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Navigating the gray area

Navigating the gray area

In a workshop, we discuss job interviews. Isolde speaks up: "How do I react to questions about children?" "Or questions about health?" asks Pavel, who had previously spoken openly about his diabetes. What do I do...

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We’re talking about the same thing

We’re talking about the same thing

In a career workshop, we look at job ads from the industry. "This ad really isn't written for young professionals," says Sam, sharing her screen. She points to a line that irritates her: experience in matrix project management is a prerequisite....

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Competition and collaboration

Competition and collaboration

A short debate on networking in a course for PhD students. Half of the participants should defend the statement "Networking outside of my department is a waste of time," while the other half argue against it. After a few minutes, we leave the...

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The internet doesn’t forget

The internet doesn’t forget

In a career workshop, I shed light on what traces we leave on the internet. I'm sharing an article about an applicant whose application phase was overshadowed by his dazzling Facebook profile: drugs, corona parties and fast-changing non-Platonic...

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The termination agreement

The termination agreement

A termination agreement is not a golden handshake, not even a silver one. It’s the beginning of a complex process and a path that you do not go alone. The first point of contact is the works council, and a lawyer should manage your communication…

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Stranded abroad II

Stranded abroad II

Are you stuck abroad, unable to visit friends and family back home while all your colleagues left the lab for the Christmas/ New Year break? Loneliness and boredom can kick in, so let´s do something about it!   We offer eight free online...

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Am I a loser?

Am I a loser?

After a workshop, a participant seeks conversation with me. "I feel like I'm a loser," she confides to me. Is that an exaggerated understatement or? Or a case of the impostor syndrome, which is particularly widespread in universities? In any case,...

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First show your skills, then present the wish list

First show your skills, then present the wish list

When is it best to discuss your wishes in demands during an application process: already in the application documents, during the interview, the salary negotiation or only once you do have the job? I spend the first nice October day at the IHK in...

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Verve, ownership and team-work wanted!

Verve, ownership and team-work wanted!

We interviewed an HR manager at a chemical cooperation in the Netherlands.   What does the standard interview process look like? Firstly, I phone people up. Just to get a first impression and find out more about their motivation to apply....

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My professor, the career advisor

My professor, the career advisor

First published in ‘Nachrichten aus der Chemie’ (07/08-2017) In a seminar, we are discussing the application of a female postdoc. “You just said you never intended to have a career in academia. Why did you start this postdoc then?” “My PhD...

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Don´t think 8-8-8

Don´t think 8-8-8

"I can´t imagine that these jobs would be family-friendly," judges Maya, a PhD student. In our Women and career seminar, she already mentioned that she´s planning to start a family in the next few years. I observe how she is creating space for kids...

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Interview with a quality manager

Interview with a quality manager

Interview with Christoph Reiter (CR) CU Chemie Uetikon GmbH.   By Sabrina Kreutz (SK) SK: Good evening, Mr. Reiter, thank you for taking the time for this telephone interview. CR: With pleasure and I hope I can help you with some questions. SK...

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Research funding from industry

Research funding from industry

In a seminar that we provide for senior postdocs and group leaders, we talk about the topic of funding. After covering the usual suspects, I am asking whether the attendees have ever considered funding from industry. Fred, who is currently getting...

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“It’s only crazy until you do it.”

“It’s only crazy until you do it.”

About working at a conservation NGO Nirmal Jivan Shah is ‘the face’ and the CEO of the largest and oldest NGO for conservation in a place where other people make holidays; the Seychelles. We have been lucky to interview him about his career and his...

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Which type of conference delegate are you?

Which type of conference delegate are you?

This text has been translated from a German original written by Dr. Eliza Leusmann (published in Nachrichten aus der Chemie (April 2018, p. 446)). The drawings are from Maike Hettinger. Answer these eight questions in order to prove once more,...

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Trade fairs for job hunting

Trade fairs for job hunting

Trade fairs are great events, not only for buying or selling equipment, but also for networking and career development. Am I talking about career fairs? No, at the end of this post you´ll know why trade fairs might be better than career fairs for...

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Biological age or academic age?

Biological age or academic age?

In my office I find the application of a female academic in her early forties. The file feels heavy, 22 pages. Once I see that she is applying for a full professorship, I also know why. Fortunately, there is a table of contents, telling me what to...

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Seriously! Do I need to work?

Seriously! Do I need to work?

We are women, the women of the future! In Germany we have been allowed to vote since 1919 and have not had to ask our husbands for a “work permit” since 1977 (wow this is not THAT long ago!!!). Most of us also have a free choice as to whether and...

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Postdoc or not?

Postdoc or not?

Shall I do a postdoc or not? That is a fundamental question that you have to ask yourself before starting to apply for jobs. We believe that in most cases, it is relatively easy to answer this question. You should ask yourself what you would like...

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Overcoming the PhD Stereotype

Overcoming the PhD Stereotype

Guest post from David Giltner, PhD, founder of TurningScience. When I’m honest with myself, I’ll admit that there are two main reasons I got a PhD.  The first was the realization while earning my undergraduate degree that one doesn’t truly become a...

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Return to academia: The price I’m willing to pay

Return to academia: The price I’m willing to pay

Does academia deserve its reputation as a bad employer? And if so, why do some people choose to return? Philipp Gramlich and Karin Bodewits spoke to four scientists moving from the “real world” back into the ivory tower. Read the full length...

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