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As a post-doc, choosing the right jobs to best serve your career should be your primary focus. It is part of any academic career where doubts may creep in about your future because it is often characterised by a few rejections. This is due to the unbelievably high levels of competition and the need to go from fixed-term position to fixed-term position without the opportunity of getting a true foothold at any one institution. Post-docs need to be aware that a number of different job titles may well be relevant for them and when looking at job listings, they should be on the lookout for vacancies for research assistants, and the job title research associate.

However, the post-doc phase of a career is not all doom and gloom as some people would have you believe. Jobs for post-doctorates often offer the career satisfaction that academics are looking for, and the specific way of working suits some people very well indeed. After your PhD, the new level of control and influence you have over the research you are conducting may well be something that you are looking for. You now have the experience that means you can truly contribute to the direction a research project takes and act as support for the research fellows and PhD students who are in the same position you were just a few years ago. This is also the phase of your career when you have to completely and utterly settle on a specialism. Successive fixed-term jobs with slightly varying focuses are a great system to allow you to make this decision. You have the chance to experience a number of different projects and areas, the last time in your career when this may be possible, and truly find out what you are passionate about. Is a research company the one for you, does the balance of teaching and research at universities suit you, or the does the set-up at research institutes appeal to you? These are questions you won't necessarily know the answers to at the beginning of your post-doc career.

However, academics.com can help you navigate your way through the stress and strain of a career in academia. Our dedicated pages for post-docs have contain plenty of vital information for those setting out on their post-doc careers or looking to work their way up to senior positions. Read about career prospects for post-docs, post-doctoral funding opportunities, and tips for a successful post-doc application. It is our goal to help all those in the post-doctorate phase of their career to realise their potential.

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