Choosing Your Career
Some sage advice from scientists at the National Atmospheric Research Center on how to launch your career in the geosciences:
Think outside the box: You don’t need permission to be innovative and challenge the status quo. Find a creative way to do what you love! Followers rarely get noticed.
Toss the dice high: You miss 100% of the shots you do not take. Apply for opportunities that may seem out of reach, including jobs that don’t exactly match your training or experience.
Build your networks: Stand out and don’t be just another face in the crowd. Talk to people with jobs that you strive to have. Ask how they got there. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to successful people – they started just like you!
Risk Failure: Fail early and fail often in what you attempt to do, because in so doing you are learning valuable lessons and stretching yourself. Make time to pursue ideas that you feel passionate about.
Be a triple threat: The more talents and technical capabilities you can master, the more marketable you become. You never know what will be in demand as your career progresses.
Position yourself at the center of the action: Opportunities rarely knock, and you alone know your address. You have to go find them.
Notice when your learning curve flattens out: Recognize when it’s time to try a new challenge. Exit on your own terms with your head held high and your integrity intact.
Other Recommended Reading on Choosing a Career:
- “Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World” by Lindsey Pollak
- “Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientists” by Peter S. Fiske, PhD.
- “Guide to Non-Traditional Careers in Science: A Resource Guide for Pursuing a Non-Traditional Path” by Karen Y. Kreeger
- “How to Succeed as a Scientist: From Postdoc to Professor” by Barbara J. Gabrys and Jane A. Langdale
- “Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower” by Cynthia Robbins-Roth
- “The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success” by Nicholas Lore
- “What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers” by Richard N. Bolles
- “You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career” by Katharine Brooks