These alternative careers? Maybe not so much.

Today for your reading pleasure, we’ve got a guest post from the ever witty Chemjobber. According to him, not all alternative jobs are good ideas.
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Leigh’s always writing about good alternative careers for chemists; here, I suggest a few bad ones for those of you contemplating leaving graduate school or a postdoc for something, anything else. Don’t try any of these:
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1. Counselor/psychotherapist: I can only imagine it: “Hey, dude — your Dad doesn’t like you? Cry me a river — I worked for a guy for five back-breakin’ years and all I got was this lousy sheepskin and a postdoc at East Butterfinger State College.” Chemists just aren’t big on sympathy.
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2. Singer: Sure there are some pretty decent folks who can sing along to the radio, but for every one of those, there’s ten people screeching “Every Rose Has A Thorn” at the top of their lungs while running a column. Face it, none of us are going to Hollywood.
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3. Traffic cop: “Yeah, I don’t really know how fast you were going, either. Probably 45 mph, plus or minus 5 or 10. What is the margin of error on this thing, anyway?”

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Organic farming + organic chemist? Image by flickr user tori.tori.tori.

4. Organic farmer: The confusion between organic food and organic chemistry would be enough to make your head explode. Don’t even attempt it, especially if you snicker every time you see “organic” written at the grocery store.
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5. Nurse: See #1.
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6. Temperance campaigner: Have you ever seen us before a departmental seminar or a Friday happy hour? Keep moving, folks.
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7. Diplomat: “You see, Senor Presidente, the reason we’re invading you is, well, we just don’t like you. And you rejected our paper a couple years back. Yeah, no, we haven’t forgotten. Enjoy!”
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8. Motivational speaker: “So the reason that you should live your dreams and strive for excellence is… is… is… ’cause I’ve been here 5 years and I desperately need a job! Kids, I’m your role model!”
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9. Dancer: It’s Thursday night, the chemists are out drinkin’ and jerking their bodies around dancin’ , and well, not really doing the field any favors. Cutting a rug, so to speak, isn’t something chemists are good at (even though there are rare exceptions).
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10. Fashion designer: “So for this year’s spring fashions, T-shirts! In all different colors: blue, blue, blue and blue. Don’t forget these awesome acid holes! This one, that’ll get them talking in Milan!”
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Thanks so much to Chemjobber for his infinite wisdom. Oh, and this blog post. And speaking of thanks, if you’re American, have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow! If you’re not, have a great Thursday.

Author: Leigh Krietsch Boerner

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