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Finished PhD for one year and can't find a job

by jacksonshana
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StatGuy2000
#19
Feb5-13, 05:44 PM
P: 588
Quote Quote by jacksonshana View Post
Hi StatGuy2000,

to answer your questions, yes I have applied for a few positions in Canada, however, in my field of nuclear physics there are very few opportunities available in asia, australia, new zealand, none that I have seen anyway.
I apply for most positions via job sites such as jobs.ac.uk, cv-library ... or via information from my friends who work in physics. I would love to attend conferences, but I simply cannot afford to do so, I had been unemployed for a long time, and money is tight. As for business cards, facebook linked etc etc, I have to say that I am not a member of facebook or linked, and I have not printed any business cards. I do however have my own website, which states my qualifications and interests. I am not really a big fan of facebook though, a complete waste of time and energy in my opinion.
Lastly I simply could not apply for more jobs than what I did. They were the only jobs I was interested in, and I refuse to apply for jobs just for the sake of applying for jobs. I have no intention of working in a position that I feel I would not like and have no interest in doing. I would rather stay working as a bus driver; sure the pay may be worse but at least I would have a higher level of job satisfaction.
Having a website stating your qualifications and interests is fine, but I cannot stress enough the importance of networking, especially if you wish to move beyond physics into finding employment which incorporates skills you gained in your graduate program or skills that you are willing to learn and retool in to be more marketable, such as programming, statistical analysis, or quantitative finance (3 common areas in "industry" for former physics PhDs).

I strongly recommend that you set up a LinkedIn profile, outlining your skills, education and experiences. It's a great resource to both get your skills known to the wider community, search for positions that may not be posted in the sites you looked at, and connecting with both recruiters and employers as well as other people with your background. You really should take full advantage of it.
reasonableman
#20
Feb6-13, 12:58 PM
P: 80
You mention you applied to be a teacher. I'm very surprised it didn't go anywhere as I've been led to believe they are crying out for physics teachers here in the UK (the IOP magazine has adverts every month and there's usually lots of posters around if I visit a physics department).

There's some more info here:
http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into.../teach-physics

I know it's probably not ideal but surely it's better than becoming a bus driver!
George Jones
#21
Feb6-13, 02:22 PM
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Quote Quote by reasonableman View Post
You mention you applied to be a teacher. I'm very surprised it didn't go anywhere as I've been led to believe they are crying out for physics teachers here in the UK
My wife and I live in Canada. After getting an M.Sc. in Physics and an M.Eng., my wife decided to do a B.Ed. Near the end of this program (in Canada; two years ago), she was recruited fairly aggressively for UK teaching positions. The recruiting firms led her to believe that, because of the shortage of physics teachers in the UK, her lack of UK citizenship would not be a problem for initial placement.
jacksonshana
#22
Feb6-13, 02:57 PM
P: 16
Quote Quote by George Jones View Post
My wife and I live in Canada. After getting an M.Sc. in Physics and an M.Eng., my wife decided to do a B.Ed. Near the end of this program (in Canada; two years ago), she was recruited fairly aggressively for UK teaching positions. The recruiting firms led her to believe that, because of the shortage of physics teachers in the UK, her lack of UK citizenship would not be a problem for initial placement.

Yes if you have a B.Ed then this will be the case. However, I don't have this and I really do not want to go back to university for another three years to get this either. The alternative to this is a one/two year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), which is what I applied for a while back. However, I attended the interview and was told that having a degree in physics it is not that important, all you need is a first degree in any subject to teach physics, as the course covers all the subjects that will make you ready to be a physics/science teacher (which makes a mockery of the IOP's claim that physics graduates are in high demand for teaching positions), in fact they said they were more interested in the amount of experience I have teaching at this level and my motivation to be a teacher. They said that the competition is such that they only offer places on such courses if you have had at least 100 hours experience in a secondary school environment.

