Do you have that odd person whispering over your shoulder giving you job advice based on their experience in a totally different field? Parent, relative, friend’s parent, or even friends? They say things like “don’t specialize too soon! You’ll never find a job!” or “don’t work for a company out of state if they won’t help you move”. It’s pretty easy to understand how their advice applies to most fields, but does it apply to research?
I struggle with this often. Some extremely well-meaning people offer advice like this all the time. Based on experience looking at jobs on a variety of job boards, it can be easy to figure out the answers to some these questions. However, the sheer number of people offering seemingly bad advice gives me plenty of room for doubt in my assumptions. I’ve decided to go to the source and find out the answers myself one company at a time (provided they answer…).