The second episode of the PhD Career Guide PODCAST is now up and available for download from iTunes, Stitcher, and many other podcast directories. You may also listen to the episode directly on the PODCAST page!
In this episode Dr. Lawrence Sasso discusses his journey through graduate school and the process of becoming the founder and president of the medical device company Fluimetrics. This episode has some especially great advice for anyone who might be thinking about taking an entrepreneurial route after graduation. Among the many topics that we discuss, we specifically touch on who you should be talking to, what you should be reading, and steps that you should be taking right now if you want to take your research and spin it off into a new venture.
As always, please consider helping out by leaving a positive iTunes review and spreading the word by telling your friends and colleagues.
The wait is over: the first episode of the PhD Career Guide PODCAST is now up and available for download from iTunes, Stitcher, and many other podcast directories. You may also listen to the episode directly on the PODCAST page. This episode's guest is Dr. Nathan Vanderford, who shares his story of becoming Assistant Director for Research at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center while also serving as Founder/Operator of Integrative Academic Solutions.
There is a lot of great information and actionable advice for all graduate students, so you definitely don't want to miss out on this one. Nathan is a clear proponent of taking a multidisciplinary approach to graduate education and stresses the importance of developing marketable skills while in graduate school.
If you enjoy the episode, be sure to leave a positive iTunes review and tell your friends and colleagues.
Many graduate students and post-docs are looking at non-academic career alternatives, and the opportunities abound. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, fewer than half of all PhDs will hold tenure-track positions. But life outside the academy can be hugely rewarding and PhDs can find jobs in development, marketing, sales support, administration or management that go beyond bench work or basic research. And there are a wide variety of jobs in different types of companies: for profit, non-profit, industry, government, military, consulting and on and on.
What's the best place for you? People look for different things in a job: one person might want to change the world, while another just wants a paycheck. What do you want out of a job? I put together an online questionnaire based on Tamara Erickson's "archetypes of work-related passions" from her book Plugged In (Harvard Business Press: 2008). (I have changed some of the questions and renamed her personality categories.) By taking the quiz you can determine your work personality and get suggestions about what kinds of organizations are compatible with your work style.
It's a short quiz and should only take you about five minutes to complete. When you're done you'll see your score and links to the kinds of organizations where you'll best fit in.
Take the quiz now...
About the author: Doug Kalish is an educator, consultant and serial entrepreneur with a PhD in biology who has founded or been an early executive in four companies. In the summer of 2011, he began “dougsguides” to help college students make the transition from academia to the business world. He now devotes most of his time touring college campuses spreading the dougsguides message.
Some might think it narcissistic, but Googling yourself gives you a glimpse of what the rest of the world sees when someone is interested in discovering more about you. In social situations, like after a first date, the consequences of unflattering search results can be embarrassing to be sure (oh, that’s why they never called me back…). However, the real danger is the damage that can be done in professional situations like when you are looking for a job and recruiting managers decide to do their due diligence. That being said, stop reading and Google yourself right now, I’ll wait…
OK, now don’t hyperventilate; everything’s going to be just fine (probably). Your main focus should be the first page of results that comes up since most people don’t bother going any further than that when casually doing background internet snooping. What you saw on that first page of results can basically be sorted into one of three categories:
While specific details will vary, there are steps that you can take right now to address each of these situations:
For the situation where you have unflattering pictures posted from one of your social networking accounts, just delete them or make certain that you have your privacy settings set so that only your friends have access to your information and photos. If it happens to be one of your friends or family that posted an unfortunate picture and tagged you so that it appears in searches, untag yourself or contact them and explain how you would rather not have pictures of yourself be public without your permission.
If you happen to have a rather common name or are just really unlucky and discover that there are some unsavory characters coming up when you Google your full name, I have some good news and some bad news. Bad news first: there is really nothing that you can do to take the bad results down. The good news is that you can send the bad results down indirectly by creating new results that outrank the bad stuff, hopefully pushing your evil namesake off of the first page of results. How might this be done? Create some new web pages that display your name prominently!
Once all of these steps are taken, you’ll be surprised how quickly you and your accounts/web pages dominate the first page of search results. Even if you don’t have anything negative show up and you fall into that third category of being able to show your search results to dear old grandma, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by taking these steps to show that you are an active member of the internet society (there aren’t that many companies these days that consider technophobes viable candidates).
The bottom line is that the content on that first page of search results when someone Googles your name is not something to be taken lightly. In addition to any social consequences of embarrassing search results, there’s also a very real chance that the negative things listed could prevent you from getting that dream job that you’ve had your eye on. You now have the tools to fix those blemishes so no excuses, hop to it!
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