Tag: academiatoindustry

Reflections on my job search this year

As I’m looking at both the calendar and my various goal lists—I’ve realized that I’ve become slightly stagnant in terms of trying to transition into an industry role from academia. Though on an upbeat note, I think I’ve also managed to pinpoint certain areas that have been behind the stagnation in my transition.

Some of the things that I’ve been “allowing” to slow down my transition have been the following:

I’m still not completely sure what I want to do in industry.I know of things that I don’t want to do (which I know if almost half the battle of job searching), but I’m still bouncing between different perspective job titles/positions.

I’m extremely slow in networking/adding value to connections. It isn’t that I don’t want to connect and build a strong network—it’s just I feel award in my progression (probably a hang-up of childhood) and attempts in doing it.

I don’t consider myself an “expert” in things—I enjoy science, but I don’t do nearly as much scientific reading as I should be doing (something I hope to start correcting come the new year).

I have very little knowledge of the biotech, biopharm, and agricultural business worlds (and I read even less on those topics).

So how can I try to fix these issues so that I’m still not stagnate on my career transition, this time next year?

In terms of networking and adding value I’m going to do the following:

Strike up at least 5 linkedin conversations a week (even if it’s just going back and thanking someone for accepting my connection request). I’ll go through and make a spreadsheet (and then a weekly list of who I want to reconnect with) and keep track of things that way. I’ll also try to set aside a specific time period daily to do this.

I’ll also start being more active on linkedin (in terms of liking and commenting on people’s posts). I will also try to be more active indifferent groups on linkedin as well.

In reconnecting with my linkedin network, it will also hopefully help me in time also answer the question of: what position(s) do I want to be targeting. Also over time it should also allow for me to start setting up informational interviews (even if they’re over the phone or via Skype or zoom).

When it comes to trying to determine what position(s) that I may want to start targeting, I’ve realized that it will also require a bit of soul searching, and assessment. I’d actually started doing some of the different assessment quizzes last fall (after becoming unemployed for the third time) to try and start figuring out my strengths and weaknesses.

Though I’ve also realized that after doing the different assessment quizzes, I looked at the results, contemplated them for a while and then shuffled them away and basically “forgot” about them until recently. Going back through one of the assessments, I’ve realized that I’m more of a thinker and a doer, than a manager type of person (based on my Clifton Strength Assessment profile; another post coming on this topic). I’ve realized that I’d probably be happier in positions where I’m learning/thinking/working in a team than being a solo worker and having to oversee a lot of people.

So in addition to trying to figure out the professional lifestyle that I want, I need to make sure that it also complements the personal lifestyle that I want as well. This means that I would prefer positions that allow me to continue to learn and grow, but at the same time has a “manageable” time frame—basically I would prefer job positions that don’t exceed fifty to sixty hour workweeks (basically no more than an ten to possibly twelve hour work day). I know that long days (and possible weekends) are a part of doing scientific research, but I would like that to be balanced with “normal”or even “short” workdays as well.

What am I going to do in terms of becoming an “expert” in my “field”?

One of the things that I’ve realized that I don’t do enough of is reading scientific papers. This is in part due to the fact that through grad school and then both my postdoc positions, I was “semi” limited on the papers that I should be reading. Basically, I was told that I should really just focus on the papers in my field. This meant either reading small RNA papers (both grad school and my first postdoc) or yeast cell cycle regulation papers (my second postdoc). In theory I could still read other papers in other areas, but it had to be in my “free time”, not when I was at work. So, in part I quit reading scientific papers as a way of “thumbing my nose” at everyone. Not the most mature thing to do, but at the time it was how I felt.

So, now I’m going to write a list of scientific topics that interest me; (and see if I can branch out from things I’ve been around fo ryears) and then start downloading different papers in those areas. One goal is going to be trying to write a small review on one or two papers a week for the blog (adding to the science section).

I’m also going to try to read at least one article every other day from various biotech pages, and start following different companies. Basically, I’m going to start trying to get out of the academia mindset and start branching out into the biotech/business mindset as well.

I’m also going to try to get to at least one national meeting in 2019. There are three in the spring (and two are almost back to back in Orlando) that I need to decide which I’m going to attend. Going to a national meeting will allow me to both network more and also see what new trends are happening in the various scientific fields (and hopefully will give me some more ideas for blog (or scientific) topics.

So basically, the goals for 2019 are to get better at time management, and make it the year I transition into an industry position. Look for most posts, as I’m also going to blog updates as a way of accountability as well.

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Weekly Update on Job Transition Plan

So I’m currently in the process of trying to move my job transition into industry into a higher gear than what I’ve been doing for the past year. I’ve realized that I’ve allowed having a job to give me a little too much breathing room, and that I need to start acting like the job is going to be ending and kick things into high gear.

