I know most of the questions here are related to workplace, but still this is the most relevant SE community for this question.
I am a graduate student in Europe finishing a PhD programme (in engineering), and in a few months I plan to depart from academia for a job in industry. It seems that most positions that are suitable for PhDs are never advertised, and are secured through networking or headhunting. It appears that I need to use the same channels.
My project is quite a practical one, which has a benefit that I am regularly in contact with quite a few people from companies, which do related work and present good options for employment. For example, a programmer from a company is interested about a paper my colleagues and I published, and visits me at my department for a quick chat. Also I am a member of a few professional organisations and attend different events where companies are present. As a grad student, I don’t think that I could do more when it comes to networking.
Despite all this, unfortunately I did not yet benefit from job offers. Explicitly asking for employment possibilities at some companies I favour resulted in vague discussions. It could really be about that I am just not interesting for them, but I have two explanations about this:
- I am talking mostly to “regular” staff, and it seems that they don’t care, and don’t see hiring as their task. That is, it doesn’t occur to them that “this guy is good, does what we do, why don’t we hire him?”
- They could be feeling threatened about competent people coming to their department.
I am a bit confused how to proceed to secure a job. I thought that maybe I made the mistake of not reaching out to senior staff, such as managers. My question is: how to reach the right people in companies who take hiring decisions and to prompt them to offer a job?