Today Seersucker Sass (by the way, if you have NOT read her blog you absolutely have to! She is a phenomenal blogger and the absolute sweetest! This post will be waiting here for you, once you get back!) tweeted asking what her reader’s ultimate career goals were. I answered with mine, and the whole idea just inspired me to sit down and write a blog post for you all. I know a lot of you are curious as to what my career goals are, and my aspirations.
One of the most memorable pictures of my childhood is a photograph of me wearing my mother’s floral scrubs when she first started working as a Medical Technologist. My parents took it as a sign from a young age that I was destined to work in the field of medicine. Smile shining brightly, hair pulled back because of appropriate lab protocol, I was absolutely beaming.
From age three to high school, I wanted to be a pediatrician. Fast forward until junior year of high school when I took Anatomy. We were watching videos of a surgery….and I passed out. I was wildly determined to become a doctor at that time and so I decided to try again. Passed out again. It happened three times total until I began to reevaluate my decision to become a doctor. I decided to do a little bit of soul searching, as much soul searching that a sixteen-year-old overachiever could. I then decided that I wanted to become a pharmacist.
I don’t think that I was lying to myself when I wanted to become a pharmacist. I think that at that time, it was what I believed that I wanted to do. I did an internship the summer before my senior year of high school with a college of pharmacy, and I loved it. I declared Chemistry as my major when I enrolled in college and planned on graduating in two years and taking full science course loads each semester (by the way, I graduated in three).
It wasn’t until I took Biochem that I realized that Chemistry really wasn’t my forte and that I enjoyed my Biology courses more. And out of all my Biology courses, I had loved the labs. People hate labs. They’re extremely strenuous and take a significantly long amount of time. But as long as labs were, I enjoyed them significantly more than my lecture courses and found them fascinating. I have a natural curiosity and am one of those people who goes out and searches for an answer.
As graduation loomed closer, I knew I didn’t want to go to pharmacy school anymore. I knew that I wanted to do something in the realm of medicine, but I didn’t want to be a doctor or a pharmacist.
I also knew that in whatever I did, I wanted to make a difference. I knew about the profound difference that health care professionals did in their work because I had worked for a health care non-profit. Talking to those patients and seeing the impact that their doctors, nurses, PAs had on them…it was absolutely amazing. Medicine could truly transform lives, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I just did not know how I fit. Also, if there was anything I learned from working for a non-profit, it was to work for a cause that I was passionate about. It was to do something every day that made a difference.
I have worked for two non-profits in my lifetime, and have learned a wealth of information from both. I worked in development and knew that I had the knack for communications, critical thinking, leadership, and envisioning growth. For a little while, I wanted to work in development as a career. Part of me wanted someday to get my Master’s in Healthcare Administration.
I took a Public Health course in college, which was by far my favorite class. I knew I wanted to get my Master’s of Public Health. I wanted to do so many things because I was passionate and dedicated, but I didn’t know exactly know what career would stitch all of these aspects together. My love of medicine, my passion in labwork, my desire for an MHA and MPH, my natural curiosity and critical thinking skills, and all the other things I had.
When I graduated college, I wanted to work in research. I applied for a bunch of junior scientist and research associate positions, but they didn’t seem right. I didn’t want to just do any research…I wanted to work in the field of medicine.
My mother and aunt are both Medical Lab Scientists. They both are accredited and have worked tremendously hard to advance in their careers. My father suggested to me to go to school and work as a medical lab scientist, and my mother said that I could become a medical lab scientist, get the two master’s that I’ve always wanted, and become a medical (or clinical) lab director. Becoming a medical lab scientist and advancing to a medical lab director sounded like the perfect fit. It tied everything that I was passionate about, wanted to accomplish, and dreamed of perfectly into a career path.
I would be able to work in a lab and run clinical procedures and tests, and not only do work that I am passionate about but also help to save many, many lives. I would be able to assist in patient diagnosis and treatment, to help monitor and prevent diseases. This was exactly what I was looking for, something that allowed me to use the laboratory skills that I had honed, that truly made a difference. I decided that I would move forward in my education and get my accreditation to become a Medical Lab Scientist. And then after that, I would work on my Master’s of Public Health, and then my Master’s in Healthcare Administration.
I would someday become a medical laboratory director and help implement policies and procedures while maintaining and managing the medical laboratory. I would be able to use my knowledge of medical lab sciences, along with the knowledge obtained from my Master’s degrees to run a clinical lab. And although I am far from that, it’s my dream and it sounds absolutely amazing.
But there one other small dream I had. I wanted to be a blogger. I had wanted to be a journalist for like, two weeks after graduation, but after prayer and thinking about it, I knew that blogging was what was right for me. I wanted to be a medical lab scientist, and eventually a medical lab director. But that didn’t mean that I couldn’t blog while I did all of that!
And that is the plan. To become a Medical Lab Scientist, to get my Master’s of Public Health and my Master’s in Healthcare Administration, and to blog while I do all of it. I am at the point right now where I’m weighing my options and looking at what paths I can take. I’ve been thinking of getting my second Bachelor’s or hopefully getting into a clinical practicum so I can become an accredited Medical Lab Scientist. I know that there’s a plan that God has for me. I just have to figure it out.
I’ve had plenty of people tell me that I want to do too much. I’ve had even more people ask me when exactly I’m going to get married if I want to do all of these things. I’ve had even more people question the fact that I want to work in a medical lab for the rest of my life. And to those people, I honestly kind of laugh (not in a condescending way…more of a giggle). Because it’s my dream, my career goals, and my future. And I don’t really think anyone has a right to criticize or comment on my choices. I’m twenty-one years old and I want to do so many things in my career and I know I’m going to be able to do it. Because I have faith in myself and my abilities.
The thing about life is, I don’t know where it’s going to take me or what’s going to happen. There are so many twists and turns and quirky mechanisms. But sitting here, right now, typing away on my laptop, I’m telling you all that this is my ultimate career goal. And maybe, five years from now we’ll look back and see what’s changed… maybe I’ll get one Master’s instead of two, or maybe I’ll get one in something completely different. But right now, this is what I want. And this is what feels right.
What is your ultimate career goal?