Searching For Satisfaction

Posts Tagged ‘job

It’s been a pretty good week, which was much-needed after the miserable state that I was in just a few weeks ago. I’m not 100% but I’m feeling better.

So…Five Good Things That Happened In My Life This Week:

*I talked to my dad – may seem like a small thing, but for me it’s a big deal. My father and I were estranged for several years, but we reconnected & buried the hatchet when I was home last summer. Since then we’ve both made an effort to communicate & rebuild our relationship, and I’m very grateful to have my father’s presence in my life. We had a chat this weekend about some of the things I want to accomplish, and he was very supportive & had some great ideas for me.

* My big project is turning out to be a success – I came very close to quitting my job in February – like just packing up my stuff & throwing them the deuces, and this project was a big reason why. It’s been a trainwreck from the very beginning, and it got extremely bad, but since then it has gone much better. I managed to turn the project around & make it work, and now I’m finally getting good results. After all the stress of this project & the numerous hassles & hurdles, I’m proud of myself for making it through this very difficult project & literally kicking its ass.

* My new site is ready to go – I am so super excited to launch the new site next week. I’ve been working with a logo designer to design a logo for the new site, & I absolutely love it. Overall I love everything about the new site & I’m so excited to be blogging over there. This really is the culmination of the change that happened in my writing – I went from mostly random posts & not giving it much thought, to really being invested in my writing, my site & my brand. I hope that you guys love it as much as I do.

* I interviewed for a new job – the same day that I was interviewing technicians to work for me, I had my own interview for a new job. The job would be a promotion & a move into management, but I’m not sure I want it. I don’t want to make another bad move, like I did with my current job, so I don’t want to leap at the first job that comes my way. The interview went very well & they have invited me back for a final interview with the larger team.

*I kicked it with the homies – It’s been a long, cold winter, and I didn’t get to see my friends as much as I wanted to. Now that it’s warming up, we’re doing more activities. I spent some time kicking it with my friends SS & DN & it was good to catch up with them & hang out. It had been awhile, & I really missed them. I can’t wait to have another spring & summer of the antics with those two, plus some of my other friends.

Honorable mention – I reconnected with an old friend. I made a move, & it was received well. Things have picked up like we never were out of contact, & I’m happy about that. I missed my friend.

It’s been a good week. Hopefully next week will be even better ūüėČ


Today is a very busy day for me.

Today is interview day.

This morning I am interviewing technicians to serve as my hands on the big project I’ve been managing at my job. The method we are bringing online in very involved & requires a lot of hands-on time, time that I simply don’t have. So my boss finally got the powers that be to approve hiring a technician, so I will no longer be chained to this project #yay

I’ve been an interviewer before a few times, but it’s always interesting to be the one conducting the interview.

Especially today.

After I conduct interviews, I’m driving across town to interview for a position.

That’s right, I will be both the interviewer and the interviewee in the span of about 3 hours.

I’m not sure if I want this job, moreso because I don’t want to make another hasty, ill-planned move. I want my next move to be a better move…and moving to my current job was not. I do not want to repeat this experience, so I have to do a better job of ascertaining whether a position is an upgrade or a downgrade. I do not want to jump to a new position solely to get out of a bad situation.

But in the meantime…I have an interview.

Wish me luck!

Yes this is another post about my job.

Everyday I come home miserable. I try to minimize the amount of time I spend at work. I job hunt every night. And the damn situation just keeps getting worse.

So I have a ridiculous number of projects on my plate because my company, or at least the part of the company that I work for, is too cheap to hire another chemist, even thought that’s really what we need. There is absolutely no way that I can get everything done without working 80 days, and I refuse to give them more than 40, so there’s a lot of stuff that just doesn’t get done, because I don’t have time.

About six months into my tenure at the job, I was given the assignment of Project X. Project X is an analytical test method that is supposed to be implemented at my site, by me. I’d love to give some details on this thing, but in an effort to not be sued I’ll try to stay as general as possible. Basically, someone else sat on this project until I got hired, and I think they did it on purpose because they knew this thing was gonna be a trainwreck. I have zero background in the subject matter, the people who do are non-responsive, and so far all I’ve gotten are incomplete instructions/procedures and incorrect calculations. My boss is now hands-on involved in this whole mess because her bosses are breathing down her neck, and at every turn she’s telling me where I fucked up. Well, its real easy to fuck up when you absolutely no help, incorrect instructions, and unresponsive subject matter experts.

