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Suggestions for a WAH-hopeful with a biochemistry PhD

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Dear friends,

 

I knew that I am at the right place! Mothering DOES have a section for this!

 

I have a PhD in biochemistry. I was supposed to get a professorial position, be a world-renowned scientist and all that, just kidding, but I cannot muster up enthusiasm for this. I have been trying to figure out WAH options.

 

I have no sewing nor knitting not carving nor even IT skills. I used all my time until a few years ago, getting that degree, then, trying to use it, then having a a baby and raising it, raising DH & myself with her.

 

I'd be lying if I said that money isn't important, but it isn't my main objective. At this time, I want to establish a WAH career, that I can continue even if I move across the seven seas. I do want to be able to make more as time progresses however.

 

Any suggestions will be GLADLY appreciated. Please, please advise me!

post #2 of 17

I understand.  I was working on my dissertation when it hit me that I wasn't going to be happy with the academic career, tenure track, etc. that would follow.

 

Anyway, how are your teaching skills?  The first thing that popped into my mind would be to develop some sort of bio-chem curriculum, videos, etc. for home schoolers.  Maybe something where you have a video series, study guides and then a support service for when parents have questions they can't answer.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Oooh, that's interesting! For home schoolers! What a brilliant idea! Thank you, thank you!

 

I think I am really good at teaching. At least that is what the younger grad students told me. And my students when I TA-ed. I could sooo do this! I just have to figure out what level they need it at. There is perhaps a homeschooling forum on here. I'll ask there about interest for such a thing. Or even skype for them, to explain chemistry. My undergrad was in chemistry. And if I know what topic will be asked at least a day in advance, I could prepare. I obviously don't remember all of it off the top of my head, but I only have to brush up.

 

Many thanks! I'll go find the forum if it is there!

 

Dogmom, do you sell those cultures and such? How did you get into it? What made you do it, and how did you go about setting yourself up? I understand if you don't want to reveal all of that, but if your concern is that it is too public a forum, do PM me. I am certainly not going to compete with you.

 

Did you end up finishing that dissertation?

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hasya View Post

Oooh, that's interesting! For home schoolers! What a brilliant idea! Thank you, thank you!

 

I think I am really good at teaching. At least that is what the younger grad students told me. And my students when I TA-ed. I could sooo do this! I just have to figure out what level they need it at. There is perhaps a homeschooling forum on here. I'll ask there about interest for such a thing. Or even skype for them, to explain chemistry. My undergrad was in chemistry. And if I know what topic will be asked at least a day in advance, I could prepare. I obviously don't remember all of it off the top of my head, but I only have to brush up.

 

Many thanks! I'll go find the forum if it is there!

 

Dogmom, do you sell those cultures and such? How did you get into it? What made you do it, and how did you go about setting yourself up? I understand if you don't want to reveal all of that, but if your concern is that it is too public a forum, do PM me. I am certainly not going to compete with you.

 

Did you end up finishing that dissertation?


I got into it on accident really.  Right after my son was born I took a local class on eating real foods (WAPF style) and of course being a well trained researcher (LOL) I went crazy and learned everything I could.  My RA stipend ended and I needed to figure out a way to make a small amount each month so we could make ends meet--or I had to go back to teaching at night.  So DH set me up a small website with like 10 products and it took off.  Two years later, DH quit his job to work with me (I was way overwhelmed and now had two kids) and now we just passed our third anniversary of being in business, we have eight employees and I feel like I'm managing a runaway train most days.  It's a great thing for sure.  A little overwhelming most days but it will get better with time.  PM me if you have questions :)  I'm happy to tell you the basics of getting set up.  The curriculum thing was first in my head because we are getting ready to home school and I made the mistake the other day of actually thinking about what it would be like to try to teach high school science and got scared (my degrees are in business so teaching stats will be easy at least!).

 

I didn't end up finishing my dissertation.  My second baby had health problems and by the time she arrived, honestly my heart just wasn't into it.  I LOVED my teaching, hated my research (could have been the topic...).  The further I got into the academic fray, the more I felt like I didn't belong.  Looking back, I should have waited until I was older, we'd had kids and I had a better idea of what I wanted out of life OR I should have waited to have kids until I was done.  Oh well.  I guess it worked out okay.

 

post #5 of 17

Hi there,

 

I can't offer many suggestions--I'm hoping others will chime in because I find myself in a somewhat similar situation, looking for a long-term WAH situation. One thought that came to mind was teaching an online course for a college or university. I've taken a few online/distance courses in the past and I know that many of my professors lived out of state (one lived on a houseboat and traveled around!) You might see if you could find any openings for online professors or even create a curriculum and propose it to a few schools. Also, could you do any sort of consulting work? I know very little about the field of biochemistry, but with a PhD, I imagine your knowledge and experience would be greatly solicited. Just some ideas....

Now, what kind of WAH job can I do with a BA in Education?! :)


Edited by gitanamama - 9/23/11 at 8:46am
post #6 of 17

I think teaching an online course or developing a curriculum for homeschoolers are great.  I would contact the local community colleges regarding teaching biochem or other science classes.    You could also host a homeschool science class(or classes) in your home once/week.  My guess is you could do biology, organic, and general chem or whatever interests you.

