You have finally finished your PhD and are feeling pretty good on this achievement! You are confident that your dream job is just around the corner. After all, you have invested in your career and are highly skilled. You may even be thinking about postdoc and PhD job(s) you have seen advertised. If only it was this simple. Having a PhD is definitely an asset but have you thought about a career path? Do you want to work outside academia? Is a flexible work option better for you? Where do you want to be in five or ten years? Answers to these questions will help you decide what type of job would be most suitable for you.
The first job you get after your PhD can be an opportunity to acquire additional skills. It will also help you to get to know professionals in your area. These relationships can be important for building your career.
Of course, there will be challenges. You may be given new and unfamiliar responsibilities. As you learn to handle these, you will become more valuable to your employer. There may also be personal adjustments especially if your job is a new city or country. It is possible that the job will be outside of your specialist area. In this case, you will need to learn on the job while using the transferable skills from your PhD.
Popular Job Sites: Job Search Strategy
Once you have decided what type of job you want, it is time to get to work. The process of finding a job can feel like a job! There are so many options. Should you send out copies of your c.v. to companies you want to work for? Should you wait until there is a job posting? Should you make a list of universities whose sites you check regularly for new positions?
Fortunately, there are job search portals for PhDs that can simplify this whole process. A short list includes:
Using one (or more) of these resources, you can streamline your search. You can visit NatureJobs to see new job postings. NatureJobs also allows you to upload your c.v. This will allow potential employers to see your accomplishments when they search NatureJobs for employees. Its search engine allows you to choose where in the world you would like to work.
It will also let you create a profile. You can use this profile to create job alerts. You can tailor these alerts so that you are notified only about the types of jobs which you would like to apply for. You can also choose how often these alerts are emailed to you.
The site also gives its visitors career advice and information. You can sign up for their newsletter to stay informed on the latest developments in science careers.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has a jobs board as well. It is called ScienceCareers. Like Naturejobs, ScienceCareers lets you upload your c.v. and set up job alert emails. You can browse by job categories such as “Microbiology” or “Physical Sciences”. ScienceCareers also has a blog dedicated to scientific careers. The AAAS goes a step further and hosts science fairs as well. These fairs connect scientists with recruiters. Some are virtual while others occur at specified locations.
PostdocJobs is another alternative. This site is dedicated to helping employers recruit postdoctoral fellows. If you are looking for a postdoc job, you can apply for positions directly from this site. PostdocJobs has helped more than 1,000 clients from universities, research institutions, and government agencies around the world find talented postdocs.
Finally, if you would like to work in Europe, you could visit EuroScienceJobs. This site is focused on highly skilled science candidates who want to work in Europe. You can filter jobs by country. You can also filter by category (for example “Biology”) or specialization (“Atomic and Particle”) or type (“Commercial”).
Did We Miss Something?
Of course, do not forget your alma mater. Many universities have their own job boards. You can speak with the administration of the university to find out if they have a place where jobs are advertised.
You are not restricted just to the website of the school you graduated from. Feel free to search other universities’ sites. For example, there is information on postdoc jobs available on both the MIT and Stanford websites. Moreover, professional networks such as LinkedIn can also help you explore non-academic career opportunities by connecting you with people from different industries and ventures.
As a PhD holder, you definitely need to make good career decisions. There are many ways to find postdoc jobs if that is the next step for you. You may also choose a different career path. Either way, finding your next job doesn’t have to be difficult. You can easily set up job search alerts to simplify the process while never missing a job that you’re interested in.
What other resources have you used in your job search? What are you doing to make your own search easier? If you already have a job, what strategy did you use to make your search a success? Please share your feedback in the comments!
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