by Christina Folz, OPN Managing Editor
Are you trying to launch or manage a career in optics? If so, you probably already realize that today's job seekers confront a number of unique challenges--including navigating a tough economy, learning how to stand out in a crowded market, and managing their online reputations. As optics professionals, you face the additional question of finding your place in a field that cuts across virtually all other scientific disciplines. The membership of the Optical Society (OSA) demonstrates the incredible diversity of optics and photonics: It includes researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, educators, policymakers, communicators, and more.
But the endless possibilities are as exciting as they are daunting, and this blog is here to help. We're launching it in conjunction with a new column that we recently introduced into Optics & Photonics News magazine called Career Focus. I am managing the column in collaboration with Yanina Shevchenko, an active OSA volunteer and Ph.D. candidate in photonic systems at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
Both the column and this blog are intended to serve as a resource to one of OSA's fastest growing groups of members--its students and recent graduates. In a broader sense, though, we believe these tools will be relevant to all of OSA's members and other science professionals as well--basically anyone who wants to stay abreast of employment trends and best practices for hiring.
Some topics we'd like to explore, both in the Career Focus column and on this blog, include:
- Internships and their benefits for undergrads and graduate students
- The ins and outs of peer review
- The importance of mentors
- Your post-Ph.D. career options
- Student start-ups, and
- Navigating the student-advisor relationship.
We'd love your help to get started. Please get in touch--either through a comment here or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org -- to let us know the career-related issues of interest to you and whether you are available to share your story or advice through our blog or magazine column.
Launching or managing a career is not always easy. But we're here to provide tools and resources that will ensure that OSA's next generation has a bright future ahead. You might even need your shades.