This is a true story as told to LatPro.com where you can find helpful career interviews and job search advice in your desired industry. Visit to find a career interview in your field today. I am a professor of paleontology at a university, teaching and researching on prehistoric life. I have studied paleontology for over twenty years now, and have worked as a professor and research for the past fifteen years. The main body of my work consists of giving lectures on the many topics within paleontology. I teach classes that cover a wide variety of subjects, from history to science. In addition to my teaching, I also work as a researcher at the university. This work is a little more varied, consisting of various research efforts. These efforts can be as simple as reviewing the work of colleagues' or as complicated as traveling overseas to view new digs and evidence. While teaching is usually the same every year, the research always has something new for me to handle. On a scale of one to ten, I must rate my work happiness at a nine or so. I do what I truly love, something I have been interested in since I was a child. I always found dinosaurs fascinating, and this lead to a career studying dinosaurs and other prehistoric subjects. Occasionally, classes are tedious, grading assignments or preparing notes or the like. However, I certainly cannot complain. There are also several times when my job moves my heart and helps me to reaffirm why I do what I do. Whenever a particularly eager student goes out of the way to work with me or to learn a topic is always particularly satisfying. Also, whenever a new site is found or a new piece of evidence is confirmed as true is a hugely exciting time for paleontologists in general, but if I am personally involved in the project it is unspeakably wonderful. Discoveries, large or small, are what make all of the work and studying worth it! The students and the research are what keep me going back to work everyday, hands down. There are challenges, of course. One of the biggest ones always revolve around research funding. I write a good number of grant proposals and stress about the finances of certain projects. Like any scientific field, our department is completely dependent on research grants to supplement our regular budget. It is a worry that you learn to live with, however. Despite the occasional stress of finances, my job is otherwise very free of stress. I teach around fifteen hours worth of class per week, prepare lectures and grade homework for about ten more hours, and then spend the rest of my time handling my research as I see fit. This allows me a lot of flexibility in my scheduling, and I appreciate this greatly. Because of this I am able to enjoy my life and other hobbies as I desire to, while still getting lots of work done. Pay is not as generous in paleontology as it is in some fields, however I am satisfied given with how much I enjoy my work. With a Ph.D and my experience, you could reasonably expect a salary of between $75,000 and $90,000. Some paleontologists supplement this with consulting work in the petroleum industry and can make much more income that way. There are other perks not necessarily related to salary, however. I do not teach classes during the summer or during the month of December due to academic holidays. I do continue my research during these times, but there is less pressure and deadlines involved. I also have the privilege of being able to cancel class if I cannot attend for whatever reason. It is frowned upon to do so regularly, but nonetheless it is an option if a personal day is needed. To work in this field, you absolutely need a Ph.D. This is a lot of schooling, but fortunately the doctoral part of it is not unlike what you do in the job: perform research, teach some classes, and work in a university setting. You need strong writing and analytic abilities, as well as some chemistry and mathematics coursework. Depending on your subdiscipline, you may need to know a considerable amount of chemistry. I would instruct people looking at this line of work to schedule an appointment with a professor in the paleontology department in order to learn more about the program at his or her school. I also would suggest taking a strong science and math curriculum to give one an edge in graduate school and job applications. It would be even better to minor in chemistry or mathematics; this is rarely required by a program, but it opens many opportunities for graduate school and research. JustJobs.com is ajob search engine that finds job listings from company career pages, other job boards, newspapers and associations. With one search, they help you find the job with your name on it.Paleontology career image from Shutterstock
8 Ways You're Being SHUT OUT Of The Hiring Process
1-hour workshop to help job seekers figure out what's getting them tossed from the hiring process
September 28, 2022
Are you terrified of screwing up a job interview? Does the thought of writing a cover letter horrify you? Are you scared to network with others? What do you even say, anyway? If you're struggling to overcome your job search fears, this live event is for you.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
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If you feel like many of the job postings you come across in your job search are scams, you're not alone. You are not the first job seeker to tell me they feel this way. But we have to think about where this comes from.
The Job Application Process Is A Broken System
@j.t.odonnell Replying to @nana_5075 Why job listings feel like a scam... #jobs#careers#careertok#jobtok♬ original sound - J.T. O'Donnell
Back in the day, a company would post a job in the want ad section of a newspaper, so you'd have to open up a newspaper, read through it, write up a resume and cover letter, and snail mail your application off to them. When the idea came to post jobs online, it meant more people who were the right fit could apply. But over time, that's broken down.
Now thousands of people will apply for one job when it gets posted. And many of those job applicants are not a fit. So employers now have to hire recruiters, who are also called sourcers, to go through thousands of applicants so they can whittle it down to about 50 qualified applicants. What's the rhyme or reason they're using to select some applicants and screen others out?
This is why you don't get called—because it's just so random.
After employers get down to 50 applicants, they look through those, find a few they like, and call them. That's why only 3% of people who apply online ever hear back from companies.
It's a completely broken system, so I can see why it feels like a scam. The whole thing is flawed.
So, how do we improve this system? It starts with making better matches, getting back to a place where only the right people are applying to the employer. We actually want fewer applicants, but more of the right applicants. That's the solution. And there are hundreds of millions of dollars in this industry trying to figure it out. But the one thing we have seen is that storytelling is one of the ways to do that.
You're going to see a rise in companies telling their stories. And there's a fancy term for this in our industry. It's called employer branding. Companies will tell their stories on social media platforms like TikTok so that those stories fatefully, naturally, and organically show up in your feed. But it's not fate, right? It's the algorithm at work—and before you know it, you'll start to see companies that feel like a fit. Then you'll go over and check them out. You'll see that there's a job posted that you're fit for. And this is how this matching process will start to fine-tune itself.
Right now, yes, you're right. Those online job postings don't work. They don't work for either side. We need a better system. And storytelling is the key. So go learn how to conduct a proactive job search today so you can finally land a job and work for an employer you actually like!
Need more help with your job search?
I'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Event Subscription! I look forward to answering all of your career questions in our next live event!
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