During your industry job search, you are a product introducing yourself to new markets.
When you go to typical University or PhD, biotech, or biopharma-labeled events, you’re introducing yourself to what is known as Red Ocean markets. These markets are full of your competitors. The markets are bloody and unlikely to yield any results. Start introducing yourself to Blue Ocean markets–events where you will meet people who won’t compete with you and who will help you get the industry position you want.
Segment every part of your job search.
Each person you interact with–whether it be a reference, hiring manager, or recruiter–should be treated as a separate audience. Your goal is to engage with these people in whichever way benefits them the best. If you want to get a job over other candidates, you must start tailoring your approach, messages, and resumes to make things as easy as possible for them, now you. Here’s how.
If you want a non-academic job, stop thinking like an academic. PhDs stay stuck in academia, not because they are incapable of transitioning quickly and successfully into industry, but because they refuse to trade in their outdated academic mindset for a new, industry-trained mindset. Here are the two biggest reasons some PhDs never trade in their academic mindset and, as a result, never transition into industry.
There is immense value in getting your PhD. A PhD is a high-level achievement and it should not just be handed out to anyone.
That being said, you should not have to endure harassment or workplace bullying to get a PhD. You should not be forced to get some magical piece of data to graduate when your lab can’t even afford a working centrifuge. You should not live in fear and be pressured to stay in a system that does not have the means of compensate you fairly. You do not have to accept this. The academic career track is now a dead end career track. But the biggest reasons behind the death of academia are not in the numbers, they’re in the day-to-day lifestyle that PhDs have to endure.
Every graduate student and technician knows that postdocs are the keepers of the lab.
Postdocs know the most current technologies and methodologies, they know the literature, they know where everything is in the lab, and they know how to get reagents from other labs. Altogether, postdocs know how to get things and how to things done. These are the same skills that make postdocs great industry employees.