Beyond academia: how to “de-risk” a mid-career move to industry

Joan Cordiner took steps to “de-risk” her career when she moved into academia. Having spent her entire career up to that point in industry, she left her role as a technical and change manager role at chemical company Syngenta, and joined the University of Sheffield, UK, in 2020.

Cordiner, who does not have a PhD, reflected on her skills, strengths and experience and how to apply them to her new role as a professor at the university’s department of chemical and biological engineering. This included identifying knowledge gaps and areas that would really benefit her new employer.

De-risking means making any career move less of a learning curve for yourself, but also easier for new employers by ensuring that they benefit from the fresh perspectives that you bring to a role.

In the fifth episode of this six-part podcast series about porosity, the movement of people within academia and beyond, Cordiner is joined by Jorge Abreu-Vicente, who switched to industry after completing his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany.

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