June 2020: Yet another “failed” job interview where I was passed over as “we went with someone with recent experience who can hit the ground running”.
- My last microbiology/science role was made redundant by my employer towards the end of 2012.
- I’ve been trying to get back into a microbiology lab, QA department or related area ever since with zero success.
- I stay active in science by reviewing regulatory updates and championing science via social media and by providing advice on LinkedIn, posting articles to share my experiences and producing online training presentations.
The evidence shows my seeking of a science role and ultimately obtaining career satisfaction is being thwarted by a lack of recent experience. There must be a perception that someone who has not performed a task for some time is incapable of performing that task without being extensively retrained. I am in total disagreement with this. Scientific (aka) critical thinking is a way of life and having worked in highly regulated environments, such things as the 10 commandments of GMP have been burnt into my brain! In ANY technical role. the operator MUST be trained to perform the duties in their role. Yes someone who was working in the same or a similar role in Company A could hit the ground running in Company B, though without training and signed off approval, what they can and cannot do will be servery restricted.
I find things like process mapping, technical writing and conducting investigations like riding a bike. It’s a set of skills that are never forgotten and come back to me as soon as I apply them. This is something INTJ’s have no trouble with.
Without a current role in science it looks like I have to leverage my transferable skills or start blogging about science with a major emphasis on microbiology, quality control, quality assurance and documentation. That way I can demonstrate I know my stuff and that I’ve applied my skills more recently than in 2012.
Update: Between 2012 and 2020 I concentrated on providing advice in online forums and writing articles for my blog. In early 2020, following a video interview where I felt I needed to have better stories about my career, I created a YouTube channel to share my job hunting experiences, present my knowledge online, improve my communication skills and hopefully give me a stronger profile/presence. This helped me when I participated in a series of video interviews in May/June 2020. Disappointingly, It was not enough assistance to get the role.
At least my current role as an IT Support Engineer has me regularly trouble shooting computer software issues, explaining complex terms to those who are self-confessed Luddites/not computer literate or unfamiliar with the software in use, and documenting processes so others can easily see what I have done in order to resolve an issue. I also seek the root cause and suggest CAPA which is not a requirement of the role.
The other thing I was thinking about was to turn a big pile of cooking recipes into “scientific speak” in the form of OI’s and SOP’s in order to demonstrate my technical writing skills and process mapping chops. My online articles have video presentations have since become the priority.
- Using “lack of recent” experience indicates the employer is perhaps too risk adverse and does not value those who are experienced. My skills as up to the task or they are not and an employer either wants the best candidate for the role, or they do not (here I am assuming I am the best for the role!).
- Not employing somehow who wowed at the interview on the basis of no current experience says a lot about the employer’s commitment to training.
- To address and counter my lack of recent hands on experience I blog about my knowledge, produce and deliver training through online videos and provide advice in industry relevant forums.
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