Patience and perserverence

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Patience and perserverence

Postby John Fetzer » Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:41 pm

I feel the need to say some things which may be preaching or venting, but the tone of many posts on here from younger scientists seem very unrealistic. Many want that great job now. Wishing and expecting are two very different things. A career does not happen just because you have your doctorate, masters, or bachelors degrees. It takes time and effort.

Yes, the job market is tough now, but not impossible. Look at a position as a step and your career as a series of them. Even in a hot employment market, the best young researchers from a big-name professor's group will interview several times before getting a good offer.

Each young scientist must realize that a scientific career is thirty or more years long. You will still be a young Turk and unknown even after five years in a great position. You'll be a red-hot young investigator if you do well in your first ten years.

You will not find it all in one fell swoop nor will you build a reputation in a year or two. Take what you can at each step and make the most of it.

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Patience and perserverence

Postby Dave Jensen » Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:54 pm


Good comments. I have found that there is NEVER a good job market. Each scientific niche has its own ups and downs, and the only attitude that one needs to remember is the quote from that famous British admiral who won a big sea battle against all odds,

"We are so outnumbered, there's only one thing to do . . . We must attack."

It is that attitude that gets people jobs, no matter the job market. Ask most job seekers how much time they are committing to their job search and it averages about 20-30 minutes a day. That sure isn't qualfied as an "attack."

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“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”- Alain de Botton
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Patience and perserverence

Postby Kelly Ann » Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:24 am

Reading the comments on patience and perseverence made me think of my current job search. I was told that I should be patient in finding my first job out of graduate school. (I finished my masters degree in biochemistry in December).

For several months, I have been networking and sending off resumes (from a distance). I have had several interviews and feel that I am in a good position to have a job by the end of the month. I relocated back to the Bay Area a week ago (after taking a vacation) and almost feel overwhelmed by the possibilities that I have.

I know that my first position won't be perfect (and that there are steps to a career) but I don't think that I should comprimise my potential by accepting a job that I won't be happy with. I worked in industry between my degrees and saw too many unhappy people. There are soo many options out there (if you properly "attack" the market) that I think a different type of patience is warranted in taking a job.

With that said, I'll admit that having the patience and perserverence described has been hard for me to have at times. For example, I currently have a decent job offer that I can't decide if I want to accept or not (because there may be something better waiting).

I guess what I would like to know is how does one have that patience and perserverence to walk the line between not expecting too much but not expecting to little? I'll agree that one can make the most out of any position but what suggestions would you make to someone who has multiple offers lining up.

Is it really that wrong to expect the best?

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Patience and perserverence

Postby J.J. » Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:49 pm

I'd like to add the importance of flexibility to patience and perseverence. If you carefully define the parameters that you are looking for(location vs. salary vs. independence vs. prestige), you must be flexible on most other aspects of the job hunt in order to secure that first job. People who are inflexible for no reason are very frustrating to respond to.
So, when people post their situations, they should be more clear about the things that are nonstarters so that we can give better advice. If they can't move to a biotech hotspot for personal reasons, no big deal, but those people should be ready to look at a broad range of career options. And they should be ready to hear that advice from the forum.
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Patience and perserverence

Postby John Fetzer » Sun Feb 06, 2005 11:33 pm

Nothing wrong with expecting a lot, but the best? Your ideal job may not exist nor pop up in the next year or two or ten. Look at the good points and bad points, but remember that you are an active agent in your future. You can help reengineer your future by doing well in your first position and expanding it as your experience grows. Opportunities happen. I kep branching out from a base of my core job description until the branches were as challenging and fun as the core.....and often as important to my employer.

Do not pigeonhole yourself into the niche you are hired into. Always diversity. Without that you go down a path of technical obsolescence.

Make yourself a star researcher. Do not wait and let your job definitions decide for you. Afterall, most managers writing job descriptions write for short term or current needs. Other factors, such as a boss's personality can be very different once you are an employee rather than an interviewee....and bosses change. Look for potential, but set your mind to make even more.

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