answer you will give.

I had a couple of run-ins with that question, both which I didn't get the job because I poked the question further. Both got into trouble with the manpower ministry down the road in the same year, one for not paying OT and cutting workers' pay without their agreement or notice, the other for flouting safety rules and attempting to bribe an inspector when the workers set the ministry on their supervisor.

Usually companies who ask broad questions are often hiding something, like attempting to cheat and demoralise workers then force them into underpaid servitude, usually along the lines "If you don't do XXX, tomorrow you don't have to come back to work." Still, always, ALWAYS find time to upgrade yourself to find a better position and stop relying on OT to earn a better income; it is better to know how to do a hundred things than to specialise in only one - money flows out of the industry and you are a goner.
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Old 2013-06-17, 17:05   Link #142
Blackbeard D. Kuma
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
it is better to know how to do a hundred things than to specialise in only one - money flows out of the industry and you are a goner.
This point of yours is kind of vague. By a hundred things, do you mean actual occupations and what they entail? Or do you literally mean things like reading, writing, operating software, dealing with customers, etc.? Because if it's the former, obviously people don't have the time, resources, and perhaps money, to learn one hundred different occupations. And by some miraculous chance if they do, by no means will solid proficiency be developed in each of those hundred different things. Perhaps your hundred figure was just an exaggeration for explanatory purposes, but the point still stands. It really depends on where in the world you live and what the job market is like. In Canada, for example, it's very important to specialize in something and stick with it. Doing so will lead to mastery of that occupation, and better job security as a result. But to reinforce your point, it's also a good idea to learn a back-up career in case things go wrong with the other.
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Old 2013-06-23, 12:21   Link #143
guest
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All right, I concede my failure of this job hunting in biotech/medical field. It has been a long time and I still can't get a job. So now I think I need to think about looking for job in another field. A career change. How do people assess what they are going to do or what they can do for a different career? Is there a place for this or, I don't know, method? I imagine people don't just pull a career choice out of a hat and decide that, "this one, it is." Besides, I already fail one career--can't get a job. Now if I am going to build another one, I really need to be very careful this time around so I don't fail again.
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Old 2013-06-23, 16:53   Link #144
barcode120x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guest View Post
All right, I concede my failure of this job hunting in biotech/medical field. It has been a long time and I still can't get a job. So now I think I need to think about looking for job in another field. A career change. How do people assess what they are going to do or what they can do for a different career? Is there a place for this or, I don't know, method? I imagine people don't just pull a career choice out of a hat and decide that, "this one, it is." Besides, I already fail one career--can't get a job. Now if I am going to build another one, I really need to be very careful this time around so I don't fail again.
College, life experiences/circumstances, friends, family, age, gender...a bunch of things assist people in choosing their career, for the most part at least. But if you are trying to search for your passion in the career setting, I would suggest going back to college if you're not. Imo that's the best way to figure out what you like and what you don't like.

For me, I never really wanted to do nursing until I started working in the hospital which eventually made me do it. Aside from nursing, I LOVE to learn about the mind (psychology). It's very interesting how it works, but I chose to stick to nursing (and of course it has higher job availability and pay haha)
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Old 2013-06-23, 18:54   Link #145
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guest View Post
All right, I concede my failure of this job hunting in biotech/medical field. It has been a long time and I still can't get a job. So now I think I need to think about looking for job in another field. A career change. How do people assess what they are going to do or what they can do for a different career? Is there a place for this or, I don't know, method? I imagine people don't just pull a career choice out of a hat and decide that, "this one, it is." Besides, I already fail one career--can't get a job. Now if I am going to build another one, I really need to be very careful this time around so I don't fail again.
Be careful with how you define failure. There are very few career tracks that have guaranteed employment, and even those that currently do may be changed by newly developing technologies.

There are three ideal targets to hit with a career change:
1) It's something you will enjoy doing
2) You won't have difficulties finding employment
3) You won't need to spend too many resources getting there

The first point is something you'll need to determine for yourself. The second point partly depends on where you want to live. The third point is something that we can help with.

