How often do you wonder who you want to be when you get your degree?
Like most of us, when you were 18 you decided to follow your passion and study biological sciences-related degree. You got your first lab assignment and you were ecstatic! “It’s finally happening! I get to wear my shiny lab coat and use a pipette!” Whether the results of your investigations were good or bad, you still were able to find that spark of joy in your experiments, therefore you continued to get your Master’s degree, maybe even further… but are you doing this for the right reasons? Did you ever stop and wonder, am I pursuing my next degree because I feel, that laboratory is the only place I belong? Is fear of graduation and putting yourself out there holding you hostage?
Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to answer this out laud, everyone have their own reasons for staying at the University, for some the tenure track and teaching is a dream, for others it can be need to prove themselves to someone or simply some can also be scared of the job hunt.
I used to be in that boat. I was thinking that my job is very lab-dependent and frankly that I can only work in the lab space either at the university or private company. Life pushed me out of my comfort zone, when my hands gave up and I couldn’t do as many experiments as I wished and simply I panicked. The idea of losing all the years I’ve studied was daunting, until I actually got myself out of academic closet and started chatting with people outside of Universities.
Conversations with people from different backgrounds provided me with fresh overview of the possibilities for scientists. Not only it turned out that scientists are welcomed in many places you would not think of for example in currier company as a specialist on logistic conditions for various biological substance or as a marketing specialist for biotechnological company as you are capable of understanding the relevant scientific literature.
Does this mean you cannot work as researcher outside of academic setup? Absolutely not!
However, whether you are planning to look for R&D position or less classical scientific position, you need to start looking around now, because those positions might not be always falling on your lap or be officially advertised. Additionally, you need to learn how to present yourself as competent professional to your future employer. Those skills are natural for some, but not everyone and therefore you need to think about your future and start preparations now.
So what am I doing now? I started Science Bridge, where we train people like you, who are looking for a job after graduation, but either they don’t know where to start or they were unsuccessful thus far.
How does Science Bridge help? We offer free webinars as well as pre-paid semi-interactive courses on CV building, networking, personal branding and interview preparation, coaching and much more.
If you want more information visit our website www.sciencebridge.co.za