CAREER PLANNING RESOURCES
What Color is Your Parachute?
Richard Nelson Bolles
Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2002
This book is billed as the best-selling job-hunting book in the world. Although not directed specifically toward scientists, it provides practical advice on analyzing your own strengths, interests, and goals. The author coined the phrase "informational interviewing" to describe a process for gathering information on career opportunities. Tips on interviewing should prove useful, as well.
Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientists
Peter S. Fiske, Ph.D.
Washington, D.C.: American Geophysical Union 2001
Roughly the equivalent of "What Color is Your Parachute" for scientists. This is also a very practical guide on career planning starting with the process of self-assessment. The chapters on CVs and resumes are thorough and helpful.
Guide to Nontraditional Careers in Science
Karen Young Kreeger
Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis 1999
This book was written for the purpose of stimulating graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to consider careers outside of academia.
Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower
San Diego: Academic Press 1993
This is a multi-authored text, providing a perspective on 22 nonacademic career tracks. Although the term alternative careers is a misnomer, the descriptions of these career possibilities along with the attendant qualifications and expectations is very useful.
Career Renewal: Tools for Scientists and Technical Professionals
Stephen Rosen and Celia Paul
San Diego: Academic Press 1998
This book is directed toward scientists making a midcareer transition. Nevertheless, the information provides a much needed perspective for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on actively planning one's career.
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement
Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton
Boston: Houghton-Mifflin 1991
A straightforward strategy for negotiating personal and professional issues. Special attention should be paid to the concept of developing options which provide gain for both parties.
Who Moved My Cheese?
Spencer Johnson, M.D.
New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons 1998
A humorous parable which explores how we respond to unexpected changes in our lives.
At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator
Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 1998
The first third of this book contains practical suggestions that are geared to the neophyte in the laboratory, but can also serve as valuable reminders to those who are planning their own laboratories. One chapter is devoted to oral and written presentations. The final two thirds of the book describes in detail how to carry out specific laboratory procedures.
At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator
Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 2002
Running a laboratory requires the use of skills which are not often emphasized in graduate or postdoctoral training. Time management, hiring and retaining lab personnel, development of lab policies, communication, and group dynamics are among the issues confronting new principal investigators. Although "perfect" solutions to these issues are not identified, the approaches used in a variety of laboratories are described.
A Ph.D. Is Not Enough
Peter J. Feibelman
Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books 1993
Brief book with good, realistic advice for young scientists. One of the best gems is the idea of getting mentors besides your Ph.D. advisor.
Outside the Ivory Tower
Margaret Newhouse, Ph.D.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University 1993
Deciding on a career path requires understanding yourself and the characteristics of a job that are most important to you. The author of this book provides some valuable and creative exercises fo self-assessment. Other useful sections are guidelines for informational interviewing and how to organize your job search.
How to Succeed in Academics
Linda L. McCabe and Edward R.B. McCabe
San Diego: Academic Press 2000
Blueprint for how to build an academic career. Tips are provided on successfully accomplishing common academic functions such as writing abstracts, papers, grant applications and making effective oral and poster presentations.
Academic Environment: A Handbook for Evaluating Employment Opportunities in Science
Karl W. Lanks
Washington, DC: Taylor and Francis 1996
Provides the results of a survey of faculty at U.S. medical schools and major universities which evaluated the institutions on their academic environment, personal and family life and productivity. The pooled results from the 50 top small colleges (page 51) provide an interesting comparison to the results from larger universities.
Resumes that Knock 'em Dead
Avon, Massachusetts: Adams Media Corporation 1993
Everything you need to know to create an effective resume.
Winning the Games Scientists Play
Carl J. Sindermann
Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing 2001
Sindermann breaks down the scientist's work into its component tasks of writing, presenting, attending conferences, chairing sessions, participating in meetings, etc. Each of these tasks are considered games in which the rules are not always clear. The author provides suggestions for how to play the game which can be summed up in the dictum (p 154) "Whatever the game is, play it as a professional."
Academic Scientists at Work
Jeremy M. Boss and Susan H. Eckert
New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2003
This book provides advice on landing a position in academic research and how to get organized once you've started. The most valuable part of the book may be the Job Comparison Worksheets found in the appendices. These provide a great starting point to stimulate your thoughts about issues that should be the basis of comparison of different positions.
