World Introvert Day Jan 2nd 2024 👆🏼

It is possible to make a move from the academic realm to the commercial one successfully, and there are many things that you can already do that will stand you in excellent stead. However, there are also differences that you will have to wrap your head around if you want to shine in your new career, and this is a subject you can read more about below.


Transferable skills


Firstly, it is vital to remember that as a qualified academic you bring a lot to the table in the private sector. In fact, you have a wealth of transferable skills including things like self-motivation, the ability to completed projects to a high standard, writing, presenting, researching, and hitting deadlines that are all valued within the commercial world.



Be sure to know your own value as you transition from academic to the private sector.


I say this not to give you an ego boost, but so you can remember that you are a valuable resource and moving from academic into the private sector is not about going cap in hand and hoping that some employer will take pity on you enough to throw you a bone. In fact, if you can show how the skills you possess can directly affect the running and bottom line of your prospective employers business they should be able to realize that you are an asset worth the investment.  




In particular, academics are used to working within a very stable and defined infrastructure. Yes, sometimes it can be frustrating, and there is a lot of red-tape to get through, but on the whole, you know who to go to if you want a particular resource or a task completed.


Depending on the company that you are employed by, this may not be the case in the private sector. In fact, you may be in a position in which you have to oversee the creation of a coherent infrastructure including organizing things like sourcing materials, locating manufacturing facilities, and dealing with logistics and warehousing solutions as what is in place is not working.


This, of course, can be a huge change for the academic who is used to having facilities or buying expert on hand to arrange the practical side of things.


Commercial motivation


Another concern you may come across as an academic in the private sector is the issue with motivation. Academics are often motivated by altruistic factors such as searching for the truth, or an answer to a particular question, as well as looking for things that can improve and inform the world in which we live in some way.


What you may find when you head into the private sector, especially if you choose a commercial role, is that all the altruistic reasons are less important and monetary reasons become the driving force.


This can create some issues for academics, and if this is a major stumbling block for you, I encourage you to consider posts in the nonprofit, or R&D sectors. Although it is also possible to take a long hard look at the area you are in and draw out all how it helps people live better lives to give you a motivating force that is a little more in line with what you are used to.