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The SLAS Career Connections Program: Personal and Professional

Pursuing your life’s work requires being employed in a position that’s well suited to your knowledge, experience, interests and goals. Many of the people featured in the SLAS Electronic Laboratory Neighborhood e-zine (which you’re reading right now) comment that their interests in research were rooted in a loved one’s illness or other personal experience, accompanied by a desire for lifelong learning.

By Richard M. Eglen, Ph.D.

After laying the groundwork by successfully earning advanced degrees, they began looking for jobs. Often, that search is a lifelong pursuit, as personal interest changes, science evolves and the employment market conditions go through changes in demand.

It’s a matter of fact – and sometimes necessity – that early career professionals as well as tenured research veterans stay alert for new employment opportunities to help them progress toward their personal and professional goals. With this in mind, many join SLAS to continually build their knowledge with the high-quality scientific education that SLAS provides, and to expand their professional networks to find and foster opportunities for new challenges, new collaborations and new horizons. Informally, this can be achieved in many different ways. Formally, there is the SLAS Career Connections program.

Online, the SLAS Career Connections program offers continuous, real-time access to job opportunities and meaningful career advice for job seekers. SLAS members can browse job openings or search by keyword, geographic location, experience level, market sector or discipline. In addition, job seekers can set up search alerts to be informed when new opportunities that meet their criteria are added to the database.

SLAS Career Connections Resources include a Career Learning Center, Reference Checking, Resume Writing and Career Coaching. In addition, job seekers can link to recent career-related headlines and other helpful online resources.

For employers, SLAS Career Connections offers a direct portal to highly-qualified new talent. SLAS members can post their resumes (with or without their names) for free to make themselves known to the many HR professionals and recruiters who routinely search the site to find qualified job candidates.

SLAS Career Connections also offers valuable opportunities every year at the flagship SLAS International Conference and Exhibition. At SLAS2017 in Washington, DC, SLAS will continue the popular tradition of offering private, one-on-one coaching sessions with experienced career counselors who provide personalized guidance for short- and long-term scientific career strategies. These individual sessions can benefit scientists at all levels and include objective assessments of candidate strengths and weaknesses, point-by-point resume critiques, identification of promising career pathways and development of practical action plans for personal success. These individual sessions are limited and advance registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis, so if you are interested, contact SLAS Member Services Senior Manager Mary Geismann sooner vs. later.

Especially for students and early career professionals, SLAS Career Connections at SLAS2017 offers a mentoring program that brings new career-builders together (in private) with seasoned scientists who share their real-life, on-the-job and in-the-field experiences, knowledge and insight. These introductions often lead to ongoing, year-round conversations that prove to be win-wins for everyone – those being mentored receive valuable advice and counsel from scientific superstars, while those doing the mentoring are exhilarated and inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of those they help guide. Once again, these opportunities are limited and advance registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis. If you would like to schedule a session with a mentor, or if you would like to volunteer to participate as a mentor, contact SLAS Member Services Senior Manager Mary Geismann.

SLAS Career Connections workshops at SLAS2017 bring groups together to learn from experts and discuss challenges and solutions with peers. This year, registered attendees at SLAS2017 can learn from a refreshed the menu of workshops planned exclusively to provide guidance and counsel to new and not-so-new career builders.

  • Mentoring 101 for Scientists Part I: Finding Mentors and Being the Best Mentee You Can Be by Joanne Kamens (Addgene) 
  • Mentoring 101 for Scientists Part II: Best Practices for Mentors (and Anyone Can Be One) by Joanne Kamens (Addgene) 
  • Grants Process and Funding Opportunities from the National Institutes of Health by Daniel Gossett (NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • Surviving a Non-Academic Interview: What to Say, and When by Colin White (White Consulting)
  • SLAS Author Workshop: How to Prepare a Manuscript for Publication by SLAS scientific journal editors-in-chief Robert M. Campbell and Edward Kai-Hua Chow

I encourage SLAS members at all levels to take advantage of the career-strengthening services offered by the SLAS Career Connections program. Whether you’re a newly minted Ph.D. or someone interested in refreshing your resume or an employer searching for new talent, you’ll find practical value in this important SLAS program.

Visit the SLAS Member Center in the SLAS2017 Exhibition, Feb. 6-8 in Washington, DC, to learn more about SLAS Career Connections.


Editor’s Footnote:  Learn more about SLAS President Richard Eglen by visiting the SLAS Electronic Laboratory Neighborhood e-zine.

October 31, 2016