Monday, February 25, 2019

Marshall Brennan: #altchemjobs are just #chemjobs

Over at Marshall Brennan's blog, a critique of the "altchemjobs" hashtag on Twitter that is a cogent summary of how a lot of people feel: 
I have given many career panel talks, Q&As, jobs seminars, etc as both an editor and preprint business lead, and usually the reason people want to hear from me is to learn how to break the news to their colleagues that they want to pursue something outside of research. They have the same concerns about being shunned by their peers, that their advisor will think less of them, or that going down such a path is akin to chemistry seppuku.  
Worse still are the folks that find their way into my DMs or email inbox with these concerns, where sometimes these students are having full on identity crises. (If you’re having stress about your career and think that I can offer you any advice, consolation, etc, please don’t hesitate to reach out. My inbox is a confidential, judgment-free place for you to seek help if you need it, and you can feel free to vent to me if that will help you.)  
Call me crazy, but I think that a student should pursue a career that excites them, that they’re passionate about, and that can help them maintain a life (both personal and professional) that they’re satisfied with. None of those criteria require you to take your PhD to a laboratory, and I think that anyone who is trained as a chemist is a chemist as long as they choose to identify that way.
I'm looking forward to responding to this on Wednesday morning. Read the whole thing.