31 March 2016
Emil F. L. Møller
Well into his postdoc, Emil F. L. Møller was hired by the Danish Broadcasting Cooperation (DR), where he now works as a strategy consultant.
In his PhD, Emil F L Møller focused on theoretical philosophy, epistemology, and what it means to know something. His postdoc, however, was – in his own words – slightly more applied. It dealt with information dynamics and with how you should organize a society in order to get knowledge distributed best to the public.
11 months into his postdoc, Emil was hired by the Danish Broadcasting Cooperation (DR), and he quit his career in research. He now works as a strategy consultant in DR.
- I assist the Director of Media and the heads of DR’s channels in developing action plans for how to improve our channels and content. I also make presentations for the Director of Media and run projects of various kinds with people from all over DR. Some of my tasks require relatively complicated conceptual work and can be very intellectually demanding. Other tasks are more practical, requiring writing and interviewing skills, he explains.
Emil got the job by standard application procedure. He was satisfied working on as a postdoc, but he had been thinking about doing something else than research for years.
- What really motivated me to apply was that I wanted to do a practical difference with my work. I also wanted shorter deadlines and to be able to work on smaller projects that only last days or weeks.
Asked why he got the job, Emil explains:
- I was probably a wild card among the applicants – but I was very well-prepared for the interview. I had read most of the available information about DR and their publication strategy, which enabled me to formulate my own ideas about what I thought the central challenges for DR might be.
- At the same time, I don’t think I was hired for my knowledge about DR or the media industry in general. After all, I had no prior experience working with media or strategy development, and I was honest about that in my application and interview. Rather, I think my boss was interested to see whether someone with my kind of background would have skills that could be of value to DR.
- Start looking as soon as possible: You need to start thinking about what you want to do after your postdoc as early as possible. Consider what you like – and miss – in your day to day life and work routine. At the end of your research period, you will be busy finishing up and will not have the time to think thoroughly about career options.
- Look at random job listings for inspiration: You need to be open-minded industry-wise. You’d be surprised to see what your qualifications can be used for, so don’t limit yourself in your applications.