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
> NATURE/SCIENCE/CELL
> 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.

-- 
-susan
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S L Forsburg, PhD  forsburg at salk.edu
Molecular Biology and Virology Lab          
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA 
http://flosun.salk.edu/~forsburg/lab.html
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