We figured it was time for a follow-up on what to do once you’ve found the postdoc you were looking for.
Postdocs occupy a weird, liminal space in the path of the scholar.
If I were to sum up my last five years in one word, it would be “change”. I have lived in four different houses, worked three different jobs, lived on two continents, gotten married, gone to grad school, and had a child.
When I started applying for non-academic jobs, I felt directionless and did not know how to start. Providentially, I stumbled upon the simple realization that I can leverage skills and expertise gained in graduate experience to navigate these new unknowns. By adopting familiar practices of research, replication, and resilience, I became more organized, confident, and ultimately successful in the job application process.
Now what? As it became clear that I would not have an academic job, I felt lost and overwhelmed. Having given no serious thought to a non-academic career, I wondered if my academic apprenticeship had any value in preparing me for life outside the academy.