‘I don’t know what jobs are out there’ – this is a really common statement made by research staff who are looking to move into a new career.

How do you find out about and explore jobs and employers that you don’t know exist? There may be many great opportunities for you outside research that you have never heard of or thought about. It is a common pitfall in career planning that postdocs don’t explore very widely beyond the familiar, and so there is a danger of feeling like being stuck in a particular career path or ‘rut’.   

As researchers, when you look around to what is just beyond the familiar academic research career, you may see the immediately obvious ones which may include: research administration, teaching, professional service roles in the university, industry-based research roles or consultancy opportunities. 

If these more familiar roles don’t appeal to you, it can be tempting to think that there aren’t many more options available. Here are a few ideas to help you think more widely about what is possible: