The first Career Impulse Session with the invitee Dr. Christina Schütte was a great success, considering how the attending postdocs assailed her with questions. The session was a welcomed opportunity to get to know about alternative careers besides academia. Christina answered all questions in a very open and authentic way, sharing her personal history and giving valuable insights into the work of a grants editor and freelance trainer of professional skills courses – this was greatly appreciated by all of us!
Some of the more general things I learned: From my perspective, her career shows how important it is to
- know one’s own strengths and to be open for ways to make use of them,
- be goal-driven but consider diverse options to achieve these goals, and
- take into consideration personal values and private issues.
Regarding the format of Career Impulse Sessions, I learned that
- one and half hour are a suitable duration for such discussions,
- an additional half-hour for open networking and further discussions is necessary and will be added again in the future, and
- there are lots of topics for the next sessions – thanks for your suggestions!
Three postdocs and myself are already preparing the next Career Impulse Session about networking. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have one or another idea for guests or topics for such a short, interactive format and/or you would like to be involved in some preparations!
Speaking about alternative career, I’d like to point to an interesting blog article of Sarah Blackford about “Career alternatives. What career alternatives?“.