Tomorrow I’m moderating the #ScioAlt discussion at Science Online, about “alternate” careers in science. I don’t really like the word “alternate”/“alternative” when it comes to science careers. I started my PhD knowing that I didn’t want to run my own lab, but wanted to learn more about scientific research than the few months I had done so far.
The career I wanted was one that involved science, and where I got to write and give talks. That is exactly what I’m doing right now. It’s not an “alternative”; it’s what I planned to do.
But that’s my story. Everyone else will have a different path. Some graduates eventually become professors, some move to industry, some switch careers at a later stage, some end up on a particular career track by accident. Every science graduate has their own story to tell. And for the past few months, Lou Woodley and I have been working hard to get these sorts of stories in one place.
Today we launched MySciCareer – a website that showcases first-person stories about science careers. Our launch content contains a mix of people in a variety of different jobs. They previously talked or wrote about those jobs, and the interviews or blog posts were already online, but you had to know where to look. MySciCareer is a one-stop shop for any first-person stories about science careers.
I showed a small sneak peak of the site when I spoke at the Naturejobs Career Expo in September (see slide 34), but we’ve made a lot of progress since then! We’ll regularly be adding more content, and there is already a lot to see on the site. Lou describes how the site works on her blog, but you can probably figure it out by clicking around.
The MySciCareer logo is designed by Ricardo Vidal, and the quote layout and colours were designed by Lou and me. The launch content on the site contains 17 quotes from a range of different sources, who have kindly given us permission to use the extracts you find on the site. Do make sure to visit the original pages to read the full content of each article or interview.
If you post content elsewhere that you’d like to be part of the science careers conversations, please add the #myscicareer hashtag – this will work on all major social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Storify, Instagram and Flickr.
So, please take a look at the site, send us your feedback, spread the word and let us know which stories we’re missing. We’re intending this to be a growing collection of resources so if you’d like to contribute we’d love to hear from you.