What did I really think when I made the decision to leave the lab and pursue a career using my other skills?
To be honest, I don’t really know. I don’t really remember. “It seemed a good idea at the time,” is probably closest. But then, every step on my career path has had that rider. That, or “I couldn’t think of anything better.”
Coming to my current gig, perhaps more than any other choice I’ve made in my professional life, was a more positive step than any other I’ve made—that is, I wasn’t reacting to circumstance, or trying something new for the sake of it, or leaving somewhere else in a huff or trying something on the off-chance it might turn out all right.
I am working very hard—perhaps harder than when I was doing some reviewer-requested experiments for a Nature Structural Biology paper a decade ago. In the five months I’ve been here I have been dumped in the shit, had to deal with post-last minute panics on a regular basis, thrown a strop at a client and warned them their third of a million dollars project was in jeopardy, smoothed ruffled feathers, stressed beyond imagining and snatched from the snarling maws of defeat victories that would have made Henry V proud.
And to be completely honest, I’m having a whale of a time. I have learned more science than in any comparable period since I did my doctorate and met some amazing people. I have managed projects that started with a few lines in an email and gone to something real and exciting that has my client contact saying things like “extremely impressed” and “everyone loves [it]” and “one person even wanted to take [it] home” (and I’ve promised the creative team who have made this particular project real some serious drinks…).
So that’s where I am. For various reasons I can’t give you much in the way of details, but soon I hope (probably June) to be able to share some of this work with you.
Come on in. The water’s lovely.