The Job Search Process

The job process itself, as depicted in the image  (image adapted from Peter Fiske) consists of four different steps:

The 4 steps of the job search process

Step 1: Self-Awareness

The best career decisions are based on finding the right fit. The right career for you is the one where your skills, interests and values intersect. Therefore, first, you should gain a deep understanding of your skills, values and interests. 

  • Complete the Science Careers myIDP  (free tool) - the tool allows you to examine your skills, interests, and values and provides you with a list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests. The tool offers additional resources for setting goals and completing them.
  • Participate in the Gaining Self Awareness Workshop (offered by OPE 3 times a year)

Step 2: Exploration 

In this step you should explore your options:  learn what career paths are available and are appealing to you, type of companies, job titles, locations, skills and/ or knowledge needed etc.

  • Participate in OPE annual Career Symposium (every September) and different career panels offered throughout the year
  • Attend the Job Search Strategies workshop and other relevant events
  • Conduct informational interviews and network
  • Browse different online resources (for recommended sites, visit the resources page)
  • Consider the following questions:
    • What's your flexibility and ability to relocate?
    • What's the level of work-life balance you would like to have?
    • Do you have any gaps in your skills?
    • Would you be willing to consider more "schooling"?
    • Visa status (if applicable)

Step 3: Focus 

Once you narrow your options down you should start seeking opportunities to gain the specific skills and/ or knowledge you need to transition to your dream job. A few examples for gaining new and transferable skills are: 

Outside the lab:

Inside the lab:

  • Mentor students
  • Initiate/ lead collaborations
  • Organize lab schedules or equipment
  • Write grants

Step 4: Job Search 

Prepare your CV or resume, cover letters; apply for jobs, interview, negotiate and accept a new job.

  • Attend relevant seminar and workshops offered by OPE throughout the year
  • Schedule an appointment with us