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Welcome to my new-and-improved careers column; it is now interactive. When you send your questions via the E-mail address below, I will seek answers for you.

Anita Koltay, who read my networking column, wrote recently with questions about career switching. She's a postdoctoral fellow at The Burnham Institute in San Diego and would like to get a job outside the lab. Past jobs required her to write technical reports; she also authors short stories and poetry.

With the aptitude for and experience with writing, she still needs information on how to make the jump. "These are skills that I enjoy using and in preference to doing the laboratory work," she says. Koltay is also concerned about chemical sensitivity from years of exposure while doing bench science.

She writes scientific papers about her PhD and postdoc research, and previously wrote technical reports for a position as an analytical...

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