Well, I have to say that it’s been a pretty great summer. I’ve had time to raise a puppy, play the piano, have several excellent getaways, read some books, work on my tennis game and enhance my skills at Word Twist.
But I think with our return from our vacation in the Garden State, the oncoming Labor Day holiday, and the fact that I haven’t yet won millions in SuperLotto Plus, I guess the inevitable is upon me. Yep, it’s time to get a job.
Of course, I’ve spent time during my summer musing about what it is that I want to be “next”. You see, ever since I finished my post-doc, I’ve been moving along one career arc – pursuing preclinical drug discovery. I started as a bench scientist back in the 90s and reached a point where I ran projects, set strategy and priorities and oversaw pretty large scientific teams. By most accounts, I am pretty good at it. And yet, as I consider getting a new position, I wonder if I should continue on the same path or strike out in a new direction.
The case for staying is that I know the space, I’m good at it, and could be a good fit for a number of companies here in the San Diego area. Part of the case against it is practical — biotech is in a down cycle and there really might not be that many positions available. The other is more personal – when I started in this business, I wanted to solve scientific problems that would help bring therapeutics for unmet medical needs – but after seeing the all-too-capricious nature of the FDA and the illegal activities within my own industry, I’ve begun to reconsider whether that’s a realistic goal.
So what else — the obvious answer is clean/green-tech, which is a burgeoning sub-sector here. Rather than unmet medical needs, maybe I can help solve unmet energy needs. Of course, the hard part is breaking into an industry in which you don’t have any experience, but the good thing is that clean-tech is so new that there AREN’T a lot of people with a decade of experience.
My severance package from my former employer has provided one-on-one meetings with a career counselor who has tried to convince me that I am in fact a beautiful and unique snowflake, and can do whatever I set my mind to. So, we’re building a multi-prong strategy to look at several options.
Wish me luck – should be an interesting Autumn!