Your experience is in biology, you have an advanced degree, and you have had hands-on experience. Off the top of my head, these are the options I see for you:
1) Teaching, perhaps limited to the grade school level. Depending on state regulations you may need a master's in education for this. Employment varies by location.
2) Sales representative. Consider pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer and the like) or biotech companies (Fisher Scientific and so on). Based on hearsay, the pharmaceutical companies have more money and employment would probably be more secure if you can get in with them, although your experiences are more directly translatable to the biotech companies. You may possibly use one as a stepping stone to another.
3) Biotech startups - hard to find, employment may not be a secure thing. Depending on what position you take, this could possibly be a conduit to a full career change, such as if you begin to take on the business aspects of the company. Getting an MBA would more fully help with the transition to business. Getting an MBA might also help to get in on sales positions with the companies mentioned previously, but MBA programs are generally expensive and it seems like a lot of people have that degree these days.
4) Other biological/scientific positions, perhaps environmental engineering firms, wastewater management, and so on. Some cities have websites with positions that they're looking to fill with these applied positions, and they will specify if advanced degrees are necessary. Those are the jobs you want to apply for - the pay is higher and there's less competition due to the requirements.
5) Healthcare: good opportunities for employment, but will require more training. You can work as a patient care associate (I've also heard this referred to as a patient care technician) to gain experience, but the education requirements for that job are little to none. Nursing programs are anywhere from 2-4 years, physician's assistant programs are three years, physician programs are four years and have tedious requirements (I'm not sure of the requirements for nursing or physician assistant programs). Alternately, there are various technician positions (medical technician) that should be faster and cheaper to be licensed in. Lastly, there are clinical labs that may require technicians; the work and techniques may be similar to what you did in research, and they'll likely require you to just pass some certification tests and courses.

You could always do something more drastic like trying to start over from scratch, but I think that's risky. I wouldn't do it unless there's something that you really, really want to do that is very far removed from what you have currently built up.
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Old 2013-06-24, 17:21   Link #146
Blackbeard D. Kuma
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A skilled trade is an efficient pathway with good employment prospects. If you're interested in trades, you need to find out which one is best suited for you.
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Old 2013-06-25, 15:51   Link #147
DonQuigleone
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Age: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by guest View Post
All right, I concede my failure of this job hunting in biotech/medical field. It has been a long time and I still can't get a job. So now I think I need to think about looking for job in another field. A career change. How do people assess what they are going to do or what they can do for a different career? Is there a place for this or, I don't know, method? I imagine people don't just pull a career choice out of a hat and decide that, "this one, it is." Besides, I already fail one career--can't get a job. Now if I am going to build another one, I really need to be very careful this time around so I don't fail again.
I'd be careful before you give up. First make sure that you're using a good approach, that you have a solid well written, CONCISE, cover letter that sells you in a positive way, likewise make your resume clear and easy to understand, and again sell yourself. If your approach is bad, doesn't matter if you switch industries, you'll still be in the same place. Also, you need a lot of persistence at this game, but often whether or not you get a job is entirely down to luck(there are plenty of places with low standards, but they may not be always hiring, alas). If you want, you can send me over your cover letter/resume and I can give you feedback. Often whether your resume gets a look in is for very superficial reasons.

Otherwise Ledgem gave some solid things you could go for. If you want to increase your "attractiveness" to employers, I'd try to first focus on developing some "general" skills like:

1. Writing, believe it or not, it's a rare thing. If you're already good at it, try and get some proof. Write some stuff for a local newspaper and get some recognition (also a good reference!). If you look, and are willing to write for free, you'll find plenty of places willing to take you (terrible career though, no money in it these days).

