With Industry 4.0 bringing about a paradigm shift in business and industry, the future of work in the sciences looks unsettlingly uncertain. But while it may be hard to tell what lies ahead for science graduates, fear not as we have some tips to help you make the most of the opportunities that will come your way!
1. Always keep learning
More than ever before, it’s crucial to pick up a technical skill or two to give your resume an edge. Do some research to figure out which skills are sought after in your field of choice, or simply go with your passion and take the first class that catches your eye. Think of these extra skills as new additions to your toolbox – although your job might not call for them on a daily basis, you may come across a few scenarios where they can come in handy.
More than that, some skills are universal. For instance, soft skills that make you a better employee and team player can be acquired from joining a club or society, or from taking on a part-time job. Don’t forget to make the most out of university presentations and use them as practice as well! There is bound to be a time where you have to speak to a crowd for work.
Also, with how rapidly things are changing in our time, adaptability is a key skill to have, and it’s one you can pick up by stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things you find to be challenging.
These skills will not only help you from the beginning to the end of the recruitment process, but will also see you through your career as they are essential life skills, too!
2. Conduct your own market research
Naming your salary and negotiating it right may help you land the position of your dreams. Start by doing research to find out how much you should demand in monetary benefits, and then move on to find out how much you need to live comfortably. It’s also a good idea to provide a salary range before opening negotiations, though, at the same time, you must be sure that you are not demanding an unreasonably high salary as it may put off some employers.
Take some time to read up on what other companies are offering for similar roles as well, and take stock of your own experience. This way, you can be sure that you are asking for just enough.
3. Consider up-and-coming careers
It would be wise to turn your attention to roles that will experience demand in time to come, rather than what is currently successful. It’s also strategic to look at jobs that will be less affected by automation. Here are a few key areas that we believe will be promising in the future:
- Food technology
- Data science
4. Know what employers look for
Recruiters are always looking for motivated employees; they want candidates who are genuinely interested in the job and in working for them. So, before you even apply, look into the company to give yourself an idea of what they do and how you can fit in. If you’re invited for an interview, talk about what you read of them and ask relevant questions – it shows that you’ve done your research and that you’re a person who puts thought into their work.
Employers love candidates who have some work experience as well, and, as such, tend to prefer hiring their own interns for entry-level positions. This is likely to continue for years to come.
5. Hone your interview skills
Interviews can range from one-on-one interviews to panel interviews, and can even be virtual. Click on the various links that will help you navigate technical interviews and assessment centres, and more!
6. Be open to advice
Seek advice from everyone you know in your field. Absorb all the information you can. Hear what they have to say as everyone has some insights into the industry, regardless of seniority or whether or not their occupation is one you’re interested in. They all have something valuable, and that’s their experience.
Heed someone more seasoned and hearken to what they say on the future of certain areas of work; listen to a person who is quite green and learn what their experience was like as a newbie. Even talking to someone who works in HR or sales can give you an idea of what other candidates are like or how the market is currently doing.
Certainly, you can do this research online, but this makes for good practise for an important skill – being open to input from others. In addition, the knowledge you gain from practising your listening skills might just help you in the future.