Thursday, April 2, 2015

Job search apps are so great!

Credit: willandbeyond
From reddit user (and longtime chemblogosphere denizen) willandbeyond.

Good job, Silicon Valley. 

13 comments:

  1. Whoa, Domino's? Sign me up! Didn't you know that PhD stands for "Pizza home Delivery?"

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  2. And pizza hut driver . . . if you are lucky enough to land that gig

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  3. adding insult to injury, are the numerous "hot job" adverts which pop up, usually for jobs either tutoring or driving trucks filled with hazmat (Ziprecruiter, for example).
    Some sites let you use Boolian or semi-boolinan logic strings to filter out the junk jobs, e.g. (organic chemistry) -tutor -tutoring -tutors -adjunct -visiting . Then of course there are the zucchini growers who want to entice you into another degree. They are more difficult to filter out.

    Some search engines, like that on GlassDoor, won't let you filter out the weeds.

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  4. Te be fair, that's a job that chemistry PhD's are qualified for and are likely to have a good shot at.

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  5. True. We are qualified for all of the "jobs" on our little thread, from pizza deliverer to hazmat driver. That is because we are over-qualified.

    A few years back, I even ran my own tutoring business, complete with website, etc. There is no way in the world that that pulled in a fraction of the income needed to pay the rent, etc.

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  6. Well, you can always claim that you're a freed convict with a record, and that's why you can't get many PhD level jobs these days. Say, you tried to poison your students with formaldehyde or something. Then they'll probably take you as a pizza driver because they won't feel like you're likely to skip jobs when a better opportunity comes along.

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    1. I think what gets in the way of getting a job of a Phizza Deliverer is that tiny matter of trust. My supervisor needs to be able to understand and trust what I do. When I say "Ph.D." the pizza manager's eyes either glaze over or go wide when he thinks what I could be doing with those pizzas.

      What I am dreaming of is a former chemist who buys a pizza place and hires us for drivers. Driving pizza wouldn't pay for rent, but at least would put some gas in the tank.

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    2. You know, I said this on this blog before, but my dad is a PhD chemist in his 50s, and he bought an ethnic grocery store a few years ago to ease him through retirement. Anyway, he quit his research job last year and also bought a restaurant and a pizzeria. He had no more time for chemical research, and now he makes more money actually, and he loves being the owner of these places. Anyways, I just talked to him yesterday, and apparently the pizza place (which is attached to the restaurant) is doing remarkably well and has huge sales every day, and he needs to help with deliveries almost every day. They are over capacity in the kitchen and actually do need drivers. Obviously, I'm not going to say where this is, as that would reveal more about my identity, but if you apply for the job and tell him you're a former PhD chemist, you're likely to be hired on the spot, but you'd probably be expected to have regular ten minute conversations once in a while about organic synthesis during closing hours. We went on a long tangent about PCC/PDC oxidations during our last phone call, and he hasn't done any of that shit for a year now.

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    3. Please keep posting about the success of your dad. Inspirational for guys in our 50's who are likely to lose our jobs in the next few years (like me).

      If I may ask: did he have money saved up to buy the places he did or did he take out loans? If it was the later I am impressed with his gamble.

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    4. He took out a second mortgage on the house, or something like that. I don't really know how all these things work, so I might be off here. But anyways, I think you go to the bank and ask them for a loan the value of your home, and if you don't pay it back, they get to take the house. They were still paying off the original mortgage on the house when they took this second mortgage loan, I think...

      He also has a very supporting spouse who is doing this together with him and she took some business classes, but they are both working a lot. It was a bit of a gamble, but his wife worked at the restaurant for a while as a waitress, and the previous owner stopped advertising and caring about things, and they talked to employees of the grocery store, who said their boss was going crazy with some spiritual shit and neglecting the place, so they felt like they knew what to do to turn these businesses around. Initially they invested a lot of the profits in improving the businesses like buying new fridges, ovens, etc.. and that is apparently tax free up to a point. But they now paid off the loan as well. I think they are going to sell the grocery store as it's too much work to run all three things and he screwed up his back moving heavy boxes there every day. Apparently not a good idea if you're in your 50s.

      The grocery store also sells a lot of 'natural' cures and soaps, 'healing' mineral water, and 'organic' vegetables. It's a tough thing for an organic chemist to sell, but you just deal with it.

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  7. Ironically, a very good friend and colleague is a top-notch commercial analytical chemist. He ended up in a major legal battle, which he lost. IMHO, he did nothing wrong, except for being a stubborn individualist. As a consequence he did have to spend a year behind bars. But he is now out, and thanks to his resourcefulness, seems to have no problem finding work which uses his skills. So this provides an example of how skewed the current job market is in terms of specialty areas.

    (this statement is with his permission)

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    1. This is very interesting. Would your friend agree to tell more how he overcome an obstacle like this? From your description it looks like he took a hit both personally and professionally.

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  8. Personally, I sure it was tough. I sent him technical books and we corresponded to keep his spirits up. Professionally, he knows a lot of people who think highly of him, and they spread the good word.

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