As of today, Project X is my #1 priority. My entire slate of projects have been either pushed or reassigned to other people. I am literally chained to this project in the lab & will be so until its working & validated…at that time I’ll be able to train a technician to do it.

Yall have no idea how much my desire to quit has intensified. I’d love nothing more than to tell these folks “I fucking quit! Deuces” and bounce. I don’t want to remain professional & not burn bridges. I fucking hate this job, I hate what these people have put me through, and I hate that I fell for this stupid bait-and-switch in the first place. This is NOT what I was told I’d be doing, and had I known, I would have kept my ass in Florida. I’d be enjoying warm weather, outlet malls, & good food with LM right now. But noooooooooooooo, my ass had to want to leave & stuff, and now here I am. One step away from either snapping & quitting, or losing my mind & ending up on a 72hour hold.

I wonder if my mom would let me move home if I quit my job….

In January 2010 I left Orlando behind & moved back to Minneapolis. I got a new job, and was finally escaping Florida, which I really didn’t care for. I’ve loved Minneapolis since the first time I came to visit for college & it had been on the list of cities I could see myself settling down permanently in.

This past year has had more than its fair share of ups & downs, maybe more than previous years in my life.

Let’s start with the ups:

  • I reconnected with old friends & made new ones – When I first moved to Orlando it took me about a year to really start meeting people who I clicked with & it wasn’t until my last year there that I really had a core group of friends. My experience in Mpls has been completely different; I was able to make some new friends pretty easily & reconnect with some college friends as well. That helped my transition a lot, I was active & engaged as opposed to sitting in my apartment bored to death.
  • I started making real changes in my life – I struggle with discipline & being able to sustain change in my life, and that was very apparent when I lived in Orlando. I wanted to work on 2 things – my health/weight & my finances. Being in Mpls I’ve made significant changes in both which I’m very proud of. Now that I no longer have close proximity to outlet malls & also more activities to do besides shopping, my finances look a lot better & I’m making progress towards my financial goals. On the health/weight thing, I’ve finally found a lifestyle that works for me & that I can sustain longterm, and so far I’ve lost over 40 pounds. I feel better, I look better, and my wallet looks better too #win.
  • My dating life got better – Dating in Orlando was a challenge for me, for numerous reasons that I’ve outlined in various posts. Basically, it just wasn’t my type of place & I didn’t meet a lot of men that I go for. That completely changed when I moved back to Mpls – I had only been back about 3 weeks before my first date with the attorney. Over the course of 2010, for most of the year I was dating at least one person, which was nice. Everything didn’t go my way in the romance department but I had options, which was a plus.
  • I’m more involved in the community & activities – So far in my year in Minneapolis, I joined & then became the leader of a Meetup group for Black women. I volunteered for the Twin Cities Fringe Festival & had a great time. I’ve gotten involved in volunteer opportunities through my alma mater. I’ve been to all kinds of festivals & fairs, from Oktoberfest to the Anarchists Book Fair (very cool btw).

And now the downs:

  • I hate hate HATE the job I moved here for – Yes this is not a secret, I’ve blogged at length about how much I hate this damn job. In fact, I really feel like I made the wrong decision in accepting it. Yes, it got me out of Orlando, but I simply swapped my issues. I went from a city I hated but a job I enjoyed, to a¬† city I love & a job that’s making me wanna slit my wrists just so I don’t have to go. And that is unhealthy. I was so inpatient in wanting to get out of Orlando that I jumped at the first opportunity to leave and I regret that decision. So now I have to work extra hard to not go insane while I hunt for another job. I don’t want to repeat the same mistake I made here, by going for the first thing offered to me, but I don’t know how long I can last.
  • My heart was broken – 2010 was both an up & down year for dating for me. Yeah I dated a lot, but I definitely struggled in the dating department. First with the attorney, who I caught feelings for when he just wanted to be casual, and the Vegas dude, who I caught feelings for but I suspect I was just a rebound for him. So basically, catching feelings is bad business for Jubi cause they seem to not be reciprocated. *sigh* I haven’t really been dating since the beginning of the year, my heart just isn’t in it, or at least it’s not up for another tragedy. So I’m just going to be on the sidelines for a while.

