Author Topic: I have decided to leave academia for industry  (Read 302 times)

fast_and_bulbous

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I have decided to leave academia for industry
« on: June 22, 2022, 11:55:13 AM »
A week or so ago it was like a little circuit breaker went off in my head, following a couple of unexpected expenses that will force me to borrow money I don't want to borrow. NEED MORE MONEY. And the path to that in my current position is a glide slope that does not even come close to matching the inflation rate in the United States.

I am well known in my subfield. I have industry contacts/collaborators. I have a specific target in mind and a specific set of skills that I will push. I'm learning how to write a business resume. That is the only thing keeping me from currently reaching out to one of my contacts.

I am not going to delay, even though this will inconvenience the lives of others that I collaborate with or advise. I am not going to burn bridges but I am resolute.

Damn this feels good and right.

I will report back.
I wake up every morning with a healthy dose of analog delay

Parasaurolophus

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2022, 12:24:58 PM »
Good luck!
I know it's a genus.

dismalist

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2022, 12:44:53 PM »
Market working! Best of luck.
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mamselle

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2022, 01:34:57 PM »
Sorry for your recently constrained circumstances.

I hope things can work out well going forward.

Would some surreptitious information interviewing with discrete friends be useful?

Or maybe you're already doing that.

M. (who does not idolize "the market" but does respect feelings of certainty when they happen.)
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

Anon1787

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2022, 01:57:10 PM »
Would some surreptitious information interviewing with discrete friends be useful?

Or maybe you're already doing that.

I like my friends to be discrete and discreet.

mamselle

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2022, 02:36:44 PM »
Oops...

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

fast_and_bulbous

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2022, 03:12:01 PM »
Sorry for your recently constrained circumstances.

I hope things can work out well going forward.

Would some surreptitious information interviewing with discrete friends be useful?

Or maybe you're already doing that.

M. (who does not idolize "the market" but does respect feelings of certainty when they happen.)

Thanks mamselle. I'm reading Leaving Academia: A Practical Guide and everything tracks. Most of the pieces are in place. I will be strategic.

It's not just the money. I'm done with the National Science Foundation Lottery as a sole funding source. If I never write another proposal again it will be too soon. Thankfully my skills should translate pretty obviously to the group I am targeting, and these skills are highly desirable to this group. We'll see. I am totally done with academia whether or not this particular group works out. I see it as a practical matter of survival in this crazy world. I have already left academia in my mind/heart and am ready for the next chapter. I. Am. Done.
I wake up every morning with a healthy dose of analog delay

mamselle

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2022, 04:04:26 PM »
Good to know what you want.

And these are not intended to dissuade, but just for a reality check.

I've worked in several STEM-related industries as well as in academic settings.

There are dangerous doofuses in both.

There are really cool people in both.

You can sometimes get to do really cool stuff in industry that you couldn't at all do in academia.

You can sometimes be cut off, usually by the profit line, in industrial settings, which happens less often in academia.

The biggest discontinuity is the need to please shareholders, which translates to everyone being ready to move on every couple of years because some shareholder's group keeps pushing for some increased profit margin on their shares and the only way to do that is to do lay-offs.

I'm in an area where layoffs are so common that there's an understood protocol for recognizing when they're likely to happen, planning how to get through them (never keep more than two boxes worth of personal stuff on your desk at any time), and methods of optimizing your contacts at that job (collect contact information in advance) and ways of planning ahead for when you're all at some place across town with everyone in different reportage structures (a bench rat can be reporting to someone at one place and be their supervisor at the next).

Doesn't always happen, but it can.

And you should still do what you want to do, not saying you shouldn't, just know where the potholes are and don't get eaten by one.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

secundem_artem

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2022, 07:16:58 AM »
2 things to point out:

1.  You really want to move to a sector where people won't get your Captain Beefheart reference?

2. I've worked in the private sector, they expect results!
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Volhiker78

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2022, 07:56:36 AM »

[/quote]

Thanks mamselle. I'm reading Leaving Academia: A Practical Guide and everything tracks. Most of the pieces are in place. I will be strategic.

It's not just the money. I'm done with the National Science Foundation Lottery as a sole funding source. If I never write another proposal again it will be too soon. Thankfully my skills should translate pretty obviously to the group I am targeting, and these skills are highly desirable to this group. We'll see. I am totally done with academia whether or not this particular group works out. I see it as a practical matter of survival in this crazy world. I have already left academia in my mind/heart and am ready for the next chapter. I. Am. Done.
[/quote]

Good luck.  I went the other direction (industry to academics) but knew several people who did the reverse.  It went well for them.  All of them quickly gravitated to managerial roles with various levels of technical responsibilities.  I think it is because they had strong skills in teaching/mentoring/evaluating.   Also good interpersonal skills and the ability to network upwards.  Not sure this is what you are looking for but might be something you communicate in interviews. 

little bongo

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2022, 11:14:35 AM »
Yes, best of luck. It's a big move, but it seems to be the best one for you.

Dismal

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2022, 11:39:32 AM »
Sounds like a good plan. Yes, I hope you report back on the next step in your career.

bio-nonymous

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2022, 12:38:47 PM »
 I completely understand your feelings about NSF, I feel the same way about NIH for my field. I sometimes think about leaving academia myself, occasionally skimming through Biospace jobs... For me, it is not just the broken funding lottery but also the broken manuscript peer review system. Good Luck and I wish you the best!

fast_and_bulbous

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #13 on: Today at 06:44:27 AM »
So, it is done. The email went out. Message received, and now I wait.

The last couple of weeks involved creating a (non academic) resume along with assembling the words I wanted to write to convey my interest in the specifics of the company.

I have second doubted myself more than a few times and considered bailing on this silly notion but I always came back to "I have to at least try."

Yoda can kiss my ass.
I wake up every morning with a healthy dose of analog delay

lightning

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Re: I have decided to leave academia for industry
« Reply #14 on: Today at 07:20:54 AM »
This sounds great. Good luck!