So one thing I’m going to be trying to do is write at least one weekly summary of some of the things I’ve been doing over the week in pushing the transition forward. Read More

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Update on Job Transition: Trying to Narrow down the List

So while I’ve been slowly trying to figure out my transition plan, it seems that the universe is giving me a nudge to get everything moving a little faster (I won’t get into that topic here). So over the weekend I went back through both the career guide map and the handbook to see what titles/jobs sounded interesting and I’m still looking between six to eight different titles/positions:

R&D scientist (or R&D project manager)—the scientist position would almost be me staying within my comfort zone (research), though I’m thinking of looking at other industries other than biomedical/biopharma. Trying for the project manager position would be stepping outside of my comfort zone but at the same time staying within research (I have bought a project management e-bundle course through e-courses4you (and it also comes with a certificate) I just haven’t finished it yet)).

The others would all be stepping outside of my comfort zone (which is something that the more I think about it—the more appealing it is, scary but at the same time I’d be learning more than if I just stayed within “normal research”).

The other positions include:

Operation Research Analyst

Health Economist and Outcome Research

Market Research Analyst

Marketing Communication Specialist

Clinical Data Manager

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Specialist

Quantitative Analyst

I know that most will require some base knowledge of programming (which is why I’ve also bought several programming e-courses off of stackskills that I have to still work through). While writing still isn’t my most favorite thing in the world to do, I know that in order to get better at it, I need to do it—so some of the positions would be pushing me out my comfort zone that way (in addition to my posting on my blog; though these for the most part are photos with a small blurb).

My new goals are that by the end of September (and while I know that seven weeks away—it will be here before I know it); I’ve determined within the R&D question which industry sector & companies I would want to work for, as well as looking into the companies for the other positions as well. At the same time I’m going to add value to connections (and continue growing my linkedin network as well); that way hopefully by early October I can set up a few informational interviews, leading to referrals and hopeful on site interviews throughout the winter. My main goal is to hopefully transition into an industry position in the spring. My current position is guaranteed through Thanksgiving (and possibly the New Year), but I have decided that I’m tired of the toxic environment that academia has become, the fact that this position is a dead-end position, and the fact that I have let myself be bogged down both by fear of the unknown and the fear of possible failure.

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Leo New Moon Goals

So the moon is entering yet another constellation—Leo, the might lion. It’s hard to believe that we’re over half way through the year—but as much as I’d like time to slow down, I know that it won’t.

                        Leo New Moon Goals

So what are some fun facts about the Leo constellation?


If you look back into Greek mythology, the lion is based off of one of Hercules’ 12 labors—killing the Nemean lion. He managed the feat by strangling the lion and then placed the body in the heavens.

              The Leo Constellation. (c)space.com

Leo is the fifth sign of the Zodiac, and is considered to be a masculine, extroverted sign.

The best time to see the constellation for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere is during the spring season (namely in April just after dark).


So there are a few things that one should try to do right around the peak of the new moon: 1) Show off—basically this is a time to celebrate life, so basically it’s a time to enjoy what’s going on around us. 2) Flirt—not something I’m probably going to be doing (as again I’m not in a relationship, and right now not looking to be in a relationship either). 3) Be creative—I have been trying to stay in touch with my creative side more (weekend walks at Boomer working on my photography skills and then learning coding for designing websites). 4) Self love—again this something that I’m constantly working on (limiting the negative self talk and practicing mindfulness). And finally 5) spoil yourself—meaning indulge a little and remember “you’re a hot little number with a lot to offer the world”.

So besides moving through Leo, the moon is also going through my 10th house—which is also known as the “Career Zone”. So I was right yesterday when I though that the universe was giving me a little nudge to continue fine tuning my transition plan.

There are numerous things that one can do during this time in regards to their career, but the ones I’m going to focus on include plotting my next best career move, thereby applying for new jobs with confidence (if I see any that match my goals, interests, and skills), and generally give myself a big push forward in moving on to the next step.

So my goals for the Leo New Moon include:

  • Narrowing down my top choices of industry positions;
  • Adding more value to connections (but being strategic at the same time) to hopefully gain informational interviews soon
  • Determine what my “brand” is both personal & professional
  • Start reading more in both the business world & the scientific world; and finally
  • Continue working through the data programming e-courses that I’ve bought


“Moonology: Plan and Predict Your way to Joy, Health and Abundance with the Magic of Lunar Cycles” by Yasmin Boland.

“Leo Constellation: Facts about the lion” https://www.space.com/16845-leo-constellation.html

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Thursday Thoughts

So one of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately is my career–I know that my current position is just a job–a way of earning money to pay off the debts (namely credit cards), but it isn’t something that I want to make a life out of doing. There isn’t any room for advancement, and at times the environment can be a little too much to handle (especially for a sarcastic introvert who at least knows when to keep the sarcasm to herself).

