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Question:What exactly do I work as in science?


I am at some crucial point in my life in terms of careers and need to see my position in perspective, and I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me advice or your perspective.

I am (or was) employed as director of Research and Development for a small (home-based) and emerging eco/green/environmental consulting company based in Toronto, Canada; however, the company is unable to establish its financial stability. As a result I am hardly compensated financially. A few days ago I was laid off due to the financial instability.

I am a relatively recent transplant to Toronto, Canada from japan even though I was educated in the U.S. and Canada and have a Master’s degree in chemistry and a Bachelor’s in biology.

Now that my unemployment situation allows me time to reflect on what I really want to do for my future and more financially sustainable occupation(s) to which I can commit myself with passion and gust.

Before my consulting job, I had a very hard time getting a job due to a lack of so-called “Canadian work experience”. Here in Toronto which is a highly culturally diverse city, there are numerous well-qualified scientists who are unable to get a job in their fields because of no Canadian work experience, and they sometimes end up working as a casher or at a fast food restaurant.

I am very aware that my chosen field is science, whether in chemistry or biochemistry or any related subject; however, now I am not really certain as to what I really want to do in science or what I can do with my qualifications. Two of my passions in my life are 1. animal welfare 2. ecology. Apparently my enthusiasm allowed me to work for an eco/green company; however, consulting firms for ecological sustainability are generally very unstable due to large competitions and a lack of realistic solutions to current environmental issues.

I would immensely appreciate it you could give me any advice as to what sort of job position I should get in light of my background (chemistry and biology). I just need input from others and need to see what options I may have.

Thank you in advance.

Asked by voveri on 6/17/08 2 Answers»


Lab tech or Animal tech. It won't be the pay, but sometimes it's not about who has the best degree etc. If you love the work you could go back to school at night to become a Vet assistant or something like that. It's about coming to the conclusion that No job is beneath you. From that point, you can learn more and perhaps go in another direction.

Think back to other jobs you may have had in the past, Did you like them? Were they connected to science or other kinds of work? What about teaching Science? WE need good teachers. Be realistic about your salary and qualifications. Nursing or blood chemistry might be up your alley. But never forget, Cashiering and Fast food jobs are NOT beneath you. WE are all equals on this planet. It's not what you do that counts. It's what's inside. I would also like to advice a book for you.

The title is..."How Starbucks saved my life"
by Michael Gates Gill- It's about a man who at the time was 63 years old. He lost his Job, health and marriage all at the same time. He was a Yale Graduate and a former Creative Director for a large advertising company. This book will make you humble and make you want to be a better person! I wish you the best of luck on your job search and I would love to here back from you on your progress.
Never look down on any job. That is the key!
Bill Gates was once quoted something that goes like this...Your grandparents never looked at a job of flipping burgers as beneath them, they considered it an opportunity. I think with your knowledge and background it would be super if you got into a field to help others, as helping others is truly what makes most of us happy!

Answered by: kikcind on 7/22/08


If you are willing to relocate, there are numerous jobs available at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL, working for the government. Just google Redstone Aresenal jobs to see what might be a good fit. My daughter-in-law has a degree in biology and is working for a research firm in Huntsville, doing fascinating work in DNAl; however, as you have found, the compensation is not great. She is going back to school for her nursing degree.

Answered by: giamama on 6/23/08
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