This particular job which leads to a PhD degree I’ve been doing for 3 years. Before that I was working as a doctor in a hospital in various jobs for 5 years.
A problem or an opportunity depending on your perspective about working in science is that your funding only lasts for a set time-period. That means that you have to either re-negotiate your contract at the end of that time or move on. It’s getting rarer for people to get a ‘job for life’ as a scientist in a university now.
Well, I left university in 1987 and messed about with sewage works for a while, before going back to do my PhD. I finished this in 1992, so I guess I’ve been a proper scientist for around 18 years. But my job keeps changing – so the job I have at the moment, I only started in April of this year!