A dozen papers?

S L Forsburg forsburg at nospamsalk.edu
Sat Sep 20 14:12:15 EST 1997

> aloisia schmid (a-schmi at uiuc.edu) wrote:
> ..... even if theya re
> extraordinarily lucky there is simply NO WAY TO GENERATE 12
> papers by the time you are ready for the job market.
> I think there is danger in relaying these kinds of stories---all they
> do
> is frighten already pessimistic women away from the academic job
> track.

Have you ever got THAT right.  Sometimes I think these stories get 
passed around and  used as negative reassurance, in an odd sort 
of way, for women to say "look, I can't possibly compete!" 
and give up.  

I must admit sometimes I want to step out there in net land  and say, 
STOP THAT!  Being a sufferer myself, I often think our worst enemy
as women scientists is our self-doubt.

Here are some real world examples from within the last 5-6 years 
(And trust me, it was just as tough 5 years ago as it is now to get a job).

The US postdocs from my (admittedly famous) postdoc lab got good jobs. 
 I believe the most publications anyone had from their postdoc
 as they applied was 3. And, for at least one person, these 
were not in the big glossy journals.  I had one paper and 
one review published when I was on the market (which added 
to two papers and a review from my PhD).  I wound up with 
three more papers from the postdoc lab, but they weren't 
on my cv when I went job hunting and they trickled out 
over the year following my departure.  I think I got a
fantastic job.

One of the hottest properties in my field the year I went 
job hunting had no publications from his postdoc at the time.   
He got a lot of offers and wound up with a great job.  
I think he ended up with one postdoc publication.

What probably got us all the jobs was that 
we work in a field that is  enjoying its 15 seconds of 
fame, we had some ideas and came from good
backgrounds, and some people  said good things about us.

As I said in a previous post, there are a lot of components to getting
a job, there is NO magic bullet, and the best thing you can do
is work hard and if you want it, go for it.  And DON'T let people
play mind-games with you to convince you you just can't do it.
The system is not our biggest enemy.  WE are.

DON'T REPLY to the email address in header.
It's an anti-spam.  Use the one below.
S L Forsburg, PhD  forsburg at salk.edu
Molecular Biology and Virology Lab          
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA 
"These are my opinions.  I don't have  
time to speak for anyone else."

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