Sweaty Palms: the Neglected Art of Being Interviewed
H. Anthony Medley
Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press 1993
In addition to standard advice on preparation (page 17), table manners (page 90), and appropriate dress (page 132) Appendix A contains three lists of commonly asked interview questions. Using these in mock interviews should help you prepare and reduce the likelihood that you'll be caught off-guard in an actual interview.
The Academic Job Search Handbook
Mary Morris Heiberger and Julia Miller Vick
Philadelphia, PA: University Of Pennsylvania Press 2001
This is a comprehensive resource which starts with information on the structure of academic careers, the hiring process, and planning your job search. It deals
extensively with vitae including a discerning gem of advice to tailor your vita to each position for which you apply. There are also chapters on interviewing, accepting/rejecting job offers, and additional guidance for special situations such as dual career couples, foreign nationals, etc.
Tomorrow’s Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering
Richard M. Reis
New York: Wiley Interscience 1997
This is a well-written book on how to prepare, compete, and succeed in an academic career. It provides some perspective with an overview of the modern academic enterprise. The author walks systematically through the stages of a scientific career including preparation, applying for positions, first years on the job, and achieving tenure.
Careers with the Pharmaceutical Industry
Peter D. Stonier
West Sussex, England: Wiley and Sons, 2003
Although this book has a decidedly British perspective, this book is worth perusing to examine the breadth of positions available in the pharmaceutical industry.
Lab Dynamics: Management Skills for Scientists
Carl M. Cohen and Suzanne L. Cohen
Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 2005
This is a useful book on a topic that needs more attention during graduate school and postdoctoral training. Its strong suit is personnel management, including advice on managing scientists, dealing with your boss, and working with peers. The book begins with the premise that effectively managing research teams requires an understanding of personality types including your own.
Marcia Lynn Whicker, Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld, Ruth Ann Strickland
Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications 1993
For those pursuing academic careers, finding a job is the first step in a challenging process leading to tenure. This book explains the tenure process in detail and makes the case for the importance of planning ahead for gaining tenure. The chapter on the “Ten Commandments of Tenure Success” would be worthwhile reading for every new faculty member.
Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development
Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 2008
This is a valuable compendium of information regarding careers for life scientists in Pharma or biotech. Explanations of job requirements, essential skills, and day to day
responsibilities were distilled from interviews with hundreds of key players in industry. Although not an easy read because of its encyclopedic detail, this book is an essential reference.
The Medical Science Liaison: An A to Z Guide
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse 2007
What is a medical science liaison (MSL) and what do they do? This book is a comprehensive guide to the function of MSLs. Perhaps the most valuable information is the list of MSL meetings contained in Table 1 which provide opportunities for trainees to get in-depth information about this career path.
From Alchemy to IPO: The Business of Biotechnology
New York, NY: Basic Books 2000
This is an important resource for scientists interested in industry careers. It provides a historical perspective on the biotechnology industry combined with an insider's view of the business model. Appendix C highlights the websites that the savvy job searcher will want to be aware of.
Understanding Pharma: A Primer on How Pharmaceutical Companies Really Work
John. J. Campbell
Raleigh, NC: Pharmaceutical Institute 2008
The title tells exactly what this book is about - how pharmaceutical companies work - from definition and classification of drugs to drug discovery to business development and manufacturing. This is the view from 10,000 feet which provides some insight into the complexities of the environment in which pharmaceutical scientists function.
Career Opportunities in Clinical Drug Research
Rebecca J. Anderson
Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 2010
This book sets the stage for discussing clinical research careers by providing an overview of the clinical evaluation process for drugs and medical devices. It then dedicates separate chapters to a number of jobs within that framework such as study coordinator, clinical quality assurance, etc. Each chapter outlines responsibilities of the position, describes a typical day, and provides tips for how to get your foot in the door including professional organizations that you should know about.
Next Gen PhD: A Guide to Career Paths in Science
Melanie V. Sinche
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016
Written by a bona fide expert on careers for PhDs, this book walks through the career development process step-by-step. It addresses identifying your personal strengths and characteristics, exploring the array of career options, completing the application materials, preparing for the interview, and tactics for negotiating. It’s peppered with results of a national survey of PhD scientists conducted by the author.
The Professor Is In
New York: Three Rivers Press 2015
This is an instructional manual that explains the intricacies of the academic job search and gives no nonsense advice on how to put together a competitive application. Written by a former professor who runs a consulting service to help academics navigate the job search, it covers everything from instruction on how to put together job documents to what to wear for the interview.