One of the advantages of relocating to the Greater Seattle area is that I know people in this area, which is very good for networking. In fact, one of the people I know in this area is the director of the Alumni Association at Western Washington University, where I launched my career as a scientist. He is a very nice guy, and I knew once I got back here I should certainly be reconnecting with him primarily because he is a really nice guy I'd like to see more often, but also because people like that tend to know lots of people. So I asked him, "Do you know anyone who might know something about the Seattle Biotech job market?" And he of course found a really friendly, professional scientist and fellow WWU Alumni of his acquaintance to connect me to.
This guy and I are going to meet for coffee. I am hoping this can be a little more than just an informational interview- I know he isn't going to give me a job, but let's get down to brass tacks- who are the people at your company who makes these choices and what are they looking for right now? And how do I make myself look like that? It will be nice to talk with someone local about the job scene down here. Yes, it is tough right now (MAJOR layoffs at Dendreon and Amgen recently), but there is a constant turnover of small start-ups. Some work and get bought up, some fail, but that part of the scene is always in flux. Anyway, I've felt comfortable with the "Let's meet for coffee" meeting before because I knew there was no unspoken offer waiting to be made. This time, I want to be sure that this meeting at least results in ... something? I think the best thing would be more contacts, and that seems fairly reasonable to ask of a friendly stranger, right?