Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What am I waiting for?

When I started job hunting, I was determined to find a job, and not a postdoc.  But in the back of my mind, I always knew if finding a job didn't work out, I'd decide to postdoc somewhere.  Now I am a "full time job hunter," thick in the ups and downs of finding positions, connecting with people, getting rejections and finding new ways to approach the job hunt.  It's pretty clear, right now, that this isn't going to be easy, but my impression is that finding a postdoc position won't be a cake walk either, and I'm feeling pretty invested in the industry route.

Yesterday I got turned down for a position that I thought I was a great fit for, as did the recruiter who matched me to the position.  He explained that I wasn't picked for an interview because there were candidates with a similar background but industry experience.  That got me thinking about the bleakness of the job market, and when I was going to eat my humble pie and strike out for a postdoc in academia.  What is going to be the sign that now is a bad time to be a job hunter and just focus on a steady income?  But really, I'm not in a rush.  I don't feel like I've exhausted every possibility.  I just need to get a bit creative. 

Today I've started looking for industrial postdocs- including one at an engineering firm- as well as jobs in biofuels.  Hopefully I'll have more to say about the biofuels industry soon, but if you are curious about this, follow the hashtag #biochat on twitter. 


  1. Minx (formerly Anon.)September 23, 2011 at 3:34 AM


    Have you thought about Genentech (a big biotech company now merged with Roche)? They are located around San Francisco. Obvs they have lots of industry research positions, but also a Post Doc program.

    Finding a job in industry is insanely hard, I think looking for up to one year is not unusual. From the people I have spoken to it's all about right place, right time. It can be really depressing, but you are doing a great job, it's a constant learning curve (the hunting process), and from what I've been told, if you persevere you'll get there eventually.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Minx. Speaking of Genentech, I did get a contact there who said that hiring is very tight this year. The post-doc positions very clearly say you need a paper published in a top-tier journal (not me), and he said that rarely are PhDs hired as Associates- basically, you need post-doc experience from them or elsewhere to get on staff. I'll be keeping an eye on it, but obviously I need will wait to push for a position until there is one I am really perfect for.

    I'll have a post up soon about biofuels, which may be less impacted that biotech/pharma. It's my new exploration. Are you also job hunting?

  3. Sigh. The internet ate my previous reply. Yes, I am the one that made the other anonymous posts. Looking for a non-research job in Pharma. Never want to do lab research again...

    I've been looking for a while. From what I've been told (for people new to the industry), it's a case of right place, right time. I have also been told that it's *rare* for new graduates/no industry experience to get hired. Well, everyone had to start out somewhere, right? So good luck and keep looking!

  4. Thanks Minx! Good luck to you, too! I'd love to hear more about what you are trying, and if you think any of it is working for you. I know I am finding it is really hard to tell if I am getting better at any of these things- it's going to seem like nothing works until I get an offer somewhere.