Does anyone know how I could go about finding a career counselor that can help an "ex-academic" in some way to find a job in "real world"? Essentially, I am looking for type of counseling service that is similar to K Kelsky's "Professor Is In," but with expertise in and inside knowledge of biotech/life science. I know this forum cannot recommend individuals directly, but maybe you can tell me where/how to look. I would love to hear other people stories: if anyone used a career coach/help in "Life Sciences", how did you find that person and how did you know that you are getting sensible guidance?
I am a former "life scientist" (molecular biologist). I am aware of "Cheeky Scientist's Association", but I would never-ever approach an company that employs such a predatory marketing strategy.
I would like to provide an excerpt from someone else's blog post to explain my problem:
I was desperate to find jobs in industry and somehow got hold of the CEO of a mid-sized pharmaceutical firm for an interview. I didn’t get the job because he couldn’t see where to fit me in his organization. Take for example, as he ran through the choices:
- I can’t put you in sales or marketing because you’ve never sold a product
- I can’t give you a manufacturing or production role since they require different expertise such as GMP, GLP, etc unrelated to yours
- I can’t assign you a role in quality control/regulatory since you’re not aware of the compliance and regulatory issues related to the pharmaceutical industry
- We like so many pharma companies are into generics and there is no R&D arm; so I’m not sure where to have you within us”
None of this was done in a condescending way. It’s the reality. And then I understood this: Really world values different set of skills (life skills) over academic smartness.
Unfortunately, this was precisely my experience as well during a really intense job search a few years ago. As far as pharma/biotech is concerned, they look for either people with 10 to 15 years of industry experience, knowledge of industry-specific regulations, credentials etc. Alternatively, they need B.Sc. or, at most, M.Sc. to work as technicians in control or on a production line. I feel that I have exhausted my creativity and completely lost now. I had extremely damaging experience in "academia" (from a bad Ph.D to a horrible postdoc). I do not believe that I have any competitive edge, to be honest. I feel like I do need an external council, but with a professional who knows the field.
P.S. To make it really clear: I have no chances for successful "academic" career and I do not want to waste time and effort chasing it. I desperately need a non-academic career. However, I cannot find anywhere the guidance/career coaching that I need.
P.P.S. I was a "wet-lab" scientist. People refuse to understand that there is a HUGE difference in employ-ability between bio-statisticians, bioinformaticians and people of this ilk and "Wet-lab scientists".
It took me ~ 12 months to find a job of a project manager on "soft money" at a small University. I have applied like crazy all across Canada. Now things start to collapse due to politics and ever-absent/super-busy PI of the project. I simply do not have administrative power to hold people to account and make things work. I am out of ideas now. Seriously. I am sick and tired of academic BS.
I have no imagination left. No ideas. Zero. I do not do drugs. I am out of any ideas. I need a career coach, a creative writer, a fairy-tale writer, I do not know whom to get some fresh ideas. I cannot live like this anymore.