Friday, August 5, 2011


Have you ever seen NCIS?

More importantly...have you seen the awesome character Abby played by Pauley Perrette?


Yeah, she pretty much has my career.  She gets to work in a government forensics lab that's basically ALL HERS completely equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, solving crimes using science all while practically main-lining caffeine, being super smart and getting to wear what she wants and blast whatever music she feels like blasting at work.  *This is the part where I whine about it being NOT FAIR* Ok, so she has a Ph.D and her character is supposed to have, like, genius level intellect, but COME ON!!!  My own lab!!!! She calls one of her instruments Major Mass Spec!  Which is ABSOLUTELY something I would do.  There was a set of three instruments at my last job that I nicknamed Frankie Dean and Sammy.  I'm that level of chemistry-nerd.  She has my dream!

The reason I bring this up is there has been a resurgence of forensics career issues this week.  Don't get me wrong.  The company I work for is great and I'm getting tons of good lab experience.  But it's not my dream career.  Combine that with the fact that there's been a couple of dream openings this week and three basic things have been on my mind.  1.)  WANT!!!  2.)  It is super frustrating that it's nearly impossible right now to get hired onto an entry level position without already having experience.  Why not just go ahead and advertise an experienced position?  You're gonna give them slightly higher than entry level pay anyways.  That way you wouldn't get my  hopes up.  3.)  How douche-y would it be for me to take a new job this soon?  Is there a specific code of conduct for that?  And should I even care about it that much considering it's my DREAM CAREER.

Let's face it, "cut-throat" is one of the last terms anybody would use to describe me.  "Meek" on the other hand HAS been used to describe me.

Can I just be Abby already? (Don't worry, I'm well aware the spiked dog-collar/jet black pig-tails look is NOT one that I could pull off, I'd be satisfied just having the job.)


  1. Well, there's the rub.

    I had an issue post-grad of being either "overqualified" or "underexperienced." Lacking experience I can understand... but overqualified. That's like saying that you won't hire someone who has the potential to do better work for you!

    Anyways, what I've discovered, at least as far as history is concerned, is that experience counts in more ways than the obvious. Yes, I'm learning new things at my internship, but just as importantly, I'm meeting people that have at least a little deeper of a foothold in my career path. I don't know how much that translates into the chem field, but I imagine there's something to it there as well. That being said, it's never wrong to entertain a new job if it's more promising than the current one. Just do your best to never burn any bridges.

    Also, I don't know if it would help (again, I'm not familiar with the chemistry world, outside of MacGyver), but have you created a portfolio? I've only recently been introduced to the process, and it is kind of arduous, but apparently in the public history/museum field it's a big deal, and it gives you an opportunity to showcase skills, talents, and experiences that might not show through in a standard resume. Here's a pretty decent how-to if you're interested:

    Otherwise, just keep at it. No one starts at their dream job (I just finished running six weeks of day camp, so you're closer than I am!) You're young yet, so soak up all the experience and knowledge from every job you get until one day you find yourself working in a government funded forensics lab. And when that day comes, remember to throw ethics out the window if I'm ever suspected of anything.

    And for what it's worth, you're already our Abby ;)

  2. Waaaaaade, you're my hero for that :)