From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

July 2020
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Industrial Post-doc position. Choices and Next Steps
Filed under: Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job
Posted by: site admin @ 9:23 am

A colleague currently in an industrial post doc
position in a radiopharmaceutical firm contacted
me.  JJ has been there for nearly a year and wondered
what he should do next.

Despite the pronouncements about the need for more
technically trained scientists and engineers for future
prosperity, jobs and careers are not always clear.

We often hear about how various industrial firms are
starting, continuing or expanding their post doctoral
programs.  CENews recently reported as much.  Yet,
we do not hear about what to do next.  The career path
is not so clear.
[The case is the same in the UK:  Meetings are conducted.]

JJ indicated that he had a discussion with his supervisor
about continuing on.  The boss indicated that his work was
appreciated.  While he would like a permanent position,
he learned about a potential 2 year extension on his unique,
first time in the company post-doctoral position.

We talked about it being very good that JJ had established
good working relationships with his supervisor.  It might
be appropriate to inquire if you could be offered a longer
term commitment
for working at the company.  You liked
working there and would like to have your career grow at
the company. [if that is the case.]  You might ask what are
the chances and what is the decision timeline so that you
can work together productively.

Other things to consider
We know post doctoral appointments are usually temporary
and that industrial post-docs can pose limitations on
publishing, networking and attending meetings.  See also.

How are the business conditions in the company’s future?
Are sales and profits improving?  Are staff being added?
New products?  New customers?

What should he do?
 - Assess if there is one or more positions currently open or
available for him to fill.  Speak with people of influence and
information in the company.
 - Determine what are your accomplishments in your post
doc.  What are accomplishments that you can insert into
your resume?  Should you consider using a List of Projects
page?  What have you patented?  Published?  Presentations
at technical meetings and with customers?  Consider contacting
customers.  These are mostly involving application of
technical skills and developing new skills.
 - Have you worked on improving your soft skills?  How is
your communication, working in groups, coming up with new
ideas, implementing things and scaling up?  Any interactions
with customers, vendors, negotiations?
 - Have you developed new wise skills for your self that will
set you apart from your competition?  Do you have mentors?
Have you improved your intuition?  Do you have a working
set of keystone habits– avoiding procastination with the NOW
?  Have you further developed your “committed network.”
Now is the time to use it.

Please remember, verbal offers are not legally binding.  If
you receive an offer verbally, ask for it in writing with all the

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