I recently (a month ago) attended a seminar about jobs after graduation, and figured I’d share that information here. This is the information on getting a job outside academia.
These are questions you should ask yourself when looking for a job:
- What would you be happy with? vs what could you do for a few years to get by?
- Would you rather do individual or team work?
- Do you want a job that’s intellectually stimulating all the time or not?
- How do the money and benefits stack up for that particular area?
- What are your current skills? (Make a list of your skills and things you are currently doing. Selling yourself outside of the academy is harder.)
Experiences Needed Outside of Your Academic Area
- Communication ability to a broad audience (giving the big picture)
- Leadership/management skills. (You can get these from clubs, organizations, volunteer groups: don’t just be a member, but have a position in the group.)
- Budget management
- Networking skills
- Jobs usually posted within companies before nationally.
- Seek out opportunities, do informal interviews: call up a company’s HR department and ask for things in the future, even if none are available right now.
- LinkedIn is a good place to be
- Internships and Summer Internships: consulting firms will bring people in for 3 days/week or short shadowing positions.
Applications And Materials
You should have a few versions of your resume. A CV generally lists all publications and presentations, running about 5-8 pages. For outside academia, have a resume as well, which runs only about 1-2 short pages. Note: filling out one job application can take 2-5 hours to prepare.
Getting a Job Unrelated to Your Degree
It is possible to get a job outside your degree area. There are a few things that you can do to help out with this:
- Research the company you want to work for.
- Find out who they normally hire.
- What would you be doing in that position? Ex: identifying problems, research, problem solving, etc.
- In your cover letter to that company, say what they are looking for and then how your (different) set of skills match that description.