Reading back through my posts, I've realized they've read a bit like a press release for Rhodia. I've really shined on the company quite a bit--it's true. Honestly, I have meant what I've written; no one has told me what to write to make things look good. New things can sometimes seem "great" and settle into "good" over time, but this blog is a real time deal and so far the job's been wonderful.
That said, I have started thinking about tid-bits I've left out that might be helpful to those in transition to the chemical industry. If you are coming straight from academia, be prepared for a rather massive jump in bureaucracy. With some aspects, things just take *this* much more time or effort. There are one or two more forms to fill out than you'd be used to.
With other things, there is a ton more of your time taken up. Meetings and meetings and meetings. For the most part, I have not had meetings that were pointless; most have been totally justified, but just know that they will be an increasing part of your day to day work.
Also, your access to journals will drop like a wet rope. By all means, keep your email/password to the library of your academic institution. You may not need to look up many papers, but still...just trust me on this.
Depending whether and where you post doc'd, be ready to deal with important benefit decisions: health insurance coverage, flexible spending accounts, retirement, dental, optional supplemental insurance for vision, etc. If you haven't dealt with this in the past, it's pretty stunning. If you get the "I'm finally fully employed and they already want me to think about when I'm done working??" feeling, it's normal. These things are important. Listen to every word your HR rep utters and ask all the questions you need. That's what they are there for.
Because I'm running out of room, I'll just finish with one funny observation I've had: people really do gather around the coffee machine and/or water cooler and chat about the game, or current news stuff. Had a good laugh at that the first time I saw it.
So, because this has been such a smash hit (wink, nod), I'll continue writing periodically for awhile. If there is anything you'd want to know, or any topic you'd want me to comment on, please feel free to join the conversation. I'm more than happy to take requests. Until next time....