Question: Has there ever been a point in your career that you have wished to change your occupation or do something different with your life?

  1. Yes.
    But it wasn’t a sudden idea, I did not wake up one day and think… “I’m not going to do this anymore, I’m going to change jobs”. Nor did I wish to change occupation because i was bored or hated what I was doing. It was because I found something within my job that interested me more, something to focus on or specialise in.

    I have changed my direction twice – once when I stopped working in a vet hospital and started doing science research and then the second time was when I started doing more science writing and making science pictures.

    That’s one of the great things about science. Your training and experiences allow you to do so many different things, you CAN change your career if you want to. It’s a bit like a choose your own adventure – its great fun!


  2. Hi nay10,

    Kate is right. The good thing about science is that there are always chances to do something different. I started work looking at how fog droplets might hurt trees if they have a lot of pollution in them. Then I looked at how the oceans transport heat and salt around the world. Then I looked at how forests affect water quality and quantity. Now I am looking at how climate change might affect water.

    I know people who have changed their areas of research even more than that. Once you get a science degree then you can decide what to specialise in.


  3. Yeah, there’s certainly been times when I wondered about what I wanted to do – but I think I got most of this out of my system pretty earlier. I’m a great believer in the idea that you don’t know whether or not you’re going to enjoy something unless you try it – and I’ve put that into practice many times! When I left school, I thought I wanted to be a dentist, so when I finished my science degree I took a year off and got a job as a dental assistant – I realised pretty quickly that dentistry really wasn’t for me!
    I had also always been interested in marine biology growing up, so also tried this out during my year off. I volunteered for a group on Kangaroo Island doing research on the wild fur seal colony there. As part of the work, we had to sneak onto the beach and try to catch the baby seal pups so we could weigh and measure them. It didn’t take long before I managed to mis-judge the distance between me and one of the pups and ended up with a pair of seal pup teeth firmly lodged in my leg (still got the scar ). That was the end of my marine biology career.
    So, after trying other things and realising they weren’t for me – I got into the food and nutrition research area and have pretty much stayed in the same area since. I’ve certainly branched out my research interests, and am always asking new questions, so haven’t ever really thought about changing careers since then. But, if I ever feel the need for a change, then I’ll always try something new in my research, or work with a new person to ask a new research question. I like to keep things interesting 


  4. Yes, and I have changed fields.

    I used to work, as a (student) researcher in astronomy, on “dark matter” (a strange sort of stuff that we can’t see directly but is four times as common as the normal matter that everything on Earth is made of) but found that I did not enjoy doing research as much as I enjoyed studying, learning, or reading about astronomy.

    So I chose a job in something else that also interested me: government policy.

    But I’m afraid things aren’t as rosy for science-trained people as they should be: many employers want people with specific training that is more directly related to what they will do in their jobs (e.g. university degrees in business/commerce) or that is (most unfairly) considered to be “harder than” science (e.g. law).