Making the Switch – Update September 2017

The goal of this post is to summarize what I’ve learned so far in figuring out the next step in my career after I lost my job in July 2017.

Hi everyone!

After some thoughts about this career change weekly serie, I decided to abandon the weekly update for the following reasons:
  • they seem too much like a laundry list, which is not useful for anybody
  • they are too long and have way too much detail
Instead of the laundry list, I decided summarize what I did, what I found helpful and new useful things I learned! So here they are!
This is what I did so far:
  1. When I first lost my job, I wanted to switch industry entirely because I felt like biotech wasn’t something I looked forward to every single day. I listed all the things I want in my career and I found that what I am interested in CAN be found in most industries. When it came time to decide on industries, I know what really motivates me (or things I care about the most) are health and lifestyle related. It is hard to switch to a field where one has no experience so I hesitated. I eventually decided to stay in biotech because biotech is related to health and this is where I have the most relevant experience, and instead I will switch function.
  2. At the same time, I checked out a copy of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” from my local library (yes, an physical book from a physical library. not Amazon! But for the sake of convenience, I found the Amazon link for you guys here). It has a very useful section that helps readers figure out 7 key areas to consider when it comes to your career: the kind of industry/knowledge, preferred people to work with, your favorite transferable kills, favorite working conditions, level of responsibility/salary, preferred places to live and mission in life. The exercises are painfully long but the results are well worth it! I do think that some of these I knew already (for example, I have always known where I want to live) but they do help me discover some parts of myself that I didn’t know before. I think having this extra knowledge about myself is very helpful when I apply for jobs and when I decide which companies to join.
  3. I then contacted some old coworkers to ask them questions about their careers because I am interested in what they do (these are called “Informational Interviews”). Interestingly, all these different functions that I was interested in all somewhat pointed to the same role that I could go into with the experience I have so far. You can probably imagine my excitement when I found out about this! These conversations also helped me identify a more long term goal.
I am pretty happy because starting from where I am I can plan a path to my long term career goal and I feel much more motivated this way. Of course, I will need to learn more about my long term goal by conducting more informational interviews and reading some books to make sure this is what I want to do eventually.
Another thing that is on my mind is that I want to have a secondary income because I want to have more flexibility with time without compromising on the pay. In the future I think I will be busier with family related things and I want to have enough income so if I need to take a pay cut for that flexibility I can still support myself and my family.

In the next few weeks I will blog about the important tools I’ve learned so far during my search. Please stay tuned!

August 2017 Favorites

August soon came to an end and that means it’s time for another Monthly Favorites!


Arts and Culture

I find this song very catchy: Kamikaze by MØ. I haven’t listened to it enough to actually look into the lyrics so I don’t know what the song is about.

I love Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” and I like the cinematography of the music video a lot!


Personal Style

NYDJ (again!) Stretch Knit Trousers. The material of these pants are undeniably yoga pants material (sigh), but these have trouser legs that make them look less like yoga pants. They are very flattering on my figure, they smooth out lumps and are super comfortable. The only gripe I have with them is that the hook-and-bar closure doesn’t lie completely flat on the stomach and they don’t have belt loops. If you wear your tops untucked then this should be a non issue.

Sparkly earrings in studs and drop styles. I chose the rose gold color because I simply just love this color! I must say that I think the drop style is a bit too big for my liking, I’d feel very self conscious wearing them everyday. But the studs are beautiful and just the right amount of elegance and statement. The posts sit off centered and I think that provides a little bit of added elegance because the earrings look a bit “draped” and thus are more interesting than the regular stud earrings.

Uniqlo Merino Blend Ribbed Skirt. This skirt is knitted and quite thick and has a nice drape to provide a good “skim over your body” effect. Tops can be tucked in because of the thicker material. This is a versatile piece that can be worn in fall and winter.

Levi’s 715 Boot Cut Jeans. I never knew this (didn’t shop at Levi’s before) but there are so many choices of washes and sizes and inseams. These boot cut jeans are so flattering on my body (I am petite with a slight curve) because of the mid rise that elongates my legs and the slight flare at the bottom that balances out my hips. My body just looks like it’s in “proportion” when I wear them. These also have a bit of stretch in them which makes them so comfortable.

Banana Republic Silk Cashmere Crew. I have been on the hunt for a good fall/winter piece that is light colored since I don’t have a lot of these. I surprised myself when I picked up this light gray piece because I don’t usually buy a lot of gray items. But after wearing it I am starting to realize they are basically a more wearable “white” color, like off white and cream/oatmeal colors. I love the idea of wearing white tops but stark white does not work for me and luckily I found this! I have been wanting to wear this light gray sweater everyday since I got it. I am so glad I went with this!


I started reading this book “How will you measure your life?” and this came just at the right time for me personally! I am currently unemployed and looking for a job so I’ve had plenty of time to think about what I want to do with my career and life. This book has good insights on how to find meaning and happiness (and stay aligned to those) in work and life.

I have another detailed post about my job search so far that I will upload this weekend. Please stay tuned!


This image of a little dog sitting in the subway just cracks me up. I used to love this song and used to sing it so much on Rock Band back in the day. The notes are so high and so impossible, failing this song actually makes it fun to sing to!

I randomly saw this mug on Amazon and I instantly fell in love with it. As someone who loves all things cat themed, I just couldn’t resist! I am actually surprised that I don’t have a cat mug already! But since I have way too many mugs, I am going to reserve this one for my friend who loves cats just as much as I do!


That’s it for August. Let’s continue the conversation next month!