31 August 2009


Sooo. It's been like 3 weeks since I applied for the Cytotechnologist position at Fort X. Complete with Military Spouse Preference.

I've heard nothing. Nada.

All I know is the nice Army HR folks at Fort Belvoir (Why, hello base envy! How are you today?) forwarded on my resume to the folks at Fort X, and I haven't heard a peep from anyone since. Best I can guess? The mid-level management position I've been doing the last 1+ years and the ridiculous fancy testing my current employer has us doing (which few other Cytotechs/Labs do) has landed me in the "Overqualified" bin. Now, I DO NOT say this to toot my own horn (I said toot!). I say this because with 5 years of experience, a major medical center on my resume, and Spouse Preference... you would think I would at least be able to garner myself an interview. Nope. No beans.

So where to go from here? I don't want to stay in this field anyway, I want to move on and do something that a) doesn't make me sad and depressed (cancer has a way of getting to you when you work with it all day long) and b) lets me use my creativity and biology degree more fully. But then what do I do? (Raise you hand if you are now singing an 80's song that I can't name right now.) High school biology teacher? Full on Biologist? Work for the CDC? The EPA? Or do I totally change things up and go get an Art degree? Do photography professionally? Find a way to mix the art and the biology? And how, after 6 years dedicated to another field, do I get the necessary experience to get a job that pays more than $JustLessThanDestitute.00/hr?

See, if all goes as planned, Swiss and I won't be at Fort X (knock on wood) for even a full year. So I won't have enough time to get my teaching certification. Nor will I have enough time to go back and get a Masters or whatever in Biology. So... I'm left with either not working (okay by me!) or trying to, at the very least, scrounge up some entry-level work that will help me out in the non-medical lab experience category. Sounds awesome, right? Ha! But... in this vein, a "seasonal biologist" position opened up at Fort X with the Nature Conservancy. And I am all like, Woah. They are a HUGE force to be reckoned with in the conservation biology realm (PS: In case you didn't know, my college major was Ecology, Evolution & Behavioral Biology. NERD ALERT!) and would be awesome to have on my resume. It runs November - April cataloguing and studying migrating sparrow populations on Fort X and is 100% entry-level. Not exactly thrilling stuff, but still... experience, a good name for the resume, and a pretty amazing company to work for (let's not talk about the $20/hr pay cut, the getting up at sunrise or working weekends bit though, okay?).

So, I'm going to apply (I think). Thankfully they requested a cover letter (unlike the cytotechnologist job at Fort X) so I can explain myself and why I suddenly want an entry-level job wandering through the scrub brush mist-netting birds and taking blood samples after 5 years at a leading medical center. It ain't glamorous, but if I'm lucky, it could be a good first step to reinventing my career... which is a pretty cool opportunity if you ask me. Now, where are my hiking boots and hip packs?

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