This Wednesday will mark my 10th year as a full-time employed person. It only feels like last month when I just got home from uni and lounging around, ignoring my mom’s pointed reference to my unemployment state. Good times, those.
These past decade has been interesting, professionally. Most days, I feel like I’ve not accomplished much since I’ve been working in the same company, sitting at the same office space/lab bench ever since I started. I’ve seen colleagues come and go and I’m still here.
But, when I take a closer look, I’ve actually done a lot more than I realised.
I’ve seen technology changes in the lab, so rapid that I can’t keep up. The same machine, with the same function, only upgraded to the point where it barely looks like the original machine I trained on.
I’ve done so many different projects over the last decade and picked up a lot of skills that only come with on the job training. What they taught me in school was just the tip of the iceberg. School teaches you why and the purpose of those experiments, the job teaches you to refine your skills, to steady your hand at critical moments of the experiment, and to do things often enough that it becomes muscle memory.
I’ve had a boss tell me that she’s never seen a Western blot result as clean as mine. Ever. Pretty good, huh?
I may not have had many papers published or had my name on many posters presented at conferences, but I’ve kept the lab running in my own way.
I’ve seen and experience different ways of how a lab is run, some more suitable for me than others.
Now, it’s time to move on. I’ve learnt so much in the last ten years and now, I’d like to learn new things, other things but not in the current environment. Being in the same place leads to complacency and it’s making me lose my scientific form.
I know how invigorating science can be and I hope that I’ll find a place that rekindles that spark in me.
So here’s to another ten years (and more) of lovely scientific learning and the joy of being in science.