2018: the year in review

12/28/2018 11:58:22 AM

As 2018 comes to an end, it’s time to reflect upon your accomplishments for the year and celebrate all that you have achieved. Whether it be submitting your thesis or mastering a new technique in the lab, all successes, no matter how big or small, are worth owning. So, have some fun and also be sure to thank anyone who has helped you along the way.  

Here at the ASBMB Careers Blog, we especially want to acknowledge the science professionals who took the time to provide their career insights to the blog this year (see author's note).  Contributors included Adriana Bankston (Defining your own professional identity outside academia), Sarah Schrader (Exploring M.D.–Ph.D. degree programs) and Tami Tolpa (Career resources in scientific visualization). One thing you will find in common among their personal stories is the proactive approach each took to carefully plan for and make a career transition.  

As you start career planning for the New Year, one way to stick to any professionally related resolutions is to write down your goals and share with your mentors, peers or other support networks who can hold you accountable. It’s also important to set realistic goals and recognize just how long it takes to make a career transition. (I personally advise scientists to allow up to a year when making a change or looking for a new job.)  

Our best advice to you is to be patient, give yourself plenty of time to make a transition and start prepping now by building the skills, experience and connections you need to be successful. To help you explore new career options, this week we have compiled the most-read posts of 2018 and recaps of recent and past blog posts. Here’s to your career success in 2019!  

Top-5 posts of 2018  

1. Career resources in scientific visualization: This post features a Q&A with Tami Tolpa, freelance medical illustrator and owner of Tolpa Studios, who specializes in in the design of graphics, illustrations and animations for the biomedical sciences. Tami provides readers with useful advice and resources on pursuing a career in scientific visualization and illustration.    

2. Where are all the science jobs?: The number and types of science jobs fluctuate with workforce demands and so do the qualifications required to get these jobs. This post includes a collection of online resources, tools and reports to help you track hiring trends and make more informed decisions about your future career.  

3. The post-bachelor’s life: If you’re graduating or have recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree, it may be worthwhile to take a gap year to get more experience and explore career options before taking the next step. This post contains a listing of postbac research and training programs and related resources to help you find such opportunities.    

4. Finding a job at a national lab: The Department of Energy’s national laboratories advance energy-science research that includes work in the biochemical and life sciences. However, the national lab system is complex and each lab is independently operated, which makes it a bit tricky to learn about all the research and training programs available. This post breaks down how to find jobs and research opportunities at national labs.  

5. A summer potluck of science-communication jobs: In this post, we dished out a roundup of interesting sci-comm jobs that had recently been advertised. While these job postings are now outdated, it can give you an idea of the types of jobs and employers in this field. The post also provides links to related content on this blog on how to prep for careers in science communications. (Note: The No. 5 spot also was a close tie with two other posts that you may want to check out as well: citizen-science jobs and resolve to a career in science policy.)  

Careers blog recap  

October 2018

November 2018 December 2018

Past blog recaps  

Author's note

I'd also like to give a shout-out to the postdoc program managers and administrators who provided input to a post earlier this year on careers to support the postdoc community. Contributors included Thalyana Stathis (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), Sina Safayi (Emory University), Bill Lindstaedt (University of California–San Francisco), Erica Gobrogge (Van Andel Institute) and Tracy Costello (Moffitt Cancer Center). These professionals work hard every day to advocate for career resources and support on behalf of postdoctoral trainees. Be sure to check with your institution to see what resources are available for your own professional development via postdoc, graduate or career services offices.   

Donna Kridelbaugh is a contributor to the ASBMB Careers Blog. She holds an advanced degree in microbiology and is a former lab manager.   

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