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Dear passengers, please give us five minutes of your attention. We are going to show you the career safety procedures.

Bérénice Kimpe

If you are a frequent flyer, you certainly know the safety procedures. There is always a moment where the cabin crew explains the safety procedures you have to follow in case of emergency. Theoretical emergency in fact: who may think that the respect for procedures is stronger than panic?

But have you ever thought about transposing those procedures to your own professional life?
A card presenting the main safety procedures is placed in the seat pocket in front of you.

We see the card without really seeing it. Because we all are convinced that we know its content by heart. But: how many passengers can instinctively apply the safety rules? Very few, if I may bet on it.
The same goes for your career planning: you see it because you’re the only one knowing the different steps you went through and those you want to reach. At the same time, you don’t see it because you don’t take time to analyze your pathway and your motivation.
Create your own “procedure card” including the measures to undertake to reach your goals and read it as much as you like: please, don’t leave it at the bottom of your drawer!


Seat belts fasten and unfasten as shown.


Clac. You signed your contract. You’re ready to take off for your new professional goals! Now you’re part of the company: adapt yourself to its “way of life” (be more flexible or show more respect for its process) and be at ease.
Clac. You unfasten your seat belt. Like the aircraft, you have reached your parking stand. Do you have the feeling you don’t progress anymore? Proceed to the exit!


There are 6 emergency exits: 2 in the front, 2 in the middle and 2 in the back. Lights on the floor will show you the way to the exits.


Your emergency exits are your professional opportunities, your gates to different positions. In case of an emergency, the shortest way to the exit is the best way. Conversely, your best professional exit is not necessarily the closest one: dare to venture into new routes but remain consistent. Even if your career path looks like a jagged line, there must always be a guideline. In a smoke filled cabin, the light marking helps you to spot the emergency exits: your professional network is your light marking that will help you identify new opportunities. People from your network will also give you valuable advice to get out.


In case of cabin depressurization, oxygen masks will automatically drop down in front of you. To release the oxygen, pull the mask towards you and breathe normally.


Design and implementation of your career goals require motivation and energy. This is particularly difficult at the end of your PhD, or when you receive negatives responses or none at all after your first job applications. One can feel isolated while looking for a job or during a career change.

To face this situation, go and find your own oxygen mask: tell people about your upcoming projects, meet new people who can give you new perspectives to explore, join real and virtual communities of people who share the same professional situation as yours, change your framework... It will allow you to get new insights on yourself and your project, and to gain positive energy from the discussions and the group dynamic. Be careful, this only works with positive people: avoid all the toxic ones (whiners, complainers, cynics…)!

We sincerely thank you for flying with us. We wish you a pleasant flight if you are in professional transit.




ABG is a French non-profit organization. Our missions are :
  • To facilitate the transition of PhDs (whatever their field and seniority) from academia to the private sector;
  • To help companies recruit PhDs.

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