So I've been kind of down lately care of unemployment - it's the sort of situation that's bad enough normally, but I have the extra joy hanging over my head of knowing my current visa expires next summer and as it stands, I'm not in a position to get another one, because, you guessed it, lack of job experience.
I've spent the last two weeks or so contemplating doing freelance web design - started making a portfolio site, doing lots of reading on freelancing, etc. And I came to the conclusion tonight that I don't think I can. I'm a pretty good web designer. Over the broad category of anyone who's made a webpage, I think I can safely put myself in 'above average'. But I lack the talent for creativity and innovation necessary to be pro, to make enough to make a living off it. I don't know if that's something I could improve over time, or if it's just some quirk of luck that makes some people innovative and others not. But I don't really have the time to practice and find out.
And then I sat back and thought - you know what? I have a skill set already that I'm pretty damn good at by most measurements I've seen, which is hands-on betnchwork in molecular biology. I am a pro at this. Except, of course, for the part where nobody will pay me to do what I'm good at. And I know that some of this is the economy, and some of this is the deeply messed up way academia works these days, and some of this is just not knowing enough people (and having no idea how to meet more - seriously, where do biologists hang out?). But I think tomorrow I'm going to call a place or two to ask about volunteer work, and maybe I'll actually do that Masters program application.