2. Programming, useful in any technical career. Makes any resume nicer.

3. Technical Drawing/Technical Writing: Again, good things to highlight if you have them, or learn if you don't.

Don't take anything you know for granted. There's a lot of basic stuff that you might be good at that some company is desperately looking for. For me, I knew Autocad, and the place I'm working would pretty much take anyone who knew how to use it. You can't predict these things though, but a lot of these "basic" skills are more important then any abstract knowledge you might know from college.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barcode120x View Post
College, life experiences/circumstances, friends, family, age, gender...a bunch of things assist people in choosing their career, for the most part at least. But if you are trying to search for your passion in the career setting, I would suggest going back to college if you're not. Imo that's the best way to figure out what you like and what you don't like.
Disagree on this. College is a terrible place to find out what you like. Studying a subject is very different from working in it. For instance, my sister loved studying genetics, but hated working in it (found the lab work tedious). On the flip side, I hated studying Engineering, but find working in it quite pleasant (though I wouldn't say I'm passionate for it).

The only way to find out whether you like doing something, is to do it. Maybe you can think about the tasks you enjoy doing in day to day life, and try to find a career with similar kinds of tasks. For instance, in day to day life I enjoy trying to find ways to waste less time and do things more "efficiently", so I'm thinking I might like to move into industrial engineering/operations management. Whereas someone who enjoys taking their car apart and tweaking it, might be better off in design, or maintenance. Match the tasks up. If you find meeting new people draining, for instance, you'll never succeed in sales.
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Old 2013-06-25, 21:58   Link #148
barcode120x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Disagree on this. College is a terrible place to find out what you like. Studying a subject is very different from working in it. For instance, my sister loved studying genetics, but hated working in it (found the lab work tedious). On the flip side, I hated studying Engineering, but find working in it quite pleasant (though I wouldn't say I'm passionate for it).
I guess what I was saying is that college is more of a foundation, a tool to be used to expose a person to multiple fields, but like you said, doing is definitely different than studying. I wouldn't necessarily call it a "terrible" place entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
The only way to find out whether you like doing something, is to do it. Maybe you can think about the tasks you enjoy doing in day to day life, and try to find a career with similar kinds of tasks.
But the problem is, it's hard to do something you like and make a career out of it when one doesn't have the educational requirements to do so (with the exception of trades and whatnot) and/or work experience especially if you're in America.
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Old 2013-06-26, 00:34   Link #149
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barcode120x View Post
But the problem is, it's hard to do something you like and make a career out of it when one doesn't have the educational requirements to do so (with the exception of trades and whatnot) and/or work experience especially if you're in America.
This is why I talk about the "kind" of task. For example, you can never make a career out of playing computer games, but the kind of computer game you play might tell you a bit about the kind of tasks you enjoy, and the kind of workplace you'd enjoy. Do you prefer more repetitive games, or games that are more built on varying challenges? Do you prefer games that are more systematic, or games that are more visceral?

Engineering is not my hobby, but if I look at my hobbies, they match up fairly well with the tasks I do at work on a daily basis. I enjoy systematic games that I can figure out, and I find associating with people very frequently draining (but I still like work on a team), so Engineering is a fairly good fit for me. But if you find such "systematic" thinking dull and frustrating, then Engineering would really not be for you. If you prefer to spend your time partying, and meeting new people, then a more customer facing position, like sales, would be more appropriate.

I don't actually think the specific field matters. I'd probably do just as well in other "systematic" professions like computing or science, but I wouldn't like as much more "theoretical" research based ends of these disciplines (I prefer applied thinking to theoretical thinking).

So you should think about the things you enjoy doing, and figure out what you find "Pleasant", what you utterly loath, and what you find "draining"/"tiring. Then look at the tasks you would be performing in that profession, and ask yourself of those tasks "would I hate them, would I find them tiring?", if you look at the tasks and you're answering "yes" to most of them, then you're probably aiming for the wrong profession.

Otherwise, be flexible. If I hadn't managed to get an engineering gig, I might have instead studied up on programming/computing (because the tasks are reasonable similar, and so I probably would enjoy that too). Once you have the kind of tasks nailed down, then you need to start thinking about the kind of workplace you'd be more suited to. More casual/laid back? Or more formal? etc.

