We are happy to announce the first Virtual Career Day which is going to take place on April 28, 2022. In order to provide postdocs with key insights into several career perspectives, the ▶ KHYS Postdoc Office is collaborating with fellow Helmholtz Career Centers from all over Germany. This year's focal point lies on transitioning to careers outside academia.

Are you a postdoc and looking for information regarding attractive career options in companies, NGOs or in the field of scientific management and communication? Do you wonder what the job market expects from you and how to optimally apply? Do you ask yourself how you can make the best of your postdoc phase to qualify for future occupations? If so, seize the opportunity to find answers to your questions on this Virtual Career Day. Company representatives and experts from the previously mentioned occupational areas will give plenty of insights and practical tips. Also you will have the chance to meet former postdocs who will share their experiences on how to successfully transition to the job market beyond academia.

In order to register for the main event, please visit this ▶ website.

Please note that you have to enroll individually for the workshops further below. There are still some available places in the ▶ Science Communication. How and Why? workshop that you can take advantage of!


08:45 - 09:00 am  I  Opening
by ▶ Robert Kötter

09:00 - 09:05 am  I  Greeting & Introduction
by ▶ Robert Kötter

09:05 - 09:15 am  I  Keynote "How to Thrive in Career & Life"
by ▶ Dr. Tina Persson (ICF Coach & Assessments Specialist, Passage2Pro)

09:15 - 10:00 am  I  Panel discussion "Transition Possible: Career Perspectives for Postdocs"
moderated by ▶ Robert Kötter with company representatives and representatives from science management and science communication.


10:00 - 10:15 am  I  Coffee Break and Breakout-Rooms
for networking

10:15 - 11:00 am  I  Subpanel Session 1: Transition Possible
on the individual fields of application with representatives from recruiting and a postdoc from various companies on experiences for a successful start.

  • General Management / Production & Process Engineering (Room 1)
    • ▶ Franziska Herrich (Expert Talent Management, BASF Schwarzheide GmbH)
    • Dr. Hans-Ulrich Härting (Production Manager, BASF Schwarzheide GmbH)
  • General Management (Room 2)
  • Data Science (Room 3)
  •  Science Communication (Room 4)
  • Science Management (Room 5)
  • Industrial Management (Room 6)
    • ▶ Hans-Jürgen Neufing (Lead Talent Acquisition, GLOBALFOUNDRIES)
    • Steven Langdon (Principal Member of Technical Staff Device Engineering, GLOBALFOUNDRIES)

    • Talha Chohan (Sr. Engineer Device Engineering, GLOBALFOUNDRIES)

11:00 - 11:45 am  I  Subpanel Session 2
with all of the panelists listed above, except Science Communication (Room 4)

11:45 - 13:00 pm  I  Lunch break

13:00 - 16:00 pm  I  Workshops
on career specific topics such as presentation of values and skills, career orientation, career decisions, CV check, effective self-presentation in interviews, use of social media in job applications, and much more. A comprehensive list of all eight workshops and their specific criteria to register can be found below. 

Effective Self-Presentation During Interviews

Duration: 3 hours
Registration: via ▶ mail
Successful interview technique and other forms of professional self-presentation need to be mastered in order to create a positive impression to potential employers. This on-line workshop aims to demonstrate effective techniques to present oneself professionally and impressively at interview, whether it is a formal job interview situation, or a more informal informational interview to find out more about a particular role. The workshop is presentational and interactive, providing the opportunity to practice in small confidential groups, as well as giving and receiving constructive feedback.
This workshop will be held by ▶ Sarah Blackford and is hosted by ▶ DZNE.

Academia: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Duration: 3 hours
Registration: ▶ online
Would a career outside of academia make you happy? Which skills do you have that the world would appreciate?
Through self-reflection as well as through a change of perspectives by interacting with your peers, you will address these big questions and learn how to navigate them. You will analyze your profile to develop a clearer and communicable view of your skill set and your career-related values. This is the right workshop if you are considering a non-academic career and would like to start making a decision. After this short workshop, you will not only have some first answers regarding the big questions, but you will especially have broken down the big questions into clearer smaller questions.
This workshop will be held by ▶ Dr. Christiane Kasack and is hosted by ▶ DESY.

Lunch Talk about Science Management

Duration: 1 hour
Registration▶ online
This lunch talk offers a condensed overview of what science management is, why it can be a highly attractive career option and what should be considered before one decides to walk this path. Most of all it provides an opportunity to ask all your questions about science management and to openly discuss the pros and cons of such a career with a representative of the field who has more than a decade of experience working in different institutions. It is highly recommended to prepare the event by reflecting on your personal questions about science management. Contributing with your questions and thoughts allows to match the event to your individual interests and to make it a rich and interesting experience for the other participants as well. By being actively engaged you might discover a new promising and even fascinating career opportunity.
This workshop will be held by ▶ Dr. Oliver Grewe and is hosted by HZDR.

