The situation facing many soon-to-be science and engineering
graduates, doctorates and post-doctorates can seem daunting.
What job directions or career path should I consider and figure
out how to choose?
At a recent post-doc seminar with three dozen attendees one
half chose, at first, academic and industrial career paths. Many
of those had little clue about what they would value doing.
The other half did not have a firm idea and did not know where
to begin. As Al Sklover points out: “good counsel requires
personal knowledge”– strengths, hard and soft skills, what
motivates you, your values and ‘likes and dislikes.’ So, a
personal self assessment might start your screening process.
Then, a couple of useful processes before interviewing in your
checklist might be information interviewing positions and
organizations, networking interviews (using your elevator
pitch to market your interests and skills) and mock interviews.
This will fill your checklist with several actions and tools.
A helpful figure is presented in Vision 2025 (Marinda Wu)
offering where our technical skills can be applied. With
slight variations this view can be applied across the board to
STEM fields– For chemical enterprises (substitute bio,
physics, geology, computer, biomed, etc.):
1)Chem focused jobs, 2)Chem-based services and regulatory,
3)Science & Engineering management, legal and policy,
4)Science & Engineering inspired government & business.
Consider using other resources in your search as you gather
relevant information and trends in a “Levy flight search”
which recognizes the importance of the “long tail“.
Besides the CHEMISTRY JOBS section of the Yellow Bar
Venture Philanthropy 2 3
Consider not too tightly restricting your search in the