Despite finishing his experiments and writing up his thesis during a pandemic, Markus wants to keep climbing the academic pyramid. Reflecting on some of his choices during his PhD, he now asks:
I didn’t spend anytime building my network during my PhD. Can I get a postdoc?
Of course! Academia represents the pursuit of scientific knowledge and the expansion of our collective understanding of The World as a species. Therefore, as science is broadly interested with measuring and predicting objective reality, it doesn’t really matter who you know. All that matters for a postdoc are your scientific breakthroughs during your PhD, your insights, and independent mind. For a successful postdoc application, you ought to be a self-driven individual, with a good base-level of technical skills and eagerness to learn more and grow.
All you need to do in order to get a postdoc position is to apply indiscriminately to all international openings, write tens of pages of novel and breakthrough science proposals, and frantically e-mail heads of institutions to support your application for fellowships. It really doesn’t matter who you know, or who your PhD supervisor knows.
All I am trying to say is that academia is a meritocracy, and things like institutional pedigree, supervisor prestige, conference networking, or endless publications do not really matter, as they don’t speak to your real potential as a scientist. All that matters is your passion for science. Good luck!
The Sassy Scientist
PS: With a PhD and absolutely no network, you have a better chance of opening a Moon base rather than securing a postdoc…
PSS: Are you really sure you want to do a postdoc?