Typical day on the job:
In a typical week, I will spend 25% of my time working on new applications in the lab, 50% of my time analyzing, planning, and discussing experiments with customers, and 25% of my time conducting research for customers in the lab.
My desk is located in a cubicle farm. I like that setting better than an office because it encourages discussion with colleagues. I have my own bench in the lab, which has space for up to 10 people. Usually, however, there are only 1-4 other people working at the same time. We have more than 10 mass specs, 10 RapidFires, many LC stacks, centrifuges, and everything else that you would find in a typical lab.
I work just over 40 hours a week. Overtime is sometimes required at the end of the year when business accelerates, but in general the environment is not super stressful. We are all very busy, but it's not in an unhealthy way.
Tools you can't live without:
My work utilizes mass spectrometry. So, I like to have at least one of every kind of mass spectrometer possible.
Best productivity trick:
Time management. We all have things we need to do. Some of those things take 5 minutes, and some of those things take 4 hours. The trick is managing all those tasks to get as many done as possible.
Best career advice you've received:
Don't say no (often, at least). Shutting doors isn't a good way to get anywhere.
Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:
I listen more than I talk. It's hard to get anywhere with a customer if they don't think you understand their needs.
Essential habit you wish you'd started earlier:
When faced with a challenge or a new task, don't shy away. Determine what you need to know to get it done, figure out how you will come to know those things, and take action.