Could you describe the application process from your point of view?
I was actually approached by a recruiter on LinkedIn for this role so never directly applied via the website in the usual fashion. Instead, I had just made my LinkedIn profile which was a result of attending the LinkedIn session Prosper ran and a few weeks later I was contacted by a recruiter saying that they have a position I may be an ideal fit for.
So, I applied for the role as per instructions from the recruiter which was very similar to a normal application process and involved sending across a CV to the recruiter, then having a technical interview with a manager at Puraffinity before a personality test and then a final interview with the CEO and another manager. I remember thinking at the time that the process seemed to be very long and very different to any interview I did for my postdoc and PhD. But I never felt nervous about the process and I think some of that stemmed from the fact that I was approached rather than seeking out the job and thinking how amazing it would be if I got it. Taking that pressure away, which we often put on ourselves, made the whole process a lot more comfortable.
If I was to give any top tips for the application process I would say, first and foremost, have some respect for yourself and see yourself as an asset that any company would be lucky to have and not that you would be lucky to be hired. Also, understand that the application process can be quite longwinded and can move very slowly, but don’t worry about this and be constantly checking your emails.
Finally, be confident and read up on what the company stands for, why they are doing what they do and what gap you would fill for them if you were hired.
Could you describe your first few weeks/months in your current position?
My first few months in my role were very fast moving and different from the slower moving world of academia. I also happened to join the week before we were moving into our new office and lab building so my first weeks involved a lot more cellotape and bubble wrap than I expected!
Beyond the packing and unpacking I spent the first few weeks simply getting up to speed with how the company works, what lab work goes on as standard, meeting everyone in my team and the wider company and just general new starter admin type work. I would say after 3 or so weeks, once my training was complete, is when I actually started doing work which resembles my job now. This was fine though because those first few weeks of getting to grips with how things are done was key to allowing me to settle in.
Puraffinity run an early success programme which makes getting to grips with the new role very easy to do and makes starting a new job much less pressured. I really enjoyed the change of scenery when I started and though I was a little nervous, it was my first job beyond academia, I was confident that I made the right decision and it was really exciting to be starting a job in industry.