Finding a Job

Carol has earned a PhD in biology and completed 2 years of postdoctoral work in molecular genetics. She has heard that academic positions are hard to find, so before her postdoc concludes, she applies to several biotechnology firms doing work in her field. She is surprised to be turned down by all of them; several suggest that she seemed somewhat uncommunicative and unfamiliar with "corporate culture."

  • What might the firms have found lacking in Carol?
  • How could she have better approached a career in industry?

See Appendix A for a discussion of this scenario.

able positions at leading universities, firms, and government laboratories. As the academic and research job markets have tightened, employers have learned that they can pick from a larger pool of applicants. Will an institution hire a PhD fresh off the campus when it can hire a PhD with 1–4 years of postdoctoral experience?

However, knowing who you are and knowing what a position requires can be more helpful in finding a position than a long list of credentials. Says Richard Bolles, "the people who get hired are not necessarily those who will do the job best, but those who know the most about how to get hired." Finding a job is a learnable skill (Jensen 1995).

Consider everyone you meet along the way as a potential helper. A network of contacts among students, faculty, and friends is the springboard for your job search. Plug in to the alumni networks of your school, college, and even

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