Overall 2010 was a pretty good year, more ups than downs. I’ve genuinely enjoyed being back in the Midwest, back in Minneapolis, and most importantly, out of Orlando. For the most part I’ve been happier, though lately the stress & unhappiness at my job has been taking over my life.

Here’s hoping my second year in Minneapolis will be even better.

Yeah...I'm ready to leave this place behind...

Its January, and I’m about two weeks away from my first anniversary at the new job. Its been quite an experience, full of ups & downs. On the plus side, this job got me out of Florida & back to Minneapolis, which made my non-work life become much more enjoyable. On the minus side, I discovered that I don’t like this job, I don’t want to be a chemist any longer, and working for a large company is no longer for me.While I’m thankful to have a job in this economy, I don’t want to waste my time in a job & career that makes me unhappy.

Since the summer I’ve been thinking about a career change, and I’ve explored several different options. Option #1 was going back to school for a second advanced degree. I looked at several programs – MBA, science public policy & human resources. Three very different areas, but all represent a facet of Jubi & my interests. In the end, I decided against going back to school, at least right now. I would go back to school if I could get funding, and in each of those programs, its hard to come by, at least full funding is. And I wasn’t eager about both going back to the life of a broke graduate student & the possibility of adding to my student loan debt.

Option #2 is entrepreneurship. This is still on the table & something I really want to do at some point in my life. Growing up, I saw my parents run a home business, and it was a great learning experience for me. I have several ideas that I’d like to get started with: making money from my blogging; social media consulting; and a niche travel business targeted to women of color. Blogging & social media are both things I already do & am passionate about, the key for me is finding how spin those into a business that puts money in my bank account. As for the travel business, it’s an idea that I’ve been kicking around with LM for a while, and I really think it’s a money-maker. She may not embark on that journey with me, but I’m committed to seeing it through & making it happen.

Option #3 is simply getting a new job. Out of the 3, this is the option that is most likely in the short-term. What I want to do is to take my transferable skills and apply them in a new area. Lots of new careers are on the table: project manager, technical writing, technical recruiting, technical sales, etc. I really just want to take the skills I already have & move them to a new area where I can learn new things & try my hand at something else.

So what are my skills? Well let’s divide them into transferable & non-transferable.

Non-transferable skills:

  • Polymer chemistry specifics – polymerization reactions, materials properties, etc.
  • Instrumentation – chromatography – IC, HPLC, GC-MS, GPC/SEC; microscopy – SEM, optical; spectroscopy – XRD, XPS, XRF, FTIR UV-VIS, NMR; thermal analysis – DMA, TMA, TGA, DSC; other – TOC.
  • Laboratory skills – wet chemistry techniques – columns/TLC, extractions, various reaction methods, distillations, etc.
  • Thin film chemistry coatings knowledge

Transferable skills:

  • Project management – I’ve gained a lot of experience in this area the last two years of my career. Starting with the initial definition of the project, getting buy-in from all parties, setting budgets & timelines, meeting deadlines, keeping all team members engaged & on-task, and ending with the project report out. I’ve learned how to use different types of software & techniques to keep projects on task, within budget, and how to track potential issues & decision areas.
  • Communication – Blogging has really helped with my writing skills, both technically & just in terms of prose. I’ve developed an ability to take very dense technical information & relate it to those who have little to no technical background so that they can grasp the high level concepts without being bogged down in the details. I would love to do something with this skill. Beyond writing, I have excellent presentation skills – in college I won a technical presentation contest two years in a row,, and I’ve gotten even better since then.
  • People skills – Being an extrovert & also a person who connects easily with others, I have the ability to build a rapport with people very easily. I enjoy working with people, and helping others be successful. I’ve found that the times where I’m able to talk to people, and really engage with them, is when I most enjoy what I’m doing.
  • Analytical skills – Being a scientist & working virtually as an engineer for almost five years, I’ve really honed my analytical skills. I am able to absorb large amounts of information, discern what I need for the task at hand, and make decisions often with limited information. I approach problems & projects with a logical, analytical thought process.
  • Creativity – A lot of people don’t realize the amount of creativity that goes into a laboratory career. Everyday I’m tasked with thinking outside the box & coming up with novel ideas.

