I graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Biology. I worked for Pioneer Seed researching disease resistance in corn, then Asgrow Seeds (which was bought out by Monsanto) screening for genetic traits in soybeans, then Monsanto’s molecular breeding department (GMOs). I changed directions after being laid off during one of Monsanto’s numerous reorganizations, and started my own business doing historical research.
But I’ve secretly always wanted to work with my hands. During summers, I worked for a local shop planing lumber, cutting and gluing decorative woods, and sanding (I still have the scars on my hand from those evil orbital sanders) clipboards, trivets, napkin holders, and lazy susans. I enjoyed changing my own oil in my 1991 Olds Cutlass Ciera (thanks Dad). I’ve enjoyed the times when I’ve worked in the food service industry and the morning shift unloading and stocking the shelves at Target. So this article piqued my interest.
Mike Rowe (of my family’s beloved show, Dirty Jobs fame) has started a scholarship program for high schoolers to learn a trade instead of going into traditional college. Through his celebrity channels, he has launched an enormous campaign to highlight the importance of hard work and what it means for the American economy.
Do you know a trade? Would you want to change your path or learn new marketable skills? Let me know what you think. I’m keeping my options open.