Take Responsibility For Your Career
I have been writing, speaking and advocating for the profession of clinical laboratory science profession for as long as I can remember. Much of what I do is either unpaid or (in my estimation) underpaid. In the interest of fair disclosure and to be perfectly honest, my motives are not totally selfless in that I have a vested interest in raising the image of, and recognition for, the profession.
However, even when my main occupation took me far from the clinical laboratory--as in hospital administration, healthcare consulting, motivational speaking or even entertainment--I have still felt a kinship and responsibility towards CLS.
The most disappointing responses I receive from laboratorians are either in the ilk of "we are just techs, always will be techs and why do you keep suggesting we should pretend to be more than that?" Or, "Great idea, why don't you do it on our behalf?"
Both responses are frankly sad and disappointing at the same time. I have been lucky enough to have a very varied, exciting and nontraditional career. But I have found in almost every instance the opportunities afforded me or the promotions I have received have resulted from me not simply excelling at a traditional job, but making the effort to convince someone I have the skills, ability and dedication to assume a role for which they did not originally expect a CLS to fill.
If there is one lesson I have learned it is that people tend to react to the messages we send them about ourselves; they gauge our competence by our actions, treat us the way we allow them to, and assign us roles that we are willing to assume.