|TH E N I H C A T A L Y S T||JU L Y A U G U S T 2008|
If the thought of applying for a job makes you queasy, the Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) has a series of workshops for you. To help trainees jumpstart their job search, starting this fall the OITE will offer curriculum tracks focusing on industry jobs, academic jobs, and how to make career decisions. The aim is to provide the tools you need to take your next career steps.
Lori Conlan, director of the Office of Postdoctoral Services, says that industry careers are "a black box" to many people at the NIH. OITE's industry job search series is designed to shine a light into that box. Monthly workshops will help trainees with everything from understanding the difference between biotechnology and big pharmaceuticals, to writing a résumé and cover letter that will get attention, and to negotiating a salary offer.
The academic job track focuses on developing research and teaching statements, deciding where to apply, and navigating the interview process. Because applications for academic jobs are generally due in late fall, the initial sessions in this track will be concentrated during September, October and November. In the spring the series will address handling job offers, including evaluating and negotiating offers and setting up an academic lab.
A third, more general, track is in development. The Career 101 series is designed for trainees who are making career decisions. It will help them evaluate their skills and values and explore career options, and will continue with general job search tips, suggestions for improving CVs and résumés (yes, there's a difference), and a session on interviewing skills.
The OITE also runs workshops on improving communication skills, from writing a scientific manuscript to presenting a scientific talk or poster to improving spoken English. The goal of NIH training programs is not only to help trainees develop strong scientific credentials, but also to help them choose a career path that dovetails with their interests and skills and to provide them with professional skills that will ensure their success.
The new OITE workshop series will contribute to generating a confident trainee population that is comfortable with its career decisions and is highly sought after by employers in all sectors. For more information on programming in the OITE, visit www.training.nih.gov.