It's not about getting a job in your hobby, but looking deeper and identifying the common elements between your hobbies and different workplaces and professions.
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Old 2013-06-26, 01:06   Link #150
oompa loompa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post

Disagree on this. College is a terrible place to find out what you like. Studying a subject is very different from working in it. For instance, my sister loved studying genetics, but hated working in it (found the lab work tedious). On the flip side, I hated studying Engineering, but find working in it quite pleasant (though I wouldn't say I'm passionate for it).

The only way to find out whether you like doing something, is to do it.
Disagree on the first part, agree on the second. What you study is probably not like what the work environment is, I agree with that. I also agree with the only way to find out whether you like doing something, is to do it. I remember I was a comp sci. major until I had my first coding internship and I hated it. However, college gives you the best opportunities with the least strings attached to take short term internships, or talk to visiting people from the industry about what their jobs are like. More than whether its a 'good' place or not to find out what you like, it is a time when you should start seriously thinking about what you like & what you want to do, and most colleges gives you the resources and avenues to do so. After all, by the time you enter college you're no longer a child, and a person should take some initiative to do things his/her own.
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Old 2013-06-26, 05:14   Link #151
Kafriel
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Hmm, job offers:

#1 - generic electrician at a public hospital. Basic salary, good location, but strictly for 6 months, since it's public. Not much to learn there either beyond the very basics...

#2 - Electrical engineer at Controline. Good salary, many means of transport to the office, at least 1 year contract, plenty of things to expand on, but they hire from September onwards, so I'll be sitting around till then.

#3 - Electrical engineer on a cruise ship. Roughly 2k per month, mechanical expertise, but...no life, no break (if the ship's going down, I can't really say "I'm on a break"), pretty heavy labour and it's not reallya job I can do for more than 15 years - then again, there's a huge salary boost in the span of 5 years (up to $13,000 monthly), provided I last that long.

Currently considering options 2 and 3, but I'd like to read your thoughts on this.
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Last edited by Kafriel; 2013-06-26 at 07:24. Reason: numerical issues...
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Old 2013-06-26, 05:27   Link #152
oompa loompa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafriel View Post
Hmm, job offers:

#1 - generic electrician at a public hospital. Basic salary, good location, but strictly for 6 months, since it's public. Not much to learn there either beyond the very basics...

#2 - Electrical engineer at Controline. Good salary, many means of transport to the office, at least 1 year contract, plenty of things to expand on, but they hire from September onwards, so I'll be sitting around till then.

#3 - Electrical engineer on a cruise ship. Roughly 2k per month, mechanical expertise, but...no life, no break (if the ship's going down, I can't really say "I'm on a break"), pretty heavy labour and it's not reallya job I can do for more than 15 years - then again, there's a huge salary boost in the span of 5 years (up to $130,000 monthly), provided I last that long.

Currently considering options 2 and 3, but I'd like to read your thoughts on this.
What do you have going on in your life right now? As in, hobbies, serious relationships, unwell relatives, that sort of thing. Also, how badly do you need the money, for example, are you planning on getting into another line of work later, getting another degree, starting something up, or even looking to travel for a bit? If I was in your position.. I would probably go with #2 if anything just because with #3 you might join and then find you really hate it.. and have nowhere to escape to. Septembers not too far away right?
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Old 2013-06-26, 05:47   Link #153
Kafriel
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I'm still a private until July 8th, so I'm in the service of the military, for now (currently on my leave, an amazingly long 19 days leave). So, no relationship and no serious hobbies. I will actually be doing my internship now, in order to get my degree. It's a 2nd class degree, i.e. I won't be able to sign construction works of more than a certain range of kW, but after 4 years of work, it becomes a 1st class degree, basically equivalent to that of the best university I could attend.

