Since my last post about life beyond PhD, Nature has published another article on their blog “Do you believe in life after lab? I believe the magazine has been making an amazing job motivating students in seeking other options outside life in academia and life even beyond your discipline during and after PhD. Their advice is to keep your mind open to whichever chance might come across along the way.
As I said in previous posts, only 3% of all the PhD students in all disciplines end up getting a lectureship/professorship. All the rest must find alternative options. However, the transition to industry isn’t always an easy process and I have heard of people looking for jobs for more than one year before getting a decent one. To avoid this, read my post and learn what you can do to stand out and get more employable even before the end of your PhD.
- PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS NETWORKING. The most you can do is during events especially conferences. Use the lunch break, coffee break and wine reception time to speak with as many people as possible. Some people might not be interested or forget you the day after, but one or two might be and want to stay in touch. Making valuable #connections with professors or people from industry while doing your PhD might be the change of your life. If they are impressed by you, they might offer a job or recommend you to someone else and you might get a position after PhD without even taking the trouble of an interview.
- APPLY FOR SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP. In line with the previous advice, get involved with your people in your field. Societies have loads of networking events, like the Christmas or summer party where it’s easier to get to know new people and talk and chat to them in a very relaxed environment.
- USE SOCIAL MEDIA. If you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn only to post pictures of your nights out or food you eat, you might have underestimated their potential. Instead, start putting pictures of your daily lab work, your conferences, people you met. This isn’t silly or a waste of time. In contrast, you show you enthusiasm and passion for your research. Do you have any idea of how many people you can reach with posting your stuff online? A lot. Speaking for myself, my 2 recent posts got more than 1200 views from all over the work, including Australia, India, New Zeland, Canada, USA. This is the best way to put yourself out there and get more and more employable every day.
- BE PROACTIVE and PATIENT. Most of the time, people wait for things to happen and if they don’t, they get frustrated. I personally very dislike this attitude, as I am strongly convinced that we make our own luck. Things happen if we make an afford for them to happen the way we want. Also, it takes a lot of patience to get to the place where we want to be and fulfil your dreams. You must have understood this while doing your PhD. How many times experiments go wrong and you have to repeat them 100 times before seeing some positive results? Life works the same, more or less.