Thursday, June 5, 2014

Creating A Job

Many students have asked me about this one.

"How do I take my PhD and make myself a job? That option exists? I thought I just had to sift through and apply to as many job listings as I can."

This might work for some, but it sometimes proves to be an exhaustive, time-consuming exercise with nothing to show for at the end.

"I applied to 20 jobs and nothing! Why did I write up a PhD?!"

Why does this happen? This means you were too broad. You are casting a too wide of a net. You need to find your specialty, focus on your strengths. Market yourself. Effective marketing of your science and soft skills will land you a job, listed, hidden or created.

So, how do you create a job? Such ambition will require at least 2 years so start early! Your 2 options in creating a job are:

1. Starting you own company
2. Creating a position at an existing company or institution

If you are opting for option 1 then you need business skills. An MBA, miniMBA or some sort of business course at the School of Continuing Studies is helpful. If you are aiming for option 2, then you need to find the key players, find possible funding, know the language. Here is a useful article by Chris Gaborit which all PhD students should read, especially points 2 and 3.

Stay tuned for details of option 2.

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