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Experimentation clarifies the career path | Otago Daily Times News Online

When I look at the people I trained to be a scientist with, very few stay in a traditional science career, yet when we were in training, that is all that was presented to us.

The same goes for many career paths. How many law graduates do you know who aren’t lawyers, builders who don’t build, farmers who don’t farm, journalists who don’t write, nurses who aren’t nurses, and doctors who don’t? no doctors? Is it the fault of their professional career or is what you want at 18 different from what you want at 30, 40 or 50?

A few I know who have stuck with science are cynical about organizational restructuring and tired of grants. [application] writing. I ask them “Why don’t you go?” They look at me like I’m crazy – maybe they are the crazy ones to stay?

We’re about to move into our long summer vacation. In my new business it has been frantic as we try to do as much as possible before the “big New Zealand shutdown”.

We have built some amazing collaborations and created five new products that will be released in the New Year. We are also launching our lung health product in the UK in January with our business partners there.

What a race this has been and I don’t feel as exhausted as I usually am at this time of year. In saying this, I’m already enjoying the benefits of slowing down to think things through and be more creative again.

I started tapping into my pile of reading and vacation podcasts over the weekends. A friend sent me the link to a podcast where Jehan Casinader interviews the CEO of Fix and Fogg Peanut Butter, Roman Jewell jewell-fix ….

Roman was a corporate lawyer eight years ago and admits he doesn’t feel fulfilled and needs a creative outlet.

He didn’t know what to do and started experimenting – working on different things in the evenings and on weekends in an effort to satisfy his need for creativity. He tried his hand at pottery, home brewing, cheese making and even sewing. During these trials he wasn’t thinking about starting a business which came later when he found out he liked making nut butters and people started giving him feedback.

I found it interesting – give it a try, test it and maybe if things click – turn it into a career. For some, just having this creative outlet will be enough.

If you want to work full time with a new creative outlet and turn it into a business, of course the deciding factor is the cost of living, mortgages, and expensive lifestyles.

This year I have met some young student entrepreneurs who have said to me: “What do we have to lose at this point in our life?

What a fantastic attitude – where do we lose the “give yourself” mentality along the way? Is it sudden when we take on new responsibilities like children or a mortgage? Or is this freedom to think slowly fading away in us? Maybe for some, the freedom to think comes later in life, when we realize that we don’t have to take the paths that society expects of us?

When we get to a point where we need a change, I think the key is to make small changes, like Roman Jewell did – to experience what a big change might look like.

Before co-founding a nutraceutical company, my business partner and I knew we wanted to do something in the functional food and drink business: we experimented with prebiotic pastes, kefir, spices, sauces, alternative proteins and kimchi. .

Then Covid hit, and given the condition of my immunosuppressed business partner, the path of our lung health product accelerated – we got engaged and our nutraceutical company was born.

Experimenting, wanting to get started, and thinking outside the box are ways not to feel trapped in a career that no longer satisfies you.

You might also be surprised at what you can live on and what you can do without.

It is not easy and there is always the fear of failure. I don’t have an answer to that, I live with it every day. But it’s better than living without trying.

Merry Christmas to you all and enjoy some free time during the holidays in whatever shape or form you like.

Anna Campbell is the co-founder of Zestt Wellness, a nutraceutical company and partner of AbacusBio Ltd, an agro-technology company.

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