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INTRO Scientist tired of trading time for money

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4symmetry

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... pretty much cuts it. 28, female, and want to contribute to the Science community at some bigger level than just pipetting something in my corner of the lab.
 

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4symmetry

4symmetry

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Okay, now I finally found some time to actually introduce myself.

I'm 28 old, originally from Austria but now working in Munich, Germany. I'm a scientist by training and just graduated last July with my PhD in biology/biomedical research. Now I'm working on a 2 year contract as a PostDoc, i.e. trained, underpaid and discardable scientist.

I started my studies at Uni just being interested and curious. I went on to be not sure whether I made the right decision around the time I got my Bachelor's degree, once I realized that the only "good job" (as in fun, creative, intellectually challenging and not a sales job at a pharma company or similar things) was to stay in academia and do research, or score a pharma research job right after graduation (but those are rare).
I knew I wanted to pursue a Phd because I just love learning, and I feel I'm smart enough to potentially make a contribution to science and medicine later in life.

Doing a PhD sucked at first, and I almost fell out of love with science. Disaster struck, however, and saved me from that fate. 1.5 years into my PhD, the institute I worked at was dissolved, and all our equipment was taken away. I had to make do sneaking in at other institutes and begging for even basic stuff to do what I'm paid to do. It was horrible for a while, but ultimately led to a move to Munich, where I finished my PhD last year. Here, the institute is huge, the group itself is quite big (~10 people compared to 3 back in Austria) and the money is abundant. Opportunities are endless. And my supervisor, a micromanaging Postdoc who's great at what he does but doesn't think big and works way differently than I do, stayed behind in Austria.
So once I was here in Munich, I realized: I didn't hate science. I loved it! What I hated was working on an uninspired project by an unimaginative boss and being micromanaged by his OCD Postdoc. That's when I learnt that science is, indeed, fun, and I can maybe do something worthwile after all. (I also learnt how important environment is, I underestimated it way too much! Environment was literally the make or break element in the decision whether to stay in science or not!!!!).

So yeah, here I am. I'm super excited to do what I'm doing.
However, the old frustration is creeping back in. Science is extremely competitive. You basically have to fight to the death with smart and well-funded competitors who work round the clock, competing for a fixed/group leader position. That's when you get freedom to pursue your own ideas. Before that, you're basically put on a project that your boss got funding for. You can choose it, of course. As in take it or leave it. Or: leave. :D And those positions are always temporary, high pressure etc.

I don't mind that part. I like what I do and I like working hard.
What I'm pissed/frustrated about is that you have to fight with numerous competitors over a tiny piece of the cake, and even IF you win, there's NO WAY you can get to financial freedom on a group leader/professor salary!!! :shit::shit::shit:

I only realized this after I started reading TFM, when I did the math and it just doesn't work out :arghh:
So now I'm here. I'll ask for advice and help in another forum category :smile2:


Btw, if anyone's curious: I'm typing this while waiting for my 3 "test" mice to f*cking finally eat my hand-made strawberry flavoured jelly. :mad::smile:
I'm trying to train them to eat a drug I want to administer voluntarily, so that I don't have to put a tube down their throat and force-feed them every day. So I made them a nice strawberry jelly. I made it myself, so I completely control it. It's not that simple, force feeding is way easier, so there's some entry barrier. I created a need for food by fasting them overnight. And once I'm sure it works, I can scale it to 36 mice, hopefully. What I'm missing right now is time :playful: . I'm still sitting here waiting for the last mouse to finally taste the goddamn jelly :rage: :clench::inpain::playful:

So at least, being a scientist, I am already used to failing.... :rofl:
 

jpanarra

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Hey welcome, Fellow 28 year old scientist here!

Graduated with a BS in chemistry though, kinda saw through the facade in the science community where people would just spin their wheels in academia by doing breakthrough research for larger companies and when they do come up with a million/billion dollar solution.

I still work full time in a manufacturing environment but I've started my journey a little over a year ago and that light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter as time goes on.

Good Luck to you!
 
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4symmetry

4symmetry

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Hey welcome, Fellow 28 year old scientist here!

Graduated with a BS in chemistry though, kinda saw through the facade in the science community where people would just spin their wheels in academia by doing breakthrough research for larger companies and when they do come up with a million/billion dollar solution.

I still work full time in a manufacturing environment but I've started my journey a little over a year ago and that light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter as time goes on.

Good Luck to you!
Thanks @jpanarra, just out of curiosity, where are you located?
So are you starting a business on the side then? [emoji4] I‘d love if you could share a bit what you‘re doing [emoji4]


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4symmetry

4symmetry

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Btw, here‘s a picture of my day‘s work. And that one last mouse still ain‘t eating. [emoji849]




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4symmetry

4symmetry

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Thanks @jpanarra, just out of curiosity, where are you located?
So are you starting a business on the side then? [emoji4] I‘d love if you could share a bit what you‘re doing [emoji4]


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Oh sorry, I just saw it on my computer. On my Iphone somehow I can't see people's locations :happy: sorry. I'm still curious though and would be very grateful if you could share a bit more. :blush:
 

jpanarra

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Thanks @jpanarra, just out of curiosity, where are you located?
So are you starting a business on the side then? [emoji4] I‘d love if you could share a bit what you‘re doing [emoji4]


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What I'm doing is actually a long story but luckily its all on here, which is my progress thread. But long story short, during the massive downtime i experience in the lab where I wait for instrumentation to finish their procedures I learned how to code websites and started to sell them outside of work. As of now my biggest project is that I'm working on a telemarketing business that focuses on two markets, the deaf community and entrepreneur start ups, I hope can be an formula that can be expanded.


You do seem to have a promising product, but the thing is how do you plan on getting your first client, how much value is in it so they're willing to dig into their wallet and give you their hard earned cash. Focus on the selling and the process of sales which I've found to be the most valuable tool in owning a business.

I'm based out of Indianapolis, Indiana by the way.
 
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4symmetry

4symmetry

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Thanks @jpanarra and thanks for indulging my newbie-ness on this forum :wideyed: didn't see the Progress thread link in your signature (think it also doesn't show up on my phone).
Your projects sound great, good luck with them in the future and I'll watch your progress thread! So am I getting that right, did you start your business while still working in the lab?
Thanks for the advice as well. I truly have no clue about sales :wideyed: I figured I'd have to built my project idea into a prototype first (right?!)... But I'll have to have a plan for monetization, I guess.
But every time I think about that, my brain immediately stops and goes back to the "but won't you immediately have to quit your job to get that big project right?!" loop? That's where I'm stuck. :bored:
 

MJ DeMarco

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Welcome to the forum, great introduction. Very nice to have another bright mind here in our little corner of the universe.

and want to contribute to the Science community at some bigger level than just pipetting something in my corner of the lab.
Like rocket a Tesla in orbit and then roll it around Mars? HA HA
 
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4symmetry

4symmetry

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jan 31, 2018
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Munich/Germany
Welcome to the forum, great introduction. Very nice to have another bright mind here in our little corner of the universe.
OMG thanks for the sweet welcome! :) Not sure being a scientist makes you bright, but at least I can work hard and have grit. ;)



Like rocket a Tesla in orbit and then roll it around Mars? HA HA
Not that kinda scientist, also my first name's not Elon, but it does sound like fun! :smile:
 

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