As for money, I am currently broke and living with my parents. I consider to be quite late when it comes to getting a job, so while I don't really neeeeed money, now would be a good time to start saving up. I won't go for another degree or master's etc. since that requires time and money that I would rather spend working somewhere.
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Old 2013-06-26, 07:10   Link #154
oompa loompa
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Location: 28 37', North ; 77 13', East
Age: 24
I just re-read your previous post.. up to $130,000 monthly?!? thats a silly amount of money. 1/10th of that is still a HUGE amount of money. $2000 a month for a starting salary where I'm guessing you'll have your board and food taken care of is also pretty damn high. I know its wrong to take such a materialistic view of things, but if you keep it up for 7-8 years you could retire. On the other hand, like you said, that would be the end of your life.. potentially. I really think you should find out more about what the cruise gig entails exactly.
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Old 2013-06-26, 07:23   Link #155
Kafriel
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Actually, that was silly, sorry about that extra zero! Of course, there are crew cabins on the ship, but food can get tricky in the business; some ships sail locally, anchoring every 4-5 days and may opt not to get a cook, resulting in a menu of weekly provisions prepared beforehand. Not that it's something you'll ever see on a cruise ship, but there's no guarantee that I'd stay employed under the same group for a long time. Also, there's a strict hierarchy to be followed, so you get bossed around a lot and some trips last even a year.
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Old 2013-06-28, 13:36   Link #156
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oompa loompa View Post
Disagree on the first part, agree on the second. What you study is probably not like what the work environment is, I agree with that. I also agree with the only way to find out whether you like doing something, is to do it. I remember I was a comp sci. major until I had my first coding internship and I hated it. However, college gives you the best opportunities with the least strings attached to take short term internships, or talk to visiting people from the industry about what their jobs are like. More than whether its a 'good' place or not to find out what you like, it is a time when you should start seriously thinking about what you like & what you want to do, and most colleges gives you the resources and avenues to do so. After all, by the time you enter college you're no longer a child, and a person should take some initiative to do things his/her own.
Really depends on the college. My college didn't really provide me any of those opportunities.

But note, in your post you don't discover things at college but rather through college. Basically, you need to do the internships etc. doing the day to day actual college activities (namely classes), you don't find out anything. You might find some stuff out at extra-curricular activities though (EG if you want to be a journalist, try working for the student newspaper).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafriel View Post
#1 - generic electrician at a public hospital. Basic salary, good location, but strictly for 6 months, since it's public. Not much to learn there either beyond the very basics...

#2 - Electrical engineer at Controline. Good salary, many means of transport to the office, at least 1 year contract, plenty of things to expand on, but they hire from September onwards, so I'll be sitting around till then.[

#3 - Electrical engineer on a cruise ship. Roughly 2k per month, mechanical expertise, but...no life, no break (if the ship's going down, I can't really say "I'm on a break"), pretty heavy labour and it's not reallya job I can do for more than 15 years - then again, there's a huge salary boost in the span of 5 years (up to $13,000 monthly), provided I last that long.

Currently considering options 2 and 3, but I'd like to read your thoughts on this.
I'd go for option #2. Waiting until September isn't too bad. Try and see if you can score something for the intervening time, or just enjoy a little extended holiday. Do some reading etc.
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Old 2013-08-18, 08:25   Link #157
walkofshane
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I would also suggest going for option 2. It's almost September anyway. The job does offer you the best conditions out of the 3.
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Old 2013-08-19, 14:07   Link #158
Kafriel
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Still waiting it out while prepping my paperwork for #2, which is unexpectedly a lot...Ah well, just another two weeks to go
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Old 2013-08-28, 09:28   Link #159
willx
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
..it is better to know how to do a hundred things than to specialise in only one - money flows out of the industry and you are a goner.
As a person that has bounced around different industry groups in the finance industry -- I can tell you that is patently false. There's actually an author that has a very popular book espousing this: "So Good They Can't Ignore You"

That said, no book or slogan is the "right answer" .. as someone who's broad industry is struggling and I'm finding my career plateauing somewhat, this is something that I think about a lot recently.
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Old 2014-01-03, 14:33   Link #160
willx
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So, to semi-necro revive this thread --

It's recruiting season again! This time I'm doing first round vetting of MBA-level candidates.. whee!
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