Prime Time

The year 2017 is a prime number, the first since 2011. And the beginning of the university year – particularly for students who will be graduating by the end of the year – is the perfect time to start planning your future job search.

There is no doubt that the job market right now is tough, and there is no reason to expect that it will improve markedly over the year to come. But what most people don’t properly understand is that you can find a good job, regardless of whether the market is good or bad – IF you know what you are doing. If you know how the system works.

Getting a job is a lot like running from a lion. You don’t have to be the fastest runner or the top student. You just have to be faster than the person next to you.


Lesson #1: Your Network is Your Greatest Business Asset

Even at the graduate level, a candidate’s network is the most likely way that they will find a job, and this only grows with time. So now, right at the beginning of your year, is the time to start actively working on your professional network.

And more than just job opportunities, your network represents a trusted source of information when it comes to making business decisions. In a world with an excess of choices, your network is a cache of experience that can help lead you in the right direction.

So who is your network?

  • Your peers at university
  • The academics at your university
  • Your professional societies
  • Your work colleagues
  • Established professionals that you meet at events

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute ( has over 4,000 members. We are eager to help get you started in your career, but to do that we have to know who you are. Come to meetings. Come to events. Choose ‘target rich’ opportunities where you can interact with people in your preferred field, or if you just aren’t sure then come to a variety of events and use the opportunity to talk to different people about their career experiences.

Next time: How to Network – the tips and tricks on how to walk into a room full of strangers, make contacts and make the most of every opportunity.


Over the course of this year, I will be publishing a regular column on the DCS Technical website and facebook page, the RACI NSW newsletter and various social media. Supporting this, the RACI Young Chemists group has recently created a YouTube channel for career advice videos.