We are launching the JfA blog today, in the hope that it will become a platform for further sharing of information and communication within our small (but constantly growing) community. I hope that we will have many guest posts and reports in the future from JfA members. If you'd like to contribute a longer version of your job search story, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to arrange for a post.
We have already read some success stories in the facebook group, but many are also interested in those stories that share the difficulties of searching for a job after working in academia. I have been contacted by some former astronomers who have been searching unsuccessfully for a job for quite a while, and I urge those people to also share their experience through the JfA facebook page and through this blog.
Jobs for Astronomers has still a long way to go. There have been some initial successes, but I am looking forward to more meaningful results. For example, the European Astronomical Society has already built a non-academic job register in its website, however for the time being they have no way of obtaining job ads from potential employers. What I personally would like to see happen is astronomers becoming a force to be reckoned with in the job search arena: employers should be informed of the merits of hiring astronomers, and they should even advertise job openings to the community (like in the EAS job register).
It is also very encouraging that the LinkedIn group "Astronomers beyond academia" is steadily growing. This group includes a large number of members who already hold posts in various companies or have started their own businesses. It is an excellent place for finding information about alternative career paths and building up a network in your preferred field of work.
Finally, I would like to apologize for the lack of information in certain sections of the "Career" page. It is quite difficult to find volunteers who will contribute to the description of their field of expertise and so the process of gathering information on such a variety of fields is slow and cumbersome. However, I am optimistic that as JfA grows, more and more former astronomers will offer their help and provide information on the various fields, thus helping us be as inclusive as we can.
Thank you for reading, and looking forward to your contributions!