I’m Not a Betting Nerd But…

I work with many great sparky people. Many of these are postdocs on fixed term contracts. Many of these would like a lectureship position. Now they are all fantastic researchers, but the simple fact is that if your institution has 2000 postdocs and only advertises 20 lectureships a year, not everyone can be a lecturer.

Now you can stack the odds in your favour, but you need to know them first!

Know the odds

So, time for some career mathematics! I am very fond of the saying 1 in a 1000 chances turn up 9 times out of 10 (have always run away from stats). Some find knowing the numbers somewhat depressing but if you are working with reality you will be much better equipped to understand what you need to do. Information sources will vary across industries. A good starting place might be here for HE. 

Another thought is : Do you want the next level up job? Are you happy where you are? If the answer is yes then great! But do check in with yourself every so often. I loved my fixed term role in research but then felt the need for greater stability.

But luck aside you need to know the following numbers to inform your career choices:

  • How many jobs ‘the next level up’ are advertised in your company a year? In your sector? In your region?
  • How many people are at your level who can compete for these?
  • How long is the expected tenure at your level (e.g. how long do people typically stay in your company and sector at your level)?
  • How many career options in your field do you have at this point?
  • How long would it take you to reach your desired ‘career high’?

These might be tough numbers to find out but the important thing is to have a realistic picture of your given industry.

Want someone to help you beat the career odds? I can help …

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