My concern now is how to highlight those skills on my resume. I’ve been revamping it a few times this year, and I’d like to create a resume that highlights my skills instead of my work experience & what I’ve accomplished at each job. That’s a functional resume, right? I’ve never written one, so I’d love some tips if you’ve done one before.

My goal for the first six months of 2011 is to work on both options #2 & #3, with the focus being more on the transition to a new career first. Have any of you done it before? Any tips or strategies to use? I know that I can’t rely solely on an online search this time, I have to get out and network. So far I’ve met with two very helpful people who have given me a lot of advice & helped me make connections. Beyond that, I’m not sure what else to do. Or how I can prove that I would be an asset in a position that isn’t technical, given my almost five years of technical experience.

Wish me luck!

Its been almost a year since I left Orlando (also referred to as the seventh circle of Hell & the capital of family fun) and moved back to the Twin Cities.¬† I’m extremely happy that I got to move back to a place I love & get out of a place I didn’t like.¬† But there a few things that I miss about Orlando, even though I didn’t care for it as a place to live overall.

Five Things I Miss About Orlando

*Cheap flights – living in a tourist destination means there are a lot of airlines & flights to choose from, as well as a variety of destinations, especially nonstop destinations.¬† I got super spoiled being able to hop a flight at a moment’s notice for dirt cheap.¬† Now that I’m back in Mpls, finding a decently priced flight is like finding a stripper who is a virgin – pretty much¬†impossible.

*The great restaurants I discovered – Thanks to Restaurant Mafia, I had built a list of great local restaurants in Central Florida that I loved to visit.¬† One thing I love is good food, and after some exploring I discovered that Orlando had plenty of it.¬† I had a go-to list of great places; whenever I was in the mood for Cuban, Thai, sushi, Italian, etc I had a place to go.¬† Mpls has great restaurants too, but I haven’t built up my go-to list yet (though I’m working on it).

*My old job – I knew my old job had some perks, but I didn’t really appreciate them until I left.¬† I used to work a 9/80 schedule, so I had every other Friday off.¬† I wasn’t required to work overtime, and I didn’t have to take vacation time to do things like go to the doctor.¬† I had a boss that didn’t really care what I did as long as my work got done & data went out.¬† My phone worked in my office & I could be on Twitter & BBM all day. *sigh* I’m still happy that I left – my new job has taught me new skills & it got me out of Florida. But if I could have moved out of Florida AND kept my old job, I would have.

*My circle of friends – It took some time, but I developed a great group of friends in Orlando & I miss hanging out with them. A big part of my circle were my friends from Restaurant Mafia, the dinner group I joined & later helped run. I also made some great friends at my job, like my homie LM.¬† I also became close to a good soror there & met some cool folks through her. Since I moved, LM has come to visit twice, but I haven’t been back to Florida yet to see the rest of the homies, I need to rectify that.

*The shopping opportunities – I know that I’m on restriction & I’ve been good…but there’s no way restriction would have lasted so long in Florida.¬† In Orlando there are two great outlet malls, Prime & Premium (and they both have the same stores pretty much, they are just on opposite ends of International Drive). Those were my go-to destinations for Coach, Michael Kors (I REALLY miss that outlet store), Gap, Banana Republic, Aldo, etc. The outlet in St. Augustine is home to one of the few Gucci outlets, which I loved as well. And then there were several great “regular” malls, including Florida Mall and Mall of Millenia. Yeah…I’d be in TROUBLE if I was still in Florida…tho my handbag collection would be much more fabulous than it is now *sigh* That’s ok, being good is better for my overall bottom line.

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Ever wanted to get into the mind of a young, single, professional Black woman? Well here's your chance. Travel with me on this journey called life as I try to find the elusive state of satisfaction...I promise, it'll be a fun time....
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