Biology in Industry - "Just Don't."
So a while back I wrote that I had given my CV to a friend in industry who offered to show it to her relatively-high-up mentor at her relatively large company, and see what kind of advice she had for me to apply for jobs there (or at other companies).
Well, this was a while ago, before the market crash.
So I finally talked to this friend yesterday. I hadn't heard anything back so I figured her mentor didn't say anything good.
The word back was basically this:
NOBODY should go into biology right now.
ANYBODY who can do ANYTHING ELSE should leave and GO DO IT.
There are NO JOBS right now for biologists.
We're LAYING PEOPLE OFF, not hiring.
My friend didn't want to tell me, but I appreciate that she did.
While I was surprised that her mentor was so blunt, it wasn't exactly news.
Ironically, literally an hour after I had this conversation, a different friend, who has been unemployed for a while, told me she got an interview at a small local company.
And then she proceeded to ask if I could coach her on what to say during the interview, and what to do if she got the job, because the job is MUCH closer to my expertise than hers.
Ask google first, then we'll talk about it.
(What I really wanted to say? Uh, NOOOOO????)
She's a really good friend. What could I say? It's not like she asked me to be on a microphone inserted in her ear during the interview.
And when I thought about it, I realized that most of my frustration recently has been working with people whom I didn't think were actually qualified for their jobs.
But you know what? Some of them worked hard and learned fast.
And THOSE people ended up being the ones I DO want to work with. Those are the kind of people I would want to have in my lab.
She also thinks that, while the company sounds pretty desperate and like they'd take anyone willing and able to do the work, it's going to be pretty competitive for this one position.
Apparently this company is interviewing a lot of people in quick succession, because rather than the usual full day visit, they have my friend scheduled to visit for 1 hour.
My guess is that they'll take someone with more experience using these kinds of methods, but who knows. My friend works hard and learns fast.
And she has been working in industry already, so I don't know if that will count for more than someone coming straight out of a grad program or academic postdoc.
So that's two data points. Can't really interpret much from it, unless it's true that big companies are doing badly and small companies haven't been as hard hit?
I'll also say that I would not want the job my friend is interviewing for, unless I were really desperate, because I think I would be bored.
For her, it might be fun since it will be mostly things she hasn't done before. And she loves doing new things.
And she really is pretty desperate at this point.
I told her if she can get it, it would be a good stepping stone, since she could broaden her skills. And who knows, maybe the company will do really well?
Now, if I could just find someone to help me the way I've been helping her. Hmm.