The Art of Designing a Rewarding Career


When I speak to undergrads, I always get asked: “Should I go straight into industry with just my Bachelor’s degree, or should I get a PhD first?” This was a common question this week when I visited my undergraduate alma mater, Truman State University. First, I always suggest that you […]

Should I get a PhD?


Several years ago I spent about eight months in an engineering group that had a very ineffective manager. His inability to provide strong leadership for the group was most apparent during our weekly staff meetings. During one such meeting I found myself particularly frustrated at the lack of clear direction, […]

Musings on a lame staff meeting (AKA: Valuable leadership lessons)


I talk about networking quite a bit, because it’s critical to building a rewarding career. Building real relationships that you maintain through your entire career will bring tremendous value. These relationships start with a first impression, and much of the time the first impression is based on that ubiquitous icebreaker […]

So, what do you do?





People often ask me why I enjoy working with students and early career professionals as much as I do. I tell them that it’s so unbelievably rewarding to share what I’ve learned with people who are just embarking on the amazing career path I’ve been walking for the last two […]

Five reasons why giving back is awesome 



Yes!  Just as I emphasize in my ‘Telling Better Stories with the Same Facts” workshop, stories make your experience come alive! http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2017/01/tell-story-your-life Please follow and like us:http://scientists.50interviews.com/its-all-about-telling-better-stories/

It’s all about Telling Better Stories!


Here are five job types that I have found can be an excellent fit for a physicist: System engineer Reliability engineer Project manager Engineering manager Process development engineer That’s right, they all have either ‘Engineer’ or ‘Manager’ in the title.  The fact is, few jobs in the private sector will […]

5 great industry jobs for a physicist:




I’ve been very surprised how rare good data analysis skills are in industry, even among those trained in technical disciplines. Scientists are groomed to perform in-depth data analysis well because it is a critical part of figuring out how nature works, and this is the fundamental goal of science. This […]

Good data analysis skills are rare


Broadly speaking, there are three types of jobs: A job where your task is to do what someone else tells you to do.  These jobs are typically paid by the hour.  Many involve physical labor.  For doing this job, you are typically paid $. A job where your task is […]

Three types of jobs


One very important piece of advice given to me by Ashok Balakrishnan is that in industry you have to learn to figure out quickly what really matters and what doesn’t. As he relayed when I interviewed him for my book, “Turning Science into Things People Need“: “(In industry) there are […]

Learn to determine what matters and what won’t…