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Having been inspired and helped by other blogs on myRSC, I felt compelled to write my own. Having moved into the process chemistry team within a blue chip company and now working towards my CChem I have had chance to review my career, which has been a hugely positive experience and not one I expected when starting my working career many moons ago!!!
Whilst at and once I’d left school I was always attracted by a career in science and in particular chemistry, but at the time banking seemed to be the ‘in’ thing, a lot of my friends chose this path so I followed suit, very quickly I realised this was not for me. I decided to follow my initial instincts and pursue a science career, as luck would have it a local intermediate manufacturer were having a recruitment drive and I secured a role a lab technician within R & D, primarily researching process improvements under the guidance of the senior chemist.
During this time I was to be able to continue my education, firstly completing an ONC in Science followed by an HNC in Chemistry, after successfully completing these on a part time basis while working, I unfortunately was made redundant due to a site enclosure, at this point I reassessed my career path.
Having decided I definitely wanted to be a chemist, I secured a place on the Chemistry degree course at Nottingham University, during my first year a family tragedy struck and I had to give up university and return home to Bristol. As I needed to be at home I secured a temporary contract with a leading pharmaceutical company in the area as a laboratory analyst. After a year I was taken on permanently, where I progressed to a project officer in the area of analytical methodology. This involves method development, validation and implementation within the QC environment, technology transfer to outside overseas contractors, and general technical support to the QC labs, this role increased my skills base hugely. After a couple of secondments to increase my experience site wide I secured a permanent position within the process chemistry team as a process chemist…………..dream achieved, or so I thought!!!
My line manager (and now mentor) spoke to me about becoming a RSC member, this was something I associated only with graduates, but given my experience and HNC I was awarded full membership, it was further suggested I should consider working towards CChem status. Before investigating I felt this was something not open to me, but to my great pleasure found if I demonstrated equivalence to a Masters level I could enrol on the CChem program. After my successful approval of my equivalence report I commenced the direct program, for the first time in my life I fully evaluated my career, the skills I had to offer and my achievements to date. Although I have always felt confident in my own abilities, this process gave me a new found confidence, particularly as in the future it is likely I will need to seek a new position, obviously being awarded the CChem status will be a big plus, but more important is the confidence it has given me.
Even if you are not looking to gain CChem status, I still feel working through the capabilities questions and evaluating your career could be hugely beneficial, if anyone is interested please feel free to contact me through myRSC and I will be more than happy to answer any questions or give any guidance……… I said in the title it’s never too late!!!

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