Are you a student writing up your thesis and at the same time worrying about searching for your first research position? Or maybe you are a postdoc with soon ending contract and it is time to start looking for a new post?…
For many of us job search is connected with worries about finding one, uncertainty about getting the right job in the right place and anxieties about the interview. If you have a girl-friend, a boy-friend or a partner to take into account in your job search, then you are particularly vulnerable to the geographical location of your next job.
You are given plenty of advice to apply for a number of good labs around the world in your area of research and then see where you get invited for an interview. It is assumed by default that finding the right job is difficult because of the shortage of positions, bad economy, high competition, because “life is tough” etc etc… In case of looking for a job when you have a partner it is immediately assumed you will have a “two body problem”. All of this makes us have a scarcity mentality and have a negative attitude to the job search.
On top of this come your own fears and anxieties originating from your particular situation. Delayed masters or PhD thesis submission and defense, money worries, fears about managing it all, family situation and anxiety about making the right step in your career. Moving to a different country or continent can seem life changing and intimidating.
I have felt all of the above. I searched for a job while writing up my thesis, just to start another round of applications when my two-year postdoc was ending. I made reactive choices. I overreacted. My move from Edinburgh to a famous lab in the USA right after my PhD might have seemed like a wise and logical move in my career progression. But deep inside I knew I was running away from misunderstandings in relationships with family and friends.
Since then I have also learned to look for a job in a different way, that is in a creative way. And I also felt the difference. (Just imagine that you could have had the job you are having right now MINUS all the aggravation that came with the job search).
And today I want to share with you how you can start your next job search differently, by being more creative rather than just reacting to circumstances.
Before you even update your CV and submit your first application, start creating your ideal job in your mind. Ask yourself where would you like to live, what would you like to do first thing in the morning, what do you do for your work/personal fulfillment, what time do you start your work, what do you do during your working hours, what conversations do you have with your colleagues, what do you do for a family/friends/hobby time, what do you do in the evening/weekends, how do you end your day? Ask yourself how do you want to feel at your new job.
Get clear on those questions and don’t listen to the voices in your head that tell you not to be a dreamer and grab first thing that comes up. “Life is tough, science is so competitive” might seem to you like a reality, but it is only so because we all agree to believe in it. It does not have to be this way. You can decide to create your ideal job in your mind first, hold on to that image and believe that what you create in your mind you create in reality
How exactly will this help you to find the job closest to your ideal or make the job search a more pleasant experience? The way it works is that by getting clear on your preferences you start to notice opportunities that are in alignment with your vision. These opportunities are always there around you, it is just that our worries and anxieties prevent us from seeing them. Noticing these opportunities allows you to follow-up on them and make creative choices rather than react to the situation.
Are you getting stressed about the job search and the upcoming application round? Check out this training that is specially created to help scientists and researchers to go through the job search with clarity, focus and confidence!