How to Articulate the Value and Skills You Bring to Non-Academic Employers – Transferable Skill Training

Duration: 2 hours
Registration▶ online
While academic employers are looking for qualifications and experiences related to teaching, research, and publishing grants and awards, non-academic employers are looking for a combination of abilities, skills, knowledge, and culture fit for the organization.
Most likely, you have come across terms such as values and transferable skills but not knowing what they are and how to articulate them. In this mini-workshop, you will learn about attractive transferable skills non-academic employers value and are interested in. You will also learn how you apply your transferable skills, thus what job area you most likely will find attractive and interesting.
Key takeaways:

  • Learn what transferable skills are and why they are so important
  • How to use transferable skills to explain what you want
  • Learn to connect your transferable skills to your drives & motivation

This workshop will be held by ▶ Dr. Tina Persson and is hosted by IPP.

Effective Job Search in Online Portals

Duration: approx. 3 hours
Registration▶ online
Do you present yourself convincingly in online media? Social networks play an increasingly important role in the application process - both for you as a job seeker and for your future employer. In this workshop, you will get an overview of the most important job and career portals and how to use them most effectively to find your dream job. You will learn how to present yourself in social media, with a focus on the networks XING and LINKEDIN, and how to build and maintain your profile and network to best support your application process. You will also learn about your digital presence's do's and don'ts and how your digital footprint can act as a selection criterion in your application process.

This workshop will be held by ▶ Jörg Wunderer (Karrierecoach München) and is hosted by ▶ Geomar.

Failure as a Stepping Stone – Lessons Learnt from Failure

Duration: 3 hours
Registration▶ online
Oprah Winfrey once said, “failure is another stepping stone to greatness”. We have all experienced disappointment and failure. It is a space we feel most vulnerable and worthless and yet when we come out the other end, we see maybe there was a silver lining, a gift waiting for us, or as the Irish say, “the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”. Join the session where we explore failures through storytelling. We hear stories of the journey through failure and the path to awakening. It is only when we stop seeing failure as a negative and change our perception that we allow ourselves to learn, grow and discover the opportunities waiting for us. We explore the different journeys of the postdoc researchers and how to best navigate the landscape of “beyond failure” to “the land of possibility and opportunity” in and outside academia, taking note that, “The one who falls and gets up is so much stronger than the one who never fell” – anonymous quote.
We want to support you to:

  • build the right life skills to deal in adversity and through disappointment,
  • build resilience and flexibility,
  • be able to look at your strengths,
  • find drivers for your energy and motivation,
  • find opportunities in different perspectives

This workshop will be held by ▶ Dr. Pari Namazie and is hosted by ▶ HZDR.

What Qualities Do I have and How Do I Sell Them? The Transfer of Academic Soft Skills for Non-Academic Career Paths

Duration: 3 hours
Registration▶ online
After completing their doctorate or postdoc, many are faced with the challenge of embarking on a new career outside academia or in science management. In contrast to the scientific job market, however, they cannot score points with their specialist expertise alone, and the job market even seems to have little interest in some specialist areas. The good news is: Early career researchers often have more to offer than they themselves realize. Essential are the broader competences and so-called "soft skills" that develop through research, teaching and other roles as a scientist.
What do you have to offer and how can you credibly present your qualities in the resume and at the interview?
In this impulse workshop, you will receive practical information on how you can use the soft skills and knowledge you have acquired in academia for the non-academic job market. Primarily focused on the German job market. It will address the questions:

  • Differences between applications in research/academia and outside academia
  • What do I bring? Becoming aware of your qualities and how to sell them (incl. exercises)
  • How do recruiters select?
  • How to present these competencies in a resume / CV / „Lebenslauf“?
  • What experience can you cite in the interview as an example of acquiring these soft skills?

This workshop will be held by Caroline Ketting and is hosted by ▶ KIT.

Science Communication. How and Why?

Duration: 2 hours
Registration: ▶ online
This online workshop focuses on the fundamentals of science communication. It opens with an introductory lecture followed by an interactive practice phase and a closing question and answer session.
The lecture will draw attention to the importance of science communication and teach the fundamentals of good science communication. During the interactive phase, participants will then work on individual core messages whilst the question and answer session will provide an opportunity to ask specific questions about the lecture and the practice phase. It will also be possible to ask questions about career paths in science communication.

This workshop will be held by ▶ Dr. Tobias Maier and is hosted by ▶ KIT.



The Virtual Career Day 2022 is sponsored by