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Yaza
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10
October 27, 2015 2:20 pm  

Hi All,

I just got an offer for a permanent position in a well-established biotech company and I would appreciate of you could share your thoughts please.

I am currently a postdoc at a big Pharma (2 years until now). Before this, I did an academic postdoc for 5 years. So in total ~7 years of postdoc until now.

I recently got an offer for a permanent scientist position from a biotech company. The original job advs was for a lower grade title (PhD with 1-2 years experience). The HR told me that they upgraded the to title to match my experience. But the salary is slightly lower than my current postdoc salary. I am still waiting for the full offer.

In brief, the good things about the offer:

1- Permanent position - break the postdoc cycle
2- Potential for career development

bad things:

1- Low salary
2- Involve routine work (I already have the skills)/ less chance to learn new skills or new science.

I am thinking to go for it and see how things will evolve. If things are not looking good, then I look somewhere else.

My other option, is stay at my current postdoc which is more exciting scientifically (will end in about a year), and search during this time for other jobs.

Please let me know what you think.

Many thanks.


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Dave Jensen
Prominent Maven Moderator
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 910
October 27, 2015 5:17 pm  

Yaza,

It's hard to believe that a company would have the gall to extend a job offer at a lower salary than a postdoc. There's something wrong here. That's not the norm, so I think there must be pieces that are missing in what you've described.

Isn't there a stock option program to counterbalance the lower salary?

From what you describe, this sounds like a turkey of a job offer. Doing routine, mundane work at less salary than what you have now in a postdoc position . . . That stinks. On the other hand, you've got way, way too much postdoctoral experience. You need to move on, now, or in the next few months. An aggressive job search campaign needs to be developed now, with your total focus on succeeding in that. Give it everything you've got -- or, take the job offer you have now and keep your fingers crossed that things improve.

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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Yaza
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10
October 27, 2015 8:39 pm  

Hi Dave,

Thanks for reading this.

It is just that the big pharma where my postdoc is based is a generous company. I have been told that I am even taking a salary equivalent to what a permanent staff with my qualifications taken in this big pharma.

As for the biotech, I am still waiting to receive the full offer. Yes, I believe there is a stock option and other benefits. But I am already thinking to negotiate the salary at least to match my current one.

I agree regarding the long postdoc cycle. But I guess it would be better for me to search for jobs after I have a permanent position on my CV. The other option, to focus in the last 10 months of my current postdoc on job search hoping to find a good permanent job.


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Dick Woodward
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 273
October 27, 2015 9:01 pm  

Yaza:

Since they say that they are paying you the same as a permanent staff member, is there a possibility to move to permanent status within the company? Alternatively, take Dave's advice and develop an aggressive job search campaign.

Dick


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Yaza
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10
October 27, 2015 9:11 pm  

Hi Dick,

My supervisor already did this and used my offer to raise a good case for the company to offer me permanent position.. He talked to the director/manager but it did not go well. They cannot guarantee a permanent position.

Do you think that I should take this permanent job, then search afterwards for better options? or stay at my current postdoc and keep searching for a better opportunity.

Thank you.


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Dick Woodward
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 273
October 27, 2015 9:49 pm  

Yaza:

I would be concerned that your supervisor used your offer to argue for you to be made permanent. That may well have seemed to the director/manager like you were looking for a counter offer, and there are a lot of people who react very negatively to that. It would generally be better, in situations like this, that your supervisor says "We really need to keep Yaza here - any chance of a permanent position? I am afraid that Yaza might get an offer and move on, and then we would have to hire and train a replacement." However, what has occurred cannot be changed, so you will have to live with it.

I would suggest that you wait until the full offer is in hand so that you can see the totality of what you are dealing with. The idea of trying to negotiate a better salary is always a possibility.

Good luck,

Dick


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Yaza
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10
October 28, 2015 7:55 am  

Hi Dick,

You raised a good point. I do not know exactly how my supervisor communicated the message. But I believe it was in a good gesture. Otherwise, my supervisor would have reacted negatively and would not bother to talk to his manager to offer me a permanent job. Maybe his approach was no ideal, I am not sure. I remember he was trying to initiate this even before I get the job offer. As you said, things cannot be changed now.