I did not have this much experience, so no surprise that I was not offered a place on the course, and to be honest I am not sure that teaching at this level is what I want to do, if I was going to teach I would prefer teaching in an adult environment in a college or something similar.
jacksonshana
#23
Feb6-13, 03:00 PM
P: 16
Quote Quote by reasonableman View Post
You mention you applied to be a teacher. I'm very surprised it didn't go anywhere as I've been led to believe they are crying out for physics teachers here in the UK (the IOP magazine has adverts every month and there's usually lots of posters around if I visit a physics department).

There's some more info here:
http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into.../teach-physics

I know it's probably not ideal but surely it's better than becoming a bus driver!
A bus driver is not as bad as you think ! In fact it's quite an enjoyable job in my opinion.
reasonableman
#24
Feb6-13, 03:56 PM
P: 80
Quote Quote by jacksonshana View Post
They said that the competition is such that they only offer places on such courses if you have had at least 100 hours experience in a secondary school environment.
Hmm, well there goes my backup plan. Given the advertising campaign I thought it was a sure thing!

I'm sure bus driving is fine but, as you said, doing a PhD to do it seems a little wasteful. Of course, if that's what makes you happy, you shouldn't let a guy on the internet tell you what to do!
jesse73
#25
Feb6-13, 04:46 PM
P: 446
Problem with advertising campaigns is that they are not guarantees.

Like the "shortage of engineers" call coming from industry that can never be satisfied because the more engineers they get the more talent they can take the top X percent and pit them against the (1-X) percent to lower wages then let the remaining (1-X) percent worry about finding jobs outside of engineering wherever they can.
gbeagle
#26
Feb10-13, 04:02 AM
P: 53
Quote Quote by jacksonshana View Post
As far as computer programming goes, well I think I have a decent level of understanding of java and c++, but by no means would I consider myself an expert. Therefore, I have limited my applications to graduate level positions when applying for computer programming vacancies, but still I have not been offered a position.
Strange, our level of programming expertise are probably very similar. It might be that my experience just isn't applicable to the UK job market. What sorts of companies were you applying to for programming jobs?

Some additional info that may be helpful: I had zero success at large companies. I assume my app was being auto-screened by whatever application screening systems they used. Ironically, I also had little success applying to programming position at companies that did any sort of engineering or science, where I would have thought my skills would be more highly valued. I encountered a lot more success at companies that do regular business software. I'm not really sure what that means.

Another thing that I found helpful for networking was going to local programming related meetup groups/clubs.
jacksonshana
#27
Feb12-13, 03:48 PM
P: 16
Quote Quote by gbeagle View Post
Strange, our level of programming expertise are probably very similar. It might be that my experience just isn't applicable to the UK job market. What sorts of companies were you applying to for programming jobs?

Some additional info that may be helpful: I had zero success at large companies. I assume my app was being auto-screened by whatever application screening systems they used. Ironically, I also had little success applying to programming position at companies that did any sort of engineering or science, where I would have thought my skills would be more highly valued. I encountered a lot more success at companies that do regular business software. I'm not really sure what that means.

Another thing that I found helpful for networking was going to local programming related meetup groups/clubs.

Sorry for the late reply gbeagle,

anyway, the size of the companies I apply for varies, though the majority are small companies, as they don't require you to go through endless assesment center's. I have a similar experience with programming positions at science/engineering companies, where I usually do not even get a reply when I apply for their positions. Anyway, I don't know if would like getting a job programming in a company that has no physics/engineering/science aspect to it, I mean apart from the financial side, which to be honest is not that important to me; driving a bus seems to be a more interesting job to me than working on software that I really don't care about.
SophusLies
#28
Feb13-13, 09:32 AM
P: 222
Quote Quote by jacksonshana View Post
I should say I am based in the UK, and I have applied for over 100 jobs in fields such as engineering, energy, statistics, computer programming, graduate scheme's, teacher, and even lab assistants at high schools, and on the rare ocassions that I get a reply, I am told that I am over qualified, or have too much experience or not enough. There just seems to be no one interested in what I have done or the skills I have gained at university.
Applied or cold-called directly to the companies? Or did you go to career fairs to tell companies to their face why you're looking for jobs perhaps below your credentials? Did you ask friends, family, neighbors, etc.? Email companies directly?

