Job Search



Find your Passion

Having talked with many life science employers and many scientist candidates for their jobs over the past five years, one overarching theme for successful candidates has come to mind. The most attractive candidates are those who have done the deep search to figure out what their “second passion”...



The Great Wall of Experience

As a number of the bloggers here have noticed, one of the biggest obstacles that postdocs face in moving into the commercial world is the dreaded “3-5 years of business experience” requirement seen in so many ads.  Many times, it seems as if there are no entry-level positions at all!&nb...



Help Me Help You on the Job Hunt

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking on another little “project” at work. This one won’t involve pipettes, chemicals, or the lab bench. Instead, it’ll be me, my reading glasses, a few labmates, and piles of resumes (and CVs). A great co-worker recently left the lab for greener pastu...



Who is the Boss? Part 2

Last time I wrote about the boss and how to be a great one.  This time, I’d like to write about the qualities to look for in a boss based on my previous experiences.  Sometimes I think I’m too subjective about these things but, interestingly enough, when I read articles about great ...



Building Your Brand for a Career Change

Simply put, your personal brand is what people think of you.  It’s the image you project to others, and it’s how they distinguish you from everyone else, professionally.  It’s also how people who don’t know you can find you and evaluate whether or not they want to work with, r...



How I got into freelance writing: An unintended consequence?

We've all been there. It's Sunday afternoon and the feeling of dread hits. Tomorrow is Monday and it's the start of another work week. I'd been working at a medical communications agency for about 3 years doing medical writing and publication planning. I was their one and only in-house PhD. It s...


Ex Lab

University and Class Distinctions (or The Money Gap)

My parents and older siblings are first generation immigrants. I am the first natural-born Canadian in my family. I grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in a small bungalow. My parents would be considered uneducated, but I learned my most valuable lessons from them: Don’t pre-judge people. ...



What makes you tick?- the Smurfette perspective

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Cancer Symposium at MIT.  Here I was, with some of the brightest names in cancer research: David Baltimore, Eric Lander, Dan Haber, Diane Mathis (OK, so technically she is an immunologist but I was just thrilled to hear her speak…) and sharing thoug...


Reineke Pohlhaus

How to Sink an Interview

I’ve been doing a lot of interviews this week, trying to find the best fit for an available position.  Some interviews went well, others not so much. Here are some tips on what to avoid, unless you want to sink your chances:



Just Do It

Nike did indeed precede me in establishing the title phrase of this blog.  However, it is a statement that we should remind ourselves to obey.  Several ideas and goals have been known to come and go simply because they are not pursued.  What exactly does a person have to lose when ...