How the careers team can serve our member communities
Find out how our careers team can support and enhance the activities of your network.
By Sarah Salter
Our in-house team of Career and Professional Development Advisers have worked with our local sections, interest groups and divisions to support their activities for many years. We regularly help deliver or support career panel discussions, career focussed webinars, 1:1 CV reviews and career consultations, bespoke presentations and workshops on a wide range of topics. If you are interested in running or creating an event, discussion or resource related to careers then the team would be very interested in supporting you to make it a reality. Our member-led networks are a phenomenal source of advice, information, and connection for members and the wider chemistry community, and we’d love the opportunity to support and work with more of our groups and networks from across the community.
Laura, Rob and Sarah are all qualified and independent careers and personal development advisers who are members of the Career Development Institute (CDI) and adhere to its Code of Ethics. We have over 30 years of combined experience in advice and guidance for professionals and are trained mental health first-aiders.
How can the Careers team support and enhance your activities?
The team regularly collaborate with organising committees and groups on different types of both in-person, hybrid and online events. We can help chair or shape panel discussions and webinars, deliver presentations and workshops on topics customised to your audience and event’s needs and much more. Popular topics we’re asked to talk about include:
how to transition into industry after a PhD
identifying and selling your skills to an employer
managing your career and identifying career development opportunities
job searching and creating effective applications
continuing professional development and how the RSC can support your career
getting the most out of networking
developing your career as an independent researcher
returning to the chemistry workplace after a break
Our popular monthly ChemCareers webinar series has been running for the last 16 years. They are typically 45-60 minute live webinars with three to five speakers who explore specific careers and sectors where there are jobs available to chemistry-using professionals. We are always looking for new speakers from diverse backgrounds, experiences and qualifications to contribute to these panel discussions and raise awareness of challenging and interesting roles and sectors.
Last year, we collaborated with the Surface Coatings Interest Group to shape and deliver a webinar on 'Careers in Surface Coatings', with the goal of raising the profile of this sector and the interest group amongst graduates, early career chemists and the wider community. Several committee members spoke during the broadcast about the opportunities and challenges of the sector, and the range of qualifications and skills that can help a candidate get started in coatings. We also worked with the Chemical Information and Computer Applications Group and AI 4 Science Discovery Network for the ‘Digital Skills for Chemists’ webinar in January which had 136 attendees and +900 views to discuss the increasing need for chemists to have specialist digital skills and knowledge. And June 2022’s webinar about careers in water featured panellists from the RSC Water Science Forum. We’re also working with the Law Group to run a webinar exploring careers in the legal profession in Winter 2022–3.
The Careers team went 2D for the Spectroscopy & Dynamics Group Meeting in April 2022 where Sarah chaired their careers panel exploring the variety of career pathways within the field, and delivered a talk on how to transition out of academia. Both were incredibly well received by delegates.
At the Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry Group’s #vMASC virtual talks series last year the Adviser talked through the ‘How the Career and Professional Development team can support you’ poster which outlined our award-winning member-to-member mentoring scheme, upcoming events, resources and funding opportunities available to early career researchers through the RSC.
The team have also worked with the Materials Division and the Joint Pharmaceutical Analysis Group (JPAG) for a number of years, which are always highlights. At previous JPAG Early Career Symposium, myself and Rob delivered sessions on job searching in pharma and ran 15-minute 1:1 CV reviews which are always fully booked.
Customising the team's support
The team are very happy to work with members to shape the topic and event to suit the audience, format and the event’s needs. The Kent Local Section combined a presentation and facilitated networking session with cake at one of their monthly meetings which went incredibly well.
Working with the Careers team for our online networking event was a very positive experience that we will definitely repeat [in] the near future. The Careers team were extremely helpful and accommodating. They took the time to discuss with us our goals for the session and how they could best support us achieving those. Sarah’s short talk on managing online presence was perfect to spark lively conversations on the small groups we divided the attendees. The feedback from attendees was also very positive, and we are keen to continue collaborating with Careers in future events.
The Analytical Division’s annual flagship event, the Analytical Research Forum, took place in June with the interactive Careers panel. The panel explored: how to manage your career amidst ongoing uncertainty, how to network online effectively, how to manage imposter syndrome and how career 'failures' led to new learning and career directions. It was followed by a lively 'meet the speakers' networking session where the questions continued.
The Analytical Research Forum organising committee and Science Divisions Team staff were incredibly pleased with how the events careers panel has gone over the last few years. The Careers teams helped in 2021 to completely reshape the content and move the session online during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure we delivered the support delegates were after, it was one of our most popular sessions at the event and got great engagement from delegates. They were the obvious choice to support our hybrid 2022 event which was equally successful. We’ll definitely be involving them in future events.
Looking ahead, JPAG are taking an interest in a mid-career industry professionals online networking event which the Careers team are piloting this Autumn. The aim of this event is to complement the activities of the interest groups. Sponsored by recruitment agency SSR the event will feature three market leaders from pharma. They will talk about the current state of the industry, its challenges, the skills they look for in chemical scientists they employ followed by "get to know you sessions".
If you have an upcoming event or would like to speak with the Careers team about how they can support or enhance your activities, then access our brochure and email us to discuss your plans.
Members can also book 1:1 career consultations via telephone or video call to discuss any aspect of their professional development. Advice and support is also available via email, or the Member’s area. Book online or by email.