Overly honest… job applications

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The Grindstone by Kathryn Decker (via flickr)

I am that stage in my life, where many friends/colleagues with whom I previously studied or worked together are quitting academic science. As someone who’s never applied for a real job I had/have no idea what that really means, and have been quite horrified by some of their stories. Apparently, job hunting is a full-time job in it’s own right where you need to keep track of your tens-to-hundreds of applications in complex excel sheets and 90% of the applications end up in some black hole, never to be heard of again. One former lab mate mentioned how, at some point, he had vented his frustration by writing an absurd mock application, which – upon request – he has dug out and allowed me to reproduce here. I hope it brings a little smile to everyone’s face – and some encouragement to those people who are still out there searching… Continue reading

Why finding a postdoc position is like (online) dating

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Finding the perfect date, science edition… Picture by Jonathan McPherskesen via flickr.

This year, I’ve received a surprisingly high number of e-mails from friends and former colleagues asking me for advice on what to do post-PhD. Now, first of all, I’ve been really honoured/humbled by this, although I wonder every time if I’m even the right person to dispense advice. After all, I don’t have a hell of a lot of experience and I certainly did get it wrong once*.  However, having now had a year of correspondence with various people, I’ve realized that I do have something to say on the topic. I have also come to realize that a lot of the advice that I dish out to people resembles things that I have heard about online dating**, and so I’ve decided to write out some of it***: Continue reading