 

Another idea would be simply tutoring college students, pre-meds, etc. either in-person or via skype/email.  You could also create your own online review for med students taking their Step 1s.  Just a down-and-dirty biochem review.

 

The student doctor forums might be a good place to advertise for med students--either for tutoring or a review course.

 

Another option would be contacting some patent law firms regarding being a sort of biochem paralegal type thing.  They usually want people w/strong science backgrounds.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Online course at a university? Interesting! Oh no, not a law firm, though. They think that they own their employees. I do not have the time or energy for that, what with a toddler, and trying to get fit for another baby.

 

With a BA in education...isn't that meant to be for teaching at school? Perhaps, YOU can open a school of your own. Perhaps learn about the Montessori system and just have a play school. Too complicated? I don't know.

 

Dogmom, I hope your daughter is doing much better now.

 

I signed up for a course on medical writing, and contacted the local homeschooling association. I hope I find my calling soon.

post #8 of 17

What about building a website and sharing information and knowledge with others.  That is what I do, and i love it.  I get money from ads and affiliate sales.  I'm also thinking about trying ebook sales.   It takes a lot of time in the beginning, but as the website ages, I make more money.  It's something I can do from anyway, and requires very little in the way of start-up capital...just time.

 

PM me if you want more information about what I do or the company I work with to help me build my website.

post #9 of 17

I think the homeschooling curriculum idea is great if you would enjoy it.  I was going to suggest tutoring, but someone already covered that.

 

As someone with a professional degree, I admire that you're searching for something you can do that actually utilizes your talents and skills. smile.gif

post #10 of 17

What about proof reading documents and texts about science?

 

Something like proofing scientific text books for elementary, middle, and high school? Or consulting on magazine or newspaper articles about science (cannot count the number of times I've seen thing grossly misunderstood)?

 

Are you artistic at all? Art for texts, and such could be something fun to do if you have the ability.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi! Thanks for the responses. 

 

I posted on the homeschooling forum but haven't gotten any responses unfortunately.

 

Proofreading textbooks, eh? Perhaps I should look up the publisher names and contact them. Great idea, thanks!

 

Website - I wish I had seen this before I saw a website by one of my colleagues from school doing the same thing. Of course, I saw her website for the first time several months ago. I thought it was a brilliant idea and that she's doing a great job with explaining concepts for the layperson. I wished that I had thought of it sooner. Now, I would just feel like I am taking her idea and competing with her. Somehow doesn't seem ethical. What do you say?

post #12 of 17

Hi Hasya,

 

I also got your PM, but I figured I would reply here.  I don't think it would be unethical at all to design a website simply because a colleague has also done so with a similar idea.  You would obviously need to make your website unique with unique content and your own unique "spin" on the material.  It would only be unethical if you were to actually copy her content or materials.  But, just using the same idea and designing your own totally different website with a different lay-out, content, etc. would be fine.   There are tons and tons of websites out there with similar site concepts.  My home remedies website (linked in my sig) is hardly unique in site concept.  There are many, many other websites out there with a similar site concept.

 

In order for a website to really make money for you, it needs to be designed and planned well.  One of the most important things is making sure that the general site concept or idea of the website has enough "demand"  or people searching for month. Keyword research is super important to determine what "keywords" or "site concept" words have the most demand. Once you find a keyword with enough demand, there will surely be other websites out there based on that keyword, however, hopefully not too many.  The key is finding a keyword with a high demand and low supply.  But, you will never find a keyword that has a high demand and NO competing websites.

 

Now, that fact that this other website was made by a colleague of yours is different than if it was just a random stranger.  But, as I said, YOUR website would likely end up being unique and slightly different anyway.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Amelia, when I say colleague, I mean that she was a contemporary in the same department. I didn't know her well at all.

 

You're right that my website would of course be very unique. How does one do keyword research?

 

Thanks!

post #14 of 17

I like that homeschool idea! You can really do something, and you can even make videos that parents or groups have to pay for memeber ship too. You should become big enough that you may be able to host small workshops. Im starting my BA next year for illustration, I'm looking to writing books, which is something I have loved for years, since I was a little kid and have always wanted to do. You could always write cute little science books for little kids, minor bio chem stuff.

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Books, eh? I do like to simplify science. I am trying my hand at writing for a magazine. Let's see if anyone will buy it!

post #16 of 17

Just wanted to say hello. I'm in a similar situation. I'm leaving a PhD program to adjunct a bit and be a Mom. I definitely think you should look into community college teaching, I really enjoy it and the pay offsets the daycare costs. It's not necessarily a career but it's nice. I'm looking for options, too!

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Smokeylo,

 

DD started daycare 1x a week and has been going for a couple of months now. For now, I am keeping my old job for 1 day a week. I am considering medical writing as a career. Fingers crossed.

 

Good luck to you too! Do keep me posted on how your career move goes.

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