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Old 22.10.2015, 11:01
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Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

Hi every one,

After finishing my PhD in February of this year, I have been on disocupation until now since I hace a strong opportunity to start a Post doctorat trainee at Philip-Morris. First of all, this opportunity is essential for me since I would like to retrain from the academia to the industry, but the problem is that I am scared of not being good enough.
I would like to know if some of you already have some experience in this postion and could tell me if at least at the beginning you recieive enough supervision and help? I am afraid of having to start without any help as it was the case during my PhD.

Thanks in advance for your help
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Old 22.10.2015, 11:05
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Re: Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

One thing you'll probably find difficult to deal with in industry is the requirement to actually do work and deliver it to a deadline. Industry also tends to be really fussy about people actually turning up for their jobs and being there for something called "work time".

Failure to understand this is the #1 reason people return to academia

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Old 22.10.2015, 11:12
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Re: Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

Ok thanks for this reply. Well, the good thing is that I prefer being at work to work instead of wasting my time on some websites. This was the thing I could not accept with academia. You have to stay 9 hours a day at work while you could leave after 4 hours (In my case since we had no fundings to perform mutliple experiments).
In the industry, I can imagine that you have to work a lot in a team no?
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Old 22.10.2015, 11:52
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Re: Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

I've worked 30 years in various industries after a PhD. I think that there is no general rule for industrial post-docs. However, in my experience, a post-doc in industry is probably a high risk project with less chance of commercial success (further from market) than the projects done by "normal employees".
- I'm pretty sure that you will be much more closely supervised than in a university. However, you will not necessarily be part of a team, as in my experience, the big, urgent team projects are done by the full-time employees. I could be wrong...

With your attitude, I think you will be fine. As far as I know, conditions at Philipp Morris are excellent. They have loads of money, the best equipment and top class working conditions.
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Old 22.10.2015, 12:05
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Re: Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

Having been on both sides of the fence, although in different industries, I learned to appreciate that both academia and private sector's approach to work are invaluable.

Private sector - crazy and impossible deadlines were very stressful, with a lot needing to get done in a short period of time. Some would take work home. Another difference was that there was no freedom regarding the daily schedule, so a typical 9-5 job. Who likes this type of life will thrive.

Public (University) sector - a shock to the system at how laid-back the work schedule was and the freedom of time management, from the most junior to the most senior. I could set my own hours, like returning at midnight to check on my experiment, which was great. Needless to say, if you like this kind of life, you will thrive.

Good luck either way!
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Old 22.10.2015, 12:43
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Re: Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

Thanks for all you comments which reassures me. The fact is that when you are working in the academic, all the people you speak with tell you that the industry is bad because everything is so stressful and people are totally crazy . In addition, they make you feel like you are not good enough to start a new career. I think it is people are a bit jealous or afraid to leave their comfortable and safe nest.
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Old 22.10.2015, 13:53
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Re: Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

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Thanks for all you comments which reassures me. The fact is that when you are working in the academic, all the people you speak with tell you that the industry is bad because everything is so stressful and people are totally crazy . In addition, they make you feel like you are not good enough to start a new career. I think it is people are a bit jealous or afraid to leave their comfortable and safe nest.

Going from academia, to industry, back to academia, and now back in industry: There's crazy and stressful everywhere.

Some trends I've noticed: In industry, there are more people who 'act' the role of a busy, important, stressed person. The image one portrays can get you very far regardless if you have the superior skills to back it up. Similarly, if you have the skills, but don't show that confident "I'm so important, focused and successful", you might struggle a bit.

Of course this is not cut-and-dry: In academia, I'm sure you've seen these types as well---the main difference, is in academia, if you don't know your shit backwards--you will be called out on it, and you can't bullshit you way out in a conference of old scientists.
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Old 27.10.2015, 23:43
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Re: Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

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Ok thanks for this reply. Well, the good thing is that I prefer being at work to work instead of wasting my time on some websites. This was the thing I could not accept with academia. You have to stay 9 hours a day at work while you could leave after 4 hours (In my case since we had no fundings to perform mutliple experiments).
In the industry, I can imagine that you have to work a lot in a team no?
Unless your long term goal is to be a professor, then I would just go to industry. If you decide industry is not for you, then you can go back to academia or elsewhere with valuable experience. Depending on how it is in your field, being a post-doc has a life-span, and eventually you'll be unemployable in both academia and industry (too costly for academia, too much academic experience for industry (unless you've worked on an industry-focused project).
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Old 28.10.2015, 09:19
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Re: Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

Let's say that starting a postdoc has never been in my ideas. Nevertheless, after 7 months of job searching and no positive replies because of my non experience in the industry, I really think that this might be an excellent opportunity for me to start my career. One thing I am sure with : I won't go back to academia.
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Old 29.10.2015, 00:05
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Re: Am I ready for an industry post-doc?

^^Completely agree - if you get the position I would take it
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