                      Thursday Thoughts

So I think I’d posted before that I’d almost settled on my top three positions of trying to transition into industry. I’d been thinking of doing R&D research; market research analyst, or maybe a product manager. But since then I’ve been thinking that growth comes from being slightly uncomfortable, and while there are a few things that probably won’t happen, I can try to step into an area I’m uncomfortable in and see if I can grow there and make a career “learning from the thing that makes me slightly uncomfortable”. So I’m thinking that my choices are going to be shaken up again, and while I’m going to keep R&D research & market analyst, I’m going to insert health economist in between them.

The main reason why I’d initially shied away from health economist, is the amount of writing that one has to do. I’m just starting to rediscover my enjoyment of writing for the sake of writing. Scientific writing is something that is a weak point for me (I was really never taught how to properly write a scientific paper or proposal), as I was always told my writing style was that of someone trying to tell a story. Writing short stories was something I use to enjoy doing (making up worlds and everything that went with it), but then going through college, grad school, and a couple of post-doc positions put a serious dent in my writing enjoyment. That enjoyment is something that I’m just starting to rediscover, and hopefully if I do land a position as an health economist–the writing won’t be that bad (more of writing reports than detailed papers).

The health economist position has been gaining more traction in my mind lately, as health and fitness is something that I’m interested in (and I would also say semi-passionate about). I think it would be nice to be able to maybe bridge science and the health/fitness world by going in the health economist direction.

Another thing that I’m going to focus on is getting back into shape and watching my nutrition. I’ve been trying to log my calories this week, and for the most part it has been okay, though I declare each day to be an estimation at the end, since several lunches were leftovers from restaurants and the program didn’t have that particular restaurant/food listed and therefore I went with the next best choice that I thought had probably about the same amount of calories as what I was eating. My reason for getting into the “best shape of my life” is to do some hikes–I’d like to hike at the Grand Canyon, I’d also like to hike to the Incan ruins in Peru as well; and to do either hike–I need to be in better shape than I am right now.

So that is where my dreams are leading–a different career path (most likely; or at least a different industry), and getting in better shape so that I can get out and enjoy more time in nature and see more of the natural wonders of the world, and the ancient ruins as well.

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Monday Motivation

Well today is the last day of April (my review of the month will be coming tomorrow), and I still would like to know where all the time has gone?? How is it, we are already through a third of the year??? Well with that being said, I know that I’m going to have to kick my job search into high gear during the coming summer months, which is why I think this motto is so fitting for both today and this week:

                         Monday Motivation

There have been times when I have either talked myself out of something that I wanted to try or into something that I wasn’t a hundred percent confident on–always by saying something like “what else were you going to do? or you don’t have enough time to find something else.” But there is always a way to get to the solution–sometimes its a straight shot, other times it’s like that really curvy road that you can find yourself on and you hope that your carsick pills still work.  Right now I’m thinking that my life is that really curvy road, and while it looks like I’m back at the beginning–its only because the road has curved back–it’s going to curve forward soon–I just have to stay on the path (not jumping off and actually having to start “X” number of steps behind where I’d initially started.

I know that for my fitness and health journey–I need to start cutting back on the highly processed foods, and getting in at least a twenty minute workout daily. If I keep track of my calories (and try to keep them below 2000 [preferably below 1800]) I should be able to start seeing some of the weight fall off again as long as I’m also doing some type of workout.

As far as my job search is concerned–I have an idea of how to proceed–all I have to do is turn it into an action plan, and then actually execute that plan, and then hopefully by October I’m settling into an industry position on the east coast.

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Tuesday Tip

So I’m switching things up in regards to my photography challenge–there are hopefully going to be a few more inspirational/motivational pictures going up instead of all cats, dogs, fish, birds, and nature (though those will still be coming as well).

                  Tuesday Tip

Today’s inspirational/motivational quote is something that I think everyone can use–a basic reminder that every day is a fresh start. As humans we seem to like to dwell on the past (yes it is good to remember important events–but the past is there for us to learn from, not repeat). There are times when I do think that as a human race we’re going to be doomed to repeat our pasts, due to that one saying ‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it’. So yes, we need to learn and remember–but not dwell on the fact that something bad had happened in the past (unless you have a time machine–there is little we can do about it now), we need to use it as a learning tool to make sure that some similar doesn’t happen again.

It also means that if you miss a workout, or if your nutrition isn’t spot on–tomorrow is a fresh start.

I also posted this because I needed the reminder that everyday is a fresh start.  A fresh start in my job search, my personal development journey, my professional development journey, and this blog. I know that there are days when I’m not going to do my workout, days when I don’t feel like trying to work on the job search, and that’s okay–tomorrow is another day, and it is one that has a blank slate. The daily story is whatever you want to write–it can be something fresh and new, an “edit” of a previous day, or a continuation of a previous day–the choice is yours.

No Comments fitnessHealthjob searchingPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentQuotes