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Career Planning

Our tips to help you get ahead

Career Planning - Essential Tips for Your Career in Science

Science is an industry with a bright future, with ever-increasing levels of investment and support to help create more jobs.

Science is becoming more and more attractive to the young. Famous physicist Brian Cox urged the government to make Britain 'the best place to do science' and they have responded, investing more than £5.5 billion every year in the sector.

So with the number of jobs in science on the rise, what's the best way to plan and achieve a career in science?

Here are a few hints and tips to help you plan your job search, as well as your longer term career in science.

Get the basics right

You may have an idea about what your dream job will look like, but if you get the basics wrong, even the most fascinating of positions could easily become a drain.

A career in science is an exciting one

It's therefore important to consider the most fundamental factors so you know exactly what you want from your next job.

What factors are a priority for you is a highly personal decision and everyone may have differing ideas about what's a deal-breaker. But a few points you might want to consider are:

  • Do you want to work full-time or part-time, perhaps to accommodate further studies?
  • How far are you willing to commute on a daily basis?
  • How would you be planning to commute to work? Would there be a back-up plan if this method of transport was not available?
  • Do you want a job which is based in one location or out and about?
  • Would you be willing to work overseas?
  • What salary range are you hoping to achieve?

Once you get an idea about the above, you can start to think about planning your next steps.

Finding a job for now and for the future

Constant job-hopping isn't much fun and it's certainly something which doesn't reflect well on a CV. Therefore, getting the decision right is important for all concerned.

In the first instance, you need to consider whether you want to get a new job working in a similar capacity to what you currently do or whether you want to use your transferable skills and qualifications to embark on a new venture.

This may mean working in the same capacity but in a new industry, or perhaps a different position within the same industry. Both offer up exciting new career paths.

The type of company you want to work for is also important; finding one which doesn't compromise your personal beliefs or ethics is one of the essential factors to determine. Working in commercial or non-for-profit companies can offer very different opportunities and career paths so deciding what's right for you can help narrow your choices.

A science job is a safe one as we will always be striving for more.

Although you may be focused on finding your next job for now, take some time to reflect on whether it's something you still want to be doing in five years’ time. If the thought of still being in the same role feels a tad depressing, it may not be the right career move for you now.

Talk to a specialist recruitment agency

Once you have gained your qualifications, you might find yourself at a bit of a loss about how you can transfer that knowledge into the workplace. Alternatively, you may have been in the same job for many years and are unsure about whether you would be qualified to do anything else.

A specialist scientific recruitment agency will have expert staff who will be able to point you in the right direction, and perhaps suggest different career paths that you may not have thought of.

Recruitment agencies who specialise understand exactly what's involved in working in the industry and will not only be able to empathise, but also offer practical help and guidance to help shape your career.

Image credits: Jurvetson and Woodleywonderworks

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