Bye Bye Academia, Hello Amsterdam

A year of changes

So 2015 was a big year for me.

What happened?

Firstly, my man bought a house for us in Amsterdam.

Yes…we have put down our roots. At least for awhile.

Why would an American and a Spaniard want to settle in Amsterdam?

Because we both love Amsterdam. #duh. What is not to love?

Since we decided that we would stay here for awhile, I also wanted to find a more stable job than an academic postdoc.

For those of you who are not in academia (congrats on making a good life choice, BTW), a postdoc is sort of a career purgatory where dreams go to die.

You see, after you spend literally years getting a PhD (when all your friends have already bought homes, been promoted several times, and had at least a child or two), for most fields it is compulsory that you also complete a postdoc.

The length is dependent on several factors. This includes the budget for the project, your field of study, the publications you garner for your work (quality and quantity), the economy, the number of jobs open (in your geography), and governmental decisions about the importance of your research.

This is all out of your control, you see.

In my field, cancer, the average time for a postdoc is 5 years. But it is totally normal to go longer and just “try to get the paper out!” or just “finish up a revision” for nearly a year or longer!

If that still fails to get you anywhere, many people continue (out of desperation) and do a second, or even third postdoc.

The median age of first non-postdoctoral job for biomedical scientists is 38.

Can you imagine: being in your 30s and considering to move back in with mom and dad to save money while you job search?

Seriously.

Hi. I’m a loser with a PhD. I made less than a librarian last year. Someone love me.

Not so much LOL here.

When a PhD leaves academia

So I decided to leave. I had actually decided to leave for quite a long time before it happened.

I told the Linkedin network first. 

Long story short, and maybe I catch you up on the details later, I have a new career trajectory now! YAY!

Since I luuuurve to write, I decided to pursue that further.

I have opened a company in Amsterdam, and I am now…wait for it… a consultant. 

Consultant is sort of an umbrella term for doer of all things awesome and fun.

On a day to day, I am talking with new people in different industries, companies, countries…and now…cafes.

I offer writing, editing, career coaching, and other services that draw on my knowledge of science/medicine and my passion for getting the point across.

I discovered that there is a lack of information about the great coworking spaces in Amsterdam, so I wanna fix that.

Keep your eyes open for my upcoming blogs on new and awesome places to pitch a day camp, and bust out your creative mojo.

 

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