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  • Advice for career change

    Posted by mapeche on February 23, 2016 at 10:18 pm
    (Sorry for the duplicate I have some connection problems…)
    Hello everyone!
    Thanks for accepting me in this forum.
    I recently get my PhD in Chemistry, with a background in inorganic materials and nanotechnology. While seeking for a postdoctoral or similar position in the industry I realise that what I actually would love is to work in the cosmetic industry.
    I took my studies in Spain, and while we receive here a wide education in many field within chemistry, there are no cosmetic chemistry specialization.
    Some years ago I became interested in the chemistry of cosmetics, and started to study by myself, with time I acquire great knowledge (and Perry, thanks to your webpage) but without any possibility to demonstrate it. I also make my own cosmetics (only for me…spanish regulations are terrifying for handmade products).
    I considered different Diplomas in cosmetic chemistry, but in the end I already have the knowledge.
    Now that I am seeking job as cosmetic formulator, I am afraid that my PhD is not going to be helpful, and that I would be skipped in a job consideration.
    I was wondering how can I demostrate to HR managers how passionate I am to work in this industry or how to fulfill the requirements.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, I am also want to move abroad, preferably Australia, where I read there is a great cosmetic industry, mainly focused in natural products.
    bobzchemist replied 7 years, 12 months ago 6 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • ozgirl

    February 24, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Congratulations on achieving your PhD.

    I also have a PhD in Chemistry in an area unrelated to Cosmetic Science but I am currently working as a formulator/technical officer for a small company in Australia that specializes in cleaning chemicals with a smaller personal care / cosmetics division. So it is certainly possible to work in the Cosmetic Industry with a PhD in an unrelated area.

    I personally think that employers don’t really care what area your PhD studies were in they just care that you have demonstrated the skills necessary to achieve the PhD.

    Maybe doing an online cosmetic course like Perry’s would show employers that you are definitely interested in Cosmetic Chemistry.

    Best wishes for your career!

  • Mike_M

    February 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Take your time and pound the pavement so to speak. If you look hard enough and are determined the positions are out there. Then once you get a spot, if your company has tuition reimbursement then you take courses on their dime whether it be Perry’s course or UC online Cosmetic Science program for example.

    Network as much as you can. I got the job I have now through networking in a completely different field. Somebody I knew also knew somebody where I was applying who walked my resume into the hiring manager. Unfortunately with online applications these days I think it’s exceptionally difficult to stand out since everyone is writing about how good they are. I took a slightly different approach and emphasized the things that really make me a unique hire. Even if it doesn’t have to relate to the job it at the very least makes your interaction memorable.

    I have also heard some formulators speak directly with the hiring managers and bring or send products in to show their abilities.

  • BartJ

    February 26, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Regardless of cost and effort….. Show, don’t tell.

    Buy a domain. Get a professional email. No need for a website.

    Ask for ingredient samples. Make products in your kitchen or at your PhD lab if you still got access. Make more products. If anybody asks, don’t tell, show them the samples you created yourself.

    Go to all kinds of cosmetics trade shows. Doesn’t matter if it’s for industry or for beautitians and hairdressers. Just go, talk to people and let them hear you say the right stuff, let them see you talk sense.

    Always show, never tell.

    You’ll be fine sooner than you think. And once they’ve seen enough, they’ll start trusting your word.

  • bill_toge

    February 27, 2016 at 12:27 am

    if you know how to make cosmetics, and can show prospective employers some examples of your work, that will count for a lot if you’re going for a technical role

  • mapeche

    March 1, 2016 at 9:04 am
    Thank you all for the responses.
    I’ll really appreciate your advice. Sadly I’m willing to move abroad, especially to Australia where is mandatory to get a working visa before going there, so showing my own formulations is out of discussion. Anyway I will keep trying to get a job there!
    Also I’m thinking to work for a company by now, not to develop my own (for the moment)
    I’ve been thinking in taking a cosmetic course, but as I’ve said with a PhD in chemistry sometimes it doesn’t worth the time or money because I already know much of the content…I don’t pretend to be arrogant but this is how I feel everytime I look into the course syllabus.

    Again, thanks a lot!
  • bobzchemist

    March 1, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    The SCS has a good, relatively inexpensive, 1-year course that focuses on cosmetics. Whether or not you learn anything new, it would be good to have even if it’s just for the credential, since you’re going to have to run at least the first part of your job search online. You need to have some way to indicate that you’re serious about this as a career.

    As @Perry has said before, Cosmetic Science involves aspects of chemistry, physiology, microbiology, physics, and chemical engineering on the science side, and marketing, psychology, sales, and business finance on the non-science side. Not all of this will be on a course summary, even if it’s in the course itself.
    Join the SCS group on LinkedIn, and hook up with the Australian society also.

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