Career coaching for scientists is a type of mentorship in which the career coach guides and advises on the best career path. Science career coaches often work with scientists to help them make important decisions, such as which new topics to study, where to work, or what types of skills to build.
A career and corporate coach is responsible for guiding and advising on the best science careers for each scientist, they can also help corporations on how to choose the right people for the job. They are often employed by universities and research centers for this purpose. Others may provide more generic counseling that helps clients match their skill sets with available opportunities in different industries.
The Goals of Career Coaching for Scientists
Scientists must consider their career coaching goals carefully before seeking professional help. The objectives of career coaching vary from person to person, and scientists need to know what they are to choose the right type of coach.
A scientist’s career can be a tricky path. A Ph.D. is required to get a job, and the competition is fierce. But what should you do when you want to switch jobs? How to choose between academia and industry? What are the best questions to ask at interviews? Career coaches may help with narrowing down career options, applying for jobs, and figuring out how to handle the transition from lab work to the workforce.
Some goals of career coaching for scientists are:
- Helping you find your niche in the workforce: most PhDs want to continue research, but there are other jobs as well
- Establishing an effective working relationship with a supervisor: mentorships, teaching opportunities, peer mentoring
- Narrow your career options through workshops and identify which careers best fit your skillsets.
The high demand for STEM professionals has driven the coaching industry to create training programs and career services for scientists. Whether you’re looking for a coach or a training program, here are some things to keep in mind when looking to switch careers: What are your goals? Do you want to change jobs or add a new skill set? Are you interested in consulting, entrepreneurship, or executive positions? What’s your ideal work-life balance and salary range?
What is the coaching environment like? Is it more individualized attention and feedback, group learning sessions, or both? Online courses provide convenience but come with less one-on-one support. In-person coaches can provide more personalized attention but require more time and commitment.