I highly doubt that there "seems to be no one interested in my skills.." You need to change how you're looking for a job. Be aggressive, I mean you are desperate, right?
UCLPAUL
#29
Feb18-13, 08:21 AM
P: 1
Very interesting, what I am reading under this thread. I finished a PhD in particle physics many years ago and never found anything to replace the adventure. Unfortunately I seem to have slipped into retirement / unemployment. Would like find programming work (full time or part time) .

I am based in Central London. Post here seem to have a lot of US reference but if there is anyone geographically close that would want to meet up in Starbucks as mentioned above.

Any suggestions to forums where I can post this sort subject appreciated
Lavabug
#30
Feb18-13, 08:30 AM
P: 899
Quote Quote by UCLPAUL View Post
Very interesting, what I am reading under this thread. I finished a PhD in particle physics many years ago and never found anything to replace the adventure. Unfortunately I seem to have slipped into retirement / unemployment. Would like find programming work (full time or part time) .

I am based in Central London. Post here seem to have a lot of US reference but if there is anyone geographically close that would want to meet up in Starbucks as mentioned above.

Any suggestions to forums where I can post this sort subject appreciated
Hi Paul, I'm assuming you're from UCL, the P&A department is holding a talk tomorrow (6-7.30PM) given by 8 graduates, showcasing what kind of jobs they're doing now (at phd, msc, and bsc levels).

Email c.jordan@ucl.ac.uk for a spot, but if it's too late I would just show up at the department (Room E7) and try to slip in.
jacksonshana
#31
Feb18-13, 03:24 PM
P: 16
Quote Quote by SophusLies View Post
Applied or cold-called directly to the companies? Or did you go to career fairs to tell companies to their face why you're looking for jobs perhaps below your credentials? Did you ask friends, family, neighbors, etc.? Email companies directly?

I highly doubt that there "seems to be no one interested in my skills.." You need to change how you're looking for a job. Be aggressive, I mean you are desperate, right?
All the jobs I have applied for were advertised. I have went to career fairs and had good feedback, but when I applied to the company I had no reply. I asked friends from uni and postdoc's, but they are too busy trying to find their own jobs.

If someone was interested in my skills, then I wish they would let me know about it, because from my experience there seems to be no interest at all.

"Be aggresive" ? I don't understand what you mean; do you want me to beg ? Sorry, but I may not have a job in physics but I do have some self respect, so if thats the kind of thing you mean by "you are desperate, right" then no I am not that desperate, why should I be that desperate ?
Diorr
#32
Feb19-13, 04:21 AM
P: 2
Did you apply any jobs in Germany ?
jesse73
#33
Feb19-13, 04:08 PM
P: 446
"Be aggressive" in this case seems very close to just saying he should "put in 110% effort".
Tyler.Smith
#34
Feb24-13, 02:18 PM
P: 6
maybe you could apply to a job in southamerica. There you have the "National Atomic Energy Commission" (Centro Nacional de Energia Atomica). And you can send your information to this email - info@cab.cnea.gov.ar -. The website is - http://www.cab.cnea.gov.ar/index.php/contacto - and this is other website form the Balseiro Institute (Instituto Balseiro) - http://www.ib.edu.ar/index.php/english-version.html - and here the email --- info@ib.edu.ar ---.
jacksonshana
#35
Feb25-13, 05:22 AM
P: 16
Quote Quote by Diorr View Post
Did you apply any jobs in Germany ?
I have applied for postdoc jobs in Germany, but not jobs in companies as I do not speak German, and I guess that this is something these companies would really want any candidate to do.
jacksonshana
#36
Feb25-13, 05:34 AM
P: 16
Quote Quote by jesse73 View Post
"Be aggressive" in this case seems very close to just saying he should "put in 110% effort".
I still do not understand, so what would someone who puts in "110%" do more than the person who puts in "100%" to find a job ?

Anyway it really is pointless citing percentages about how much effort someone exerts to find a job. I mean it might sound good, but to be honest it is of little use, at the end of the day I try my best in all my job searches and all the applications I make, and that is all I can do.


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