Paulius Mikulskis is a Computational Chemist with a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from Lund University, now working as a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham. In this “tips & tricks”-themed episode, Paulius shares two tips which he found useful in his job search.
Hi, my name is Paulius Mikulskis. I am one of the co-founders of the “PhD Career Stories” podcast. I would like to share two tips I wish I knew then I finished my degree.
The first one is that you should not worry about emailing other people. I kept thinking: what if I disturb or annoy the person I am contacting? You could think that’s worst that could happen if you contact the person. The worst is probably not hearing back! Well, if you do not send the email, what would happen then? The person will not email you. So the worst would happen. If you get a rude reply, then you know with whom you don’t want to deal with in the future!
This applies also to social media as well. For example, contacting that person, who works at your dream company or research group, on LinkedIn. People are generally helpful. Just ask nicely.
The second tip would be don’t get stuck thinking only about opportunities in your exact field. You have learned a lot of valuable transferable skills, what could be applied in many unexpected jobs. Two years ago, I would have not imagined that I would work with polymers and data mining. It’s been a year in my post-doc position and I getting even more and more excited about my job.
How to find out your transferable skills? Look at your CV, make a list of all skills you have. Then think about tasks you did what were not your main job. For example: did you organised social events? Did volunteering? Found and reported several bugs in your favourite software? All those required some of your skills. Add them to the list as well. Now look at the list and note which ones you could apply in a different job. These are your transferable skills.
Thanks for listening!