Despite everyone complaining about the lockdown, I believe it can be used as a golden opportunity for your scientific career… Although I didn’t dare mention this at the beginning.
Lockdown makes it difficult to do experiments and to work on your scientific career. Losing a few months of your research may not seem so dramatic… or is it? You sit at home and have to motivate yourself to stay productive. Don’t waste these weeks! Here are several ideas about how to protect your career under lockdown conditions!
Young researchers are often disoriented what they should do with their expertise and whether they will find a job after their doctorate or postdoc. The good news is that the unemployment rate of PhD holders is surprisingly low. The bad news is that young scientists often do not work in the field they have expected.
Everybody will tell you that it is essential to go to a famous university for a successful career in science. Important arguments are the network you build (for example, via alumni associations), the excellent infrastructure and the great scientists you might connect with. But is it real or is it a myth?
When discussing career paths in life sciences with postdocs, we hear on a regular basis the wish to escape from the “rat race of the professors” by accepting a kind of long-term senior postdoc position in academia. The idea is to obtain a permanent position (and thus a safe job in economic turbulent times) which encompasses at the same time an intellectual stimulating and creative profession with some (but not too much) responsibilities. Is this what you want?
,,Among the many researchers I know, many people have adopted either a pure cynical attitude towards the scientific establishment or fight with an intensive love-hate relationship with science (in academia as well as in industry). I personally see the following painful dilemmas which cannot be solved: