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Career Transitions for Scientists

My latest Memphis Daily News column is out, “Career Transitions for Scientists.” In it, I provide advice on how to transition your job between different industries.

I’ve recently received multiple letters from scientists in the research community with questions about their career transitions. Most likely, this is because of Memphis’ thriving medical research community. After all, Memphians are developing new technologies for things from vaccines to cancer cures.

Researchers struggle with a problem workers in all sectors face: how to change industries. Most get into research with a three- to five-year contract. But this is not before completing a lengthy Ph.D. program. By the time their contract ends, the researcher may be in their 30s or early 40s.

With no experience in corporate America, and with little support about where to begin, many of these brilliant scientists struggle to decide what’s next. The most common choices are to continue in research or to take the corporate route. Often, staying on the same path is easier, but it is not always the most desirable choice.

To read my entire article, and learn about how you can transition to a new industry, visit the Memphis Daily News site here.

Also, if you have a friend who is in this situation (nearing the end of their research contract), please forward a copy of my article to them. I was truly surprised to learn how many people are struggling with the issue of whether or not to leave research, and how to get into corporate.


Conquering Rumors

My latest Memphis Daily News column is out, “Conquering Rumors.” In it, I provide advice on how to prepare when you hear rumors that a layoff may be coming at your job.

It seems that every week there’s another rumor. Some big corporation is going to lay off its employees. A company’s going to relocate to another city. A department is going to be restructured.

Whatever rumor you’re hearing, it can make you nervous. It can even keep you up at night. You may wonder how long it will take to find another job – or worse, if you’ll find one at all. What if you have to move? What if you can’t sell your house? Most of all, you may worry about how the situation could impact your family’s future.

If you find yourself in this boat, you’re not alone. Whether or not a layoff ever occurs, the thought can be daunting. The best thing you can do is be prepared. In fact, this even goes for when there are no rumors at all. It’s better to start early than late.

To read my entire article, and learn about how you can conquer layoff rumors, visit the Memphis Daily News site here.


Dressing for Career Success

My latest Memphis Daily News column is out, “Dressing for Career Success.” In it, I provide tips on what to wear to ‘knock ’em dead’ at your next interview.

You’ve been applying online for months, and finally something has clicked. You have an interview in a few days for the perfect job at the best company in town.

This scenario sounds great on the surface, but can often lead to stress and anxiety when job seekers prepare to suit up for their next interview. And it makes sense, because your outfit can impact your overall interview success.

A friend who lives on the more casual West Coast interviewed for a position in the more formal East Coast. Unaware of the difference, he wore jeans, surprised everyone with his casual attire and lost out on the job.

Fortunately, there are a few simple rules you can follow to help you prepare. Overall, you want to minimize distractions. A job interview is about your skills. It’s about what you bring to the table. Dressing in an inappropriate or flashy way will take the attention away from your talent.

To read my entire article, and learn about how you can dress for success, visit the Memphis Daily News site here.


Scaling Your Career

My latest Memphis Daily News column is out, “Scaling Your Career.” In it, I encourage you to consider transition between different industries – and to learn about the differences that may hold you back during your search.

One of the most exciting career transitions job seekers make is changing industries. You may want to move from nonprofit to corporate or from a large organization to a small business. These moves expose you to a new workplace and can reenergize you if you’re feeling burnt out in your current environment.

However, the one issue many job seekers struggle to understand is scalability. Scalability is an understanding of how your old work environment translates into your new work environment.

For example, a friend was recently working as a manager at a major university. He had 75 employees, large-scale projects and an impressive budget. Interested to move to a corporate job, he was concerned about titles such as “manager” and “director” that appeared on job postings. In the university setting, these titles were reserved for a select few with expansive responsibilities.

To read my entire article, and learn about how you can learn more about how to scale your career, visit the Memphis Daily News site here.


Networking Over Coffee

My latest Memphis Daily News column is out, “Networking Over Coffee.” In it, I encourage you to expand your network and learn more about new industries.

Workers change jobs more frequently now than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees only stay at a job for a little over four years on average.

In the past, people making quick transitions were sometimes looked at as flaky or unstable. Today, it’s common to assume those who transition more frequently are also more experienced. They’ve seen different environments, and have been forced to grow their skills.

If you’ve decided to become part of this growing trend, you may wonder where to start. You’ll need to decide if you want to keep the same type of job, or try something new, and whether or not to stay in the same industry. When changing careers, it’s often easiest to either keep the same job function in a new industry – or try a new job function in the same industry.

But first, you need to decide which job function, and which industry. This is a place where people often get stuck. They wonder how to gather enough information to make this decision.

To read my entire article, and learn about how you can learn more about different industries and jobs, visit the Memphis Daily News site here.