Friday, February 13, 2009

Job Nibbles

So, I had decided long ago not to try for academia at this point in my career.  If I could do a postdoc, I would, but there are few opportunities for that in my field.  I'm generally just not ready.

So, industry it is.  As I've mentioned before, the job market is terrible right now.  So I've had to branch out some in my search, to places where I hadn't expected to look and/or aren't exactly right up my alley.  And some of them are nibbling, because they're in industries not hurting as badly as my "home" industry.

On the one hand, I feel so frustrated because these are not research jobs.  These are not jobs I've spent years in graduate school to do.  These are "beneath" me, so to speak.  At least, the me of a year ago would have thought so.  However, all the natural job fits for me right now are totally frozen solid. What does that say about my potential industry?  I don't know.  I am sure it will thaw, and everyone assures me it will thaw, but when....??

On the other hand, these other possibilities are potentially exciting jobs, in a different area of expertise than I have and an opportunity to try something new.  They are probably faster-paced, and way closer to product.  They are quite a departure from what I know, and this might be the perfect time to try something else on for size.  The academic snob in me inherently thinks the farther from end user you are, the cooler, because that implies larger scope/range/research possibilities.  Another part of me says, "but this might be the hot place to be!  And what you do here could potentially have a lot more impact!!"

So....I'm at odds with myself.  But I have a few nibbles from these other jobs, phone reach-outs so far, and I have a lot of preparation to do before things move to the next level, because, as I've said, these are not areas in which I am an expert in.  These jobs will rely a lot more on my practical knowledge than my ability to analyze, theorize, and wonder about far-off things...But you know, beggars can't be choosers.

Sigh/kinda exciting, depending on my mood.


Mrs. Comet Hunter said...

It's always good to expand your skill set :) So, even if you take a job that's a bit far from your research, it'll allow you to keep learning - and that will help when you go to find another job down the line (if you end up doing so).

I tell my husband this ('cause he'll be looking for a job soon): keep in mind that a job doesn't have to be forever. It's easy to move on if you don't like it or want to do something else. That's the beauty of industry :)

Good luck!

PhizzleDizzle said...

You're so right MCH! That's what I'm trying to tell myself, the positive spin on things...when things thaw, I can always go back, but who knows, maybe I will like this better. It's hard to say. Must charge on with optimism and confidence! You never know in advance how things will turn out!

Jenn, PhD said...

well, if it does turn out that you like the new thing better, I guess you won't have so many regrets about taking that route instead of the original intended path... Sure hope it turns out for you!

PhizzleDizzle said...

Thanks Jenn!! :):) I hope so too.

Gail Carmichael said...

It's funny how, when things don't work out according to your original plans, it can sometimes end up being even better than those plans anyway!

I had always planned on heading to industry after my undergrad - the only hard part was deciding which company that was interested in me from my co-op terms I'd actually choose. Research and grad school never crossed my mind until a prof talked me into applying for an NSERC scholarship (one of the big ones for CS here). A week before the application was due. I somehow managed to get it done, won the higher version of it, and here I am! Now I don't think about industry very often anymore! ;)

Although I almost always have a set path in mind, I also try to always leave myself open to other opportunities. By trying out something you never expected yourself to do, you may just discover another true passion and talent. Or not. Like someone already said, a job doesn't have to be forever.

Hope those nibbles turn into an awesome company reeling you in!

Toaster Sunshine said...

Hey, at least it's not a job as a product representative, right?

(Not that product reps are inherently bad. They have jobs to do too, but still, they make me glad that my lab is so out-of-the-way and hidden that I cannot be found without appointment.)

PhizzleDizzle said...

Thanks Gail! I remain hopeful as well.

Toaster Sunshine: Welcome to the blog! And I have to admit, I don't know if I know what a product representative does! It sounds like a lot of talking though...which, though I like to talk, doesn't sound like my kind of thing, so I guess, yes - I suppose I'm glad the nibbles aren't for product representative jobs :).