I shall update you once I know more about the offer.

Many thanks.


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Yaza
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10
October 28, 2015 9:52 pm  

I have now got the full offer. In brief, with the full package I can say that the offer is almost matching my current postdoc. Still, I plan to negotiate salary... My remaining concern is about the scientific challenge or the opportunity to learn new skills. I feel that it will be limited in this position and I might get bored quickly..

By the way, the original job advs was asking for a Bsc or fresh PhD. But they upgraded the job title/band to match my experience.


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Ken
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 23
October 29, 2015 3:28 am  

That's odd. When interviewing for my first industry scientist position out of an industry postdoc, the HR director asked my current (postdoc) salary, but prefaced the question by stating that he realized this was an irrelevant number and there would be a large bump up in salary. There was.

You shouldn't be getting paid anything near your postdoc salary for a scientist position.


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Yandorio
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 36
October 29, 2015 1:40 pm  

"When interviewing for my first industry scientist position out of an industry postdoc, the HR director asked my current (postdoc) salary, but prefaced the question by stating that he realized this was an irrelevant number and there would be a large bump up in salary. There was."

It would be interesting to know what year this was, as the (Biomed) job situation is presently not as rosy as it was ten or fifteen years ago, or haven't you noticed...


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Dave Jensen
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 910
October 29, 2015 7:28 pm  

It would be interesting to know what year this was, as the (Biomed) job situation is presently not as rosy as it was ten or fifteen years ago, or haven't you noticed...

It's interesting to note that of my 30 years of recruiting in the biomed arena, only a very few of those years were "gangbuster" years for early career scientists, and they were all more than two decades ago. Since then, it's been about the same. Yandorio, you may have just discovered this, but science is not an easy field (hence, this forum to help out). The funny part about it is that people who move past that "gripe" still seem to find work, and go up the career ladder nonetheless. Sitting at the starting gate complaining about the competition isn't the way to win a horse race.

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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RSD
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 56
October 30, 2015 2:18 am  

On the topic of the current job market, I've found that in both my current position in a biotech hub, and my previous position in a non-hub city (both in biotech), we had and continue to have trouble finding high quality scientists to fill advertised and non-advertised positions. We aren't looking for super specific skill sets, just good candidates with interest and relevant experience. For talented scientists, the opportunities seem to be there.


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Dave Jensen
Prominent Maven Moderator
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 910
October 30, 2015 5:44 pm  

On the topic of the current job market, I've found that in both my current position in a biotech hub, and my previous position in a non-hub city (both in biotech), we had and continue to have trouble finding high quality scientists to fill advertised and non-advertised positions. We aren't looking for super specific skill sets, just good candidates with interest and relevant experience. For talented scientists, the opportunities seem to be there.

Thanks RSD. I hear the same thing from my clients. It's very difficult for employers at times, as well.

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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Yaza
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 10
October 31, 2015 1:32 pm  

Hi All,

As an update: I have requested an increase in my salary and I am still waiting to hear back from them .

If all goes well, my concern now is about personal development in this position. As I mentioned, I already have the technical skills but I will apply them in different settings and could enhance my scientific knowledge. It is a focused work and might get bored quickly. I will provide compounds to the screening team. then make more compounds and screen.. it is a cycle. There will be intellectual input, for sure.

I was thinking maybe I can discuss this with manager but I am afraid it is too late now. The manager might think I am hesitant and decide to move to the next candidate.

Any thoughts please?


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Steven Z.
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 60
November 2, 2015 4:02 am  

On the topic of the current job market, I've found that in both my current position in a biotech hub, and my previous position in a non-hub city (both in biotech), we had and continue to have trouble finding high quality scientists to fill advertised and non-advertised positions. We aren't looking for super specific skill sets, just good candidates with interest and relevant experience. For talented scientists, the opportunities seem to be there.

I personally find that impossible to believe. The scientists I know have more trouble finding work than ex-cons and end up doing rather lousy jobs like adjunct professor, teaching community college, endless post-docs etc.
There are entire blog sites full of scientists commenting on the nightmare that is a job search in this profession.


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