Career Exploration for Basic and Biomedical Scientists

What does it mean to explore careers?

Career exploration is applying your research skills and analytical thinking to an investment in your future work life.

Career exploration is a cyclical process of assessment, investigation, reflection, and synthesis. There are several reasons why this investment is important: One reason is that research has found that PhD-level students or postdocs who engage in some career exploration end up with higher job satisfaction. See this Inside Higher Ed article regarding social sciences and humanities. Another reason is that you need to take responsibility for your career trajectory, as the market forces today are very different than they were for your PhD advisor or your current Principal Investigator. For more information, check out this article from Science Careers summarizing career trends beyond the bench.

You can go on to many different types of careers with your PhD, but how do you decide which career is right for you? In this video, Cal Newport, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, explores whether “follow your passion” is good advice when it comes to career exploration.

You don’t need to wait to start planning your next career move. Read more about this from Myka Abadon at BiteSizeBio.

Ready to start exploring career options? Check out this guide to career paths in science by Melanie Sinche and an article from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) summarizing 4 phases of Career Exploration outlined in Sinche's book.  OCPD has also developed a checklist to help you get “Unstuck” when exploring different types of careers.


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