Job woes

posted
07-Jan-20, 15:22
Avatar for sciencegirl3456
posted about 3 months ago
Hi everyone,

I need some advice I defended my PhD viva in December subject to minor corrections. Since I handed in in September I have been applying for jobs in research and mostly in academia but a few in industry. I have had a few interviews but no job offers yet. All my interview feedback has been very good but always there was someone slightly more skilled than you or had published more.I have had my CV checked by a prof at Harvard and she said it was good and my cover letters have been checked by a number of profs and postdocs all good there too. If I can't get a job I can't get anymore experience whilst my PhD lab is great they have no money to keep me. Most of my cohort all have jobs already.

I am feeling a bit trapped here. I am struggling to find the motivation to do my PhD corrections because it seems pointless because I can't get a job. Yes, I know the job market is tough but when everyone asks if I have a job it gets me down.My advisor thinks it's a numbers game and that my % of interviews to applications is correct.

Does anyone have any advice or tips for the job search or on how to get motivated to do the thesis corrections? Has anyone else been in a similar situation and if so what did you do?
posted
07-Jan-20, 20:22
edited about 24 seconds later
by Nead
Avatar for Nead
posted about 3 months ago
Hi Sciencegirl

Try to get down on this. I was applying for jobs for 6 months in both industry and academia, before I got a job offer. I was applying to about 4 jobs a week. I started applying before submitting my thesis. I found industry telling me I had no relevant experience after multiple interviews. I eventually got a job as a contract researcher for in a field completely different from my PhD, but using some of the same skill set. I took it and continue to apply to other roles, and within 3 months of that, I was offered a post-doc (related to my PhD) by a prof, who is well known in the area (Didn't think I stood a chance of getting it). I don't know where you're from, but where I live the last quarter of the year sucks applying for jobs, company and academic are at the end of their yearly budget, money tight, and admin staff are being pulled in a different direction, and hiring new staff isn't top of the list.

My tips
1. Change your CV to suit every job application- make sure the skills they want you to have are clearly shown in your CV.
2. Keep a list of jobs you have applied to - you don't want to send your CV to them twice
3. Try applying for roles that you have skills for- they don't have to be in the same area as your PhD.
4. Send speculative CV to wear you'd like to work
5. In interviews make sure you asked question at the end- The question I found a lot of people like is - How does your company/dept measure the KPI of the personal ? or in research goals, what target do you see your lab achieving over the next 6 months to a year.
6. Look up salary and make sure when they ask you what you're looking for you don't over or underprice yourself out of the competition.

In terms of thesis correction, remember there is a deadline in which they have to be submitted. When you do get a job it will be harder to get them done. I had my job a month, took time off for my viva and then had to do correction in the evening. It was tough after a long day in work.
posted
08-Jan-20, 18:23
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for sciencegirl3456
posted about 3 months ago
I am hoping that now Christmas is over that there will be more jobs to apply for. I am going to widen my search to abroad (not UK) as well but the thought of moving abroad terrifies me but I need money... I have tried speculatively for the USA but unfortunately the only lab interested did not get the funding but I agree it might be worth trying again. I guess if I don't get anything soon I will take some related science job not research based and just accept research wasn't meant to be.

You are 100% right about the thesis corrections, my supervisor gave me a telling off for not doing them as she says it will increase my chance of getting a job when they are done because they know for sure I have a PhD awarded. I ddi start the corrections today.

Thank you!

Quote From Nead:
Hi Sciencegirl

] I don't know where you're from, but where I live the last quarter of the year sucks applying for jobs, company and academic are at the end of their yearly budget, money tight, and admin staff are being pulled in a different direction, and hiring new staff isn't top of the list.

In terms of thesis correction, remember there is a deadline in which they have to be submitted. When you do get a job it will be harder to get them done. I had my job a month, took time off for my viva and then had to do correction in the evening. It was tough after a long day in work.
posted
15-Jan-20, 19:36
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for sciencephd
posted about 3 months ago
[quote]Quote From sciencegirl3456:
I am hoping that now Christmas is over that there will be more jobs to apply for. I am going to widen my search to abroad (not UK) as well but the thought of moving abroad terrifies me but I need money... I have tried speculatively for the USA but unfortunately the only lab interested did not get the funding but I agree it might be worth trying again. I guess if I don't get anything soon I will take some related science job not research based and just accept research wasn't meant to be.

You are 100% right about the thesis corrections, my supervisor gave me a telling off for not doing them as she says it will increase my chance of getting a job when they are done because they know for sure I have a PhD awarded. I ddi start the corrections today.

Thank you!

[quote]
Actually you don't need to worry about money. As far as I know, US universities pay new postdocs a 'relocation fee', which will make your moving easier.

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