Skip to main content

Postdoc Resources for the before, during and after

Published on: Apr 22, 2024

If you are currently working on your PhD and thinking about the next step in your career, a postdoc is a great option. However, it’s important to thoroughly consider your options before deciding. Depending on your field of study and goals, a postdoc may or may not be the best fit. If you do decide to take a postdoc position, making the most of it will greatly benefit the success of your career. Once your appointment ends, you’ll have to find another job. You may consider another postdoc position, a permanent position in academia, or even move into industry. These resources will help guide you, give you confidence, and ease your mind on what to do next.


This AGU Career Center post "Think Before You Postdoc" features an article that discusses research on the decision to pursue a postdoc, emphasizing why it’s important to take your time to consider whether a postdoc might be your best next step.

Similarly, this Nature article "Postdoc or not?" provides some additional considerations to think about when deciding especially if you are in a physics field.


                Once you’ve started at your new position, take a look at this Inside Higher Ed article on activities that you can engage in that will build a healthy foundation for a successful career trajectory.

Throughout your postdoc appointment you may encounter some obstacles that interfere with your advancement. If you do, check out this Tackling Obstacles Resource Guide to help you make it through.

One of the challenges you may face is working with your supervisor. Read this Science article to learn from others about how they’ve been able to work with their supervisor and advocate for themselves.


                As you plan for the next step of your career after your postdoc, read through this Inside Higher Ed article. Think about how your career happens in chapters. You have control as the author, but your next chapter doesn’t have to last forever.

If you are considering an academic position, the Science article "Daunting but doable: Job searching after a postdoc" is a great resource to learn what makes a successful candidate and what criteria search committees are looking for.

Additionally, Inside Higher Ed article discussed insights into key factors for success in landing a faculty position.

Whichever direction you decide, potential employers will want to see the skills and knowledge you have. This postdoc webinar and related article explains how you can market your value.


Additional Resources

If you are not sure where to start in searching for a job, read the article featured in "Applying Research Skills to Explore Careers" to help.

Learning and identifying your skillset are a great way to help you find the best fit. "Getting Data on Your Soft Skills" can help you find the skills you have to market and build upon.

Searching for a job is not just about finding one that you have the skills for but also what the job can do for you. "How to take charge of your job search based on your values" discusses the methods to find what you need.

At the end of the day, we all want a career that is fulfilling to us. "Pursuing a career path that allows you to be fully yourself" encourages you to pursue the best path for you.

General advice is great but sometimes you need something more personalized. Mentoring is a great opportunity to learn directly from others. Check out these resources to learn more about the value of mentoring. And check out Mentoring365 when you are ready to find a mentor!

And check out AGU Career Center Resources for more articles and advice!


Kierstyn Lau, Program Specialist for the Affiliation, Engagement and Membership department at AGU