Chances are good that if you have considered moving into a communication heavy career, someone has at some point suggested you keep a writing portfolio.
If you are like me, you nodded sagely and left confused. What is a writing portfolio? And what do I put in mine, if I am working as a scientist?
Believe it or not, but being a scientist leaves you with quite a few career choices in both science-related and unrelated fields.
You do want to choose carefully, because moving back into a field that you previously left definitely has some challenges. However, in some cases, it can work to your advantage as well, since you will likely have acquired skills that are both valuable and rare, once you return.
When I accepted a position as a scientific recruiter after I completed my postdoc, it was for a few different reasons.
Before I begin, let me say that there are several types of medical/science writing roles, and the projects one works on within each role, can vary.
I work for a healthcare communications agency on the commercial side of an oncology product. Projects I work on can be physician-or patient-facing, for sales training (so the sales reps can actually get physicians to use the drug), or for the marketing team (so they know what they need to know to market the drug effectively).
My name is Clement Weinberger, and I am a freelance medical writer. I retired as Director of Medical Communications in the Medical Affairs Department of a biopharma company about 6 years ago, and started a freelance business.
Of course, my professional life didn't start there. In this, and in forthcoming blogs, I'll tell you how, and why my career path led from postdoc to where I am now, hoping that you will find some of my experiences both interesting and useful.
Before you start to read this blog post, please take the time to note that it ends with a question mark.
That’s not to imply that “life” ends after grad school. It’s meant to imply that there are lots of things that a PhD can do.
After spending at least 25 years preparing for something, everyone hopes to achieve a career goal that satisfies their expectations, which are generally, and should be, high. Somehow this led me to think of the song “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”, which you may know as an early Rolling Stones hit song, first released in 1965.
This doesn’t sound much like the title of a career path blog, does it?
You most likely know it as the title of a song by Paul Simon, but while it may resonate with a lot of people, what specific relevance could it have to science PhDs and postdocs?
Well, it does make sense if your first love is Academia, you know, independent research and teaching in varying proportions, and you decide on a career change.
PhD students, and a majority of PhDs in science, spend many hours at the bench doing research designed to obtain results that will either confirm or reject a hypothesis.
They write, defend and revise a thesis. Along the way, and as soon and as often as possible afterward, they publish the results of subsequent research and comment on its significance.
At some point, you will have to choose journals to submit your articles to.
Finding the right journal is important because if your article isn’t published in a timely fashion, say within a year of a congress presentation, no one will know about it, and a delay will make someone ask, “why did it take so long?”
This time we're going to take a look at three foundational principles that will keep you organized and focused on your job search.
Anyone who has read my blogs for a long time knows that I am a firm believer in not spinning your wheels. Spinning your wheels causes anxiety, frustration, and hopelessness, and you as a job seeker cannot afford such things.