As I mentioned in my last post, I have finished my postdoctoral fellowship and started a research position in industry. I just finished my first week on the job. Nerves, excitement, anxiety, confusion, curiosity, and frustration. They were all felt, along with far too many other feelings and emotions.
The first days of anything whether it school or a new job are always tough. Trying to find your place in the organization both professionally and socially takes time, and unfortunately patience. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.
With this post, I wanted to give my first impressions of working in industry. Here we go:
1) The researchers are just as smart and interested in the science as those in academia. Some of the goals and methods of academic and industry science are different, but the search to learn more about science and to better society is there in both. The excitement I saw in academia over findings and discussions is also there in industry.
2) There are a lot of meetings I have to attend now. I may have been a little isolated from these meetings in academia, but I feel like there are so many more meetings to go to now. And that points to the value of face-to-face time that seems to be quite important in industry.
3) As a researcher, you are left to sort of figure things out for yourself. There is not anyone there to hold your hand through things. If you need access or to do something, you have to find a way to make it happen.
4) My new colleagues seem to have a bit more respect for personal time. There are far fewer 4am or 12am emails in my inbox than there used to be. But when you are at work, you better be on your game and productive. There appears to be a bit less flexible in time.
5) This may be obvious, but you are actually competitively compensated in terms of salary, vacation, and benefits. I actually have a retirement policy! I get dental! These were all foreign, abstract concepts during my life as a fellow.
I’m still excited/anxious/nervous about this jump into industry, but I thought it was a chance I couldn’t miss. I do think it will make me a more well-rounded scientist as I make future choices in my career. Stay tuned for how things go.
As also, let me know what you think in the comments and on twitter @DrFsThoughts. Keep me posted with any requests for posts too!