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  1. #1
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    Default Help an INTJ sistah out

    Hey guys, wondering if you could help me with a problem I'm having.

    I graduated 4 and a half years ago with a degree in biochemistry. Due to certain circumstances such as my own stupidity and stubbornness I did not work in that field at all after I graduated. While in school I did teach a few labs but that was it. After I graduated, I didn't want to work for the shitty "biotech" companies where I live (a quasi-rural area) and so found my self working for non-profit organizations (children's organizations, women's shelter) etc. I did this for about four years and was laid off a few months ago. I am finding it difficult to stay here (suffocating) but also difficult to relocate to an area with more opportunities (SoCal or the Bay Area) for me. I find the gap between my education and my experience to be very discouraging as I don't think this looks good on my resume and it's not likely to get me a job. Also, I'm not too sure if I can handle grad school right now.

    Furthermore, I should add that I also really really really can't handle or wrap my head around the idea of working for huge pharmaceutical companies or anything like that. I would rather do research or something innovative - not sure if my level of education allows for this, probably not. I'd rather make less money doing something awesome than more money doing something lame.

    Working for non-profits means that my bank account isn't exactly overflowing. I would really really really like to just relocate and then find a job because I have to find a job but because of my lack of funds am not sure how to go about this. I am also afraid that if I do this I'll take a shitty job just to make ends meet and then end up working there for years again.

    I feel like after I could get myself established/settled or whatever, then I could go back to school and get a graduate degree in biomedical engineering.

    I feel like I am stuck in a rut. I've given myself bitch-slap after bitch-slap so all I need right now is advise (or a job offer, haha).

    I would really appreciate the input of any NTs who may have faced similar experiences. Or not. Anyone, give me any input. I'm all ears.

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    1. Decide on a few cities that you'd like to live in.
    2. Go to www.indeed.com and do searches for those cities using keywords like "pharmaceutical" "Los Angeles, CA" or "biochemistry" "San Francisco, CA", etc. The beauty of this website is that it pulls job announcements from all the other job webpages and compiles them into one place. When the search results come up for a given location, be sure to click on "date" so that the postings re-sort by the most recently posted jobs. If you don't click date, then I think it sorts them some other way and you'll get old mixed with new.
    3. Apply for anything and everything that remotely interests you.
    4. Also, university professors do hire graduate students going back to grad school to work in their research labs. Look at university job postings and look for jobs doing research in BioChem or Pharmaceutical Sciences. If you can land one of these positions, you can go back to school while getting paid to work in the lab = best of both worlds. Increasing your eduation/research experience while also getting a liveable wage.

    Also, don't get discouraged that you haven't worked in your field since graduating. It's not the end of the world and it doesn't "spell your doom". Just be honest and explain things honestly on your resume and in any interviews you get. It is what it is. Don't fret. Life happens and reasonable people understand that. If you show that you have genuine interest and at least some basic knowledge in the subject, there are jobs you can get. And it's not like you haven't been working - you've just been working in a different field. So you have work experience and a degree. Just tell people, "I'm looking to get back into my field. I miss it and I realize that's where my future is and it's what I want to do. Just give a me a shot and I won't disappoint. I have a good work ethic, I'm driven, I learn quickly, I did well in school when I studied the subject, etc." Don't try to fake your resume or anything. Just tell your story to prospective employers honestly and someone will hire you.

    Also: if you're looking to move to a new place (L.A., San Fran) that has been hit hard by the economy, it may be harder to get hired as an outsider. They may see you as more of a "risk" - you may move to the new city and decide you don't like it and want to leave, stuff like that. So, it's not impossible to find work in another city - big cities have a high "volume" of jobs which increases your chances, but there might be value in looking close to home too. Check out your own city/area on Indeed.com and see what's there too.

    Good luck!
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  3. #3
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    Thank you INTPness. That was very helpful and indeed.com looks like it could be useful.

  4. #4
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Also, when I mentioned looking at University jobs, I didn't mean through Indeed. Go to the college websites for current postings. Each of the 50 states has several universities. Google the university you're interested in. You mentioned California. California has something like 23 universities in the CSU system and another ~9 in the UC system. Many states have lots of campuses. If you literally take the time to look at several institutions in each state, you WILL find something. I mention this because I did this when I was willing to move. You sound like you are willing to move right now in order to find work. 3 universities x 50 states = 150 universities. You can find something in all of that. California universities may not have much available right now because of budget cuts, but I used Cali to illustrate that some states have LOTS of campuses.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  5. #5
    Aquaria mrcockburn's Avatar
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    Don't forget about private colleges! But those might be harder to get your foot in the door for...
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  6. #6
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    @Noir, as a recent college graduate in an eerily similar position I can definitely sympathize with what you're going through. With all due respect to INTPness, I've never had a lot of luck with sites like Indeed/Monster/ect, and frankly don't put a lot of faith in them. As explained to me by a relative with years of HR experience, employers that utilize those kinds of sites are typically much more stringent about relevant experience requirements in order to compensate for casting such a broad net. They want their requirements exactly as specified, and are less likely to be open to equivalent skill sets gained in an alternative field. In other words, it's unlikely that you'll ever get to an interview where you can make a case for yourself beyond what's presented on paper.

    I would like to suggest that what you need to do is get out there and network your ass off. People hire people. Period. It's a truism that took me a long time to come to terms with (and I'm still not terribly good at it), but it's without question the way things work. You can go about this in a number of ways:

    1) Contact alumni in the biochem field. Alumni are a great place to start because they can give you a lot of real world insight, and you already have a built-in connection to start off from. It's not exactly polite to ask directly for a job, but you can get your resume out there, get advice, and possibly make additional contacts that get you closer to where you want to be.

    2) Contact former faculty. Might be a little awkward four years out, but getting in touch with old profs about research or similar opportunities could be useful.

    3) Attend industry events in your area, or join a professional association if you have the cash for it. Beyond networking, some professional organizations sometimes have job boards that list positions not available to the public.

    4) Last but not least is the dreaded cold calling. If you have ideas about the firms/labs you'd be interested in working with call them up directly to see if opportunities are available. Alternatively, you can read up on people working at these places and see if you can arrange informational interviews. Same as networking with alumni it should be presented as an opportunity to learn, but obviously it gives you the chance to get make an impression on people you'd potentially like to work with.

    This is presented pretty sloppily on my part, but I think you get the idea. It's a good start to apply to online positions, but ultimately you have to get out there and meet and greet some bitches to get what you want. I'd highly recommend Mergers & Inquisitions articles on networking in the Recruiting section. The focus is on IB, but the principles are the same.

    Happy hunting! Post updates!
    And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
    you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth

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