With the New Year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to set goals and ditch bad habits. Make 2017 a great year in your lab by taking on at least one of these resolutions for microbiologists.
1. Be more considerate of your lab mates.
There are many steps you can take to keep the peace in the lab. A few simple actions include taking pipette tips out in order (not sporadically), replacing the box of gloves when you use the last size small, never opening the anaerobe jar right before lunch, and avoiding “colorful” language when you forget to subculture.
2. Learn something new.
Stay in touch with current industry news by attending a webinar, keeping up on industry publications, or attending an industry show (for example, ASM Microbe).
3. Pass your proficiency tests with flying colors.
Proficiency testing doesn’t have to be so stressful. Follow our 10 Best Practices for Proficiency Testing to make your program run as smoothly as possible.
4. Take your career to the next level by becoming a certified microbiologist.
Your name would look great on the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM). Staying on top of your continuing education credits is also important. Don’t let them creep up on you in the eleventh hour.
5. Stop hoarding old plates.
You’ll never need those plates from 2010. It’s time to let them go.
6. Master the new equipment in your lab.
Whether it’s a new MALDI-TOF or PCR system, take the initiative to learn the ins and outs of new equipment. Read our How to Choose QC Strains for Microbial ID Systems post to learn how to select the correct strains for verification and routine testing of your instruments.
7. Make sure your lab is using QC microorganisms for all test methods.
Simply stated, a robust QC program is the foundation for an effective and efficient lab.
8. Start a lab reading club.
Materials could include anything from microbiology themed books to industry articles and white papers.
9. Enter a microbiology-themed competition.
10. Get your work-life balance in order.
You can’t consistently produce quality results if you’re overworked. Remember, lifting a pipette is not exercise and liking a Facebook post doesn’t make you a good friend. Make time for family, friends and yourself this year. You won’t regret it!