Congratulations, you have just earned your Masters degree in science. You haven’t fallen into the trap of doing a PhD. Yet. And now you’re unemployed and wondering what to do next!
As such, it’s naturally time to drive your significant other crazy. If you have a significant other. If you don’t, it’s time to start looking! Since you’ve been wasting your time studying science (ain’t she a harsh mistress…), most of your friends have gotten engaged and married (some several times over). And now everyone’s been giving you those “poor single person” looks (no, it’s not just in your head). These peculiar people are “successful adults” with strange things like 9-5 working hours, paychecks that aren’t grant-dependent, and knowledge of the city outside of the university grounds.
In regards to the process of driving your S.O. crazy, start off by treating the kitchen as a lab, since as I’ve explained before, scientists are cooks. You must aliquot and label ALL of the leftovers! Calibrate the oven! Your recipes need to be complied into an SOP* binder! This is putting your advanced degree to good use.
In the process of obtaining your masters, you have become extremely knowledgeable in one obscure subject – so narrow is your expertise, unless you’re talking with someone within your field, no one knows when you’re just making shit up. “Keep chugging those vitamins, Aunt Julie, Vitamin D prevents male pattern balding, you know. I’m pretty sure I saw some convincing correlative data about that somewhere.” Yes, you have earned the right (otherwise known as a Masters degree) to become one of those people you hate. It’s otherwise known as being a jerk. I’ve heard getting a job helps alleviate this to some extent. Or you could just start a blog.
However, people tend to assume that because you’ve been in school so long, you actually do know things. You’ll embarrass yourself a lot at dinner parties because although you’re an expert by now at aseptic technique and culturing cells, you yourself have acquired no culture. And (if you’re me) you don’t have a basic working knowledge of geography, politics, or how crappy the local sports team is doing.**
As such, be prepared to be very dull at dinner parties, where you’ll just end up spending a lot of time avoiding the question of what you’re going to do next.
*SOP is lab-speak for “standard operating procedures”
**I am fortunate that in Montreal, it’s always easy to know if the Habs are in the playoffs. Riots and police helicopters are usually a good sign. However, it’s easy to confuse this with student protests that have been going on for the last 100+ days. Good thing I know it’s not hockey season, or I might get confused…