From Postdoc to Professional
For many, reaching the end of a postdoctoral fellowship can produce feelings of career and academic uncertainty. As you navigate the transition from postdoc to working professional, we can help steer you in rewarding new directions.
Depending on the status of your funding or the tenure of your fellowship, you should start planning ahead at least one year before your end date. Minimize downtime by researching your industry and discovering the state of the market. Keep in mind that for many, it can take approximately a year to find a professional position after your fellowship.
When starting your search, look at career websites that reflect your research background. Many progressive opportunities also exist in the private sector, so you should expand your search to include non-academic careers as well. During your postdoc, it can also be a good idea to make periodic visits to the Career Centre in order to take advantage of
workshops and other
Network, Network, Network
Networking can make or break any professional career. Keep in touch with former professors, professional mentors, and personal contacts at companies and organizations you are courting. When you make contact with potential employers, be sure to craft individual cover letters that let them know you've done the background work before sitting down for an interview.
Play to Your Strengths
Before you complete your postdoc, hopefully you'll have taken advantage of the English Language & Writing Support
(ELWS) workshops or
Leadership Workshops for Graduate Students. Either can be an incredible asset when looking for employment. Also, be sure to take stock of your existing skill set. Play to your strengths and be honest with yourself. If you're a people person you may have different options than someone who might be more suited to working solo.
As your fellowship ends, apply to SGS for a parchment that indicates where and when you were a postdoc. It is signed by your supervisor and the Dean of Graduate Studies, and embossed with the SGS seal. We can also write a letter for you indicating the same information, signed by the administrator and embossed with the SGS seal.