Bench & Cubicle


Chemjobber is an industrial chemist who blogs about the chemistry job market at

Your new job sucks. Now what?

Chemjobber on how to keep moving toward your career goals



Is it OK to renege on an offer letter?

Chemjobber on what you shouldn’t accept unless you’re sure you want the job



Tapping into your inner focus

Chemjobber on how carving out time for intense concentration can help your career



How will the US chemistry job market look in 2020?

While a recession doesn’t appear imminent, some sectors may experience a slowdown



Layoffs on the mind

Chemjobber on how to not lose your identity in an uncertain economy



The art of salary negotiations

How to not leave money on the table



Does taking a vacation stress you out?

Chemjobber on the challenges of taking time off



What is a chemistry job?

If you’re looking for a right answer to this question, you’re not going to find it



Business cards, interviewing etiquette, and more

Chemistry blogger answers readers' questions in this edition of Bench & Cubicle



Will robots kill chemistry?

Chemjobber examines how computers and automation are likely to shift chemists’ jobs


Chemjobber on heretics in the lab

Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo


The ultimate lab partner

Chemjobber reflects on what being in a relationship while in graduate school taught him


Chemjobber on when and how to say no

The struggle is real, but the best way to respond is with sincerity


Predictions for the US chemistry job market in 2019

Even as signs of a slowdown start to creep in, now is still the best time to look for a new job


Jealous of your peers? How to stop comparing yourself to others

Chemjobber on how to turn your professional envy into a healthy dose of motivation


Is your adviser a micromanager? When to take your experiment undercover

Chemjobber weighs the pros and cons of doing your science in stealth


Catching up with old friends at conferences

The value of meeting face to face is something that social media just can’t replace


The unwritten rules of sharing in the laboratory

Chemjobber on when hoarding chemicals and lab equipment becomes a problem


Social media 101 for scientists

It’s never too late to start getting connected online


Chemjobber’s mailbag

Chemistry blogger answers reader questions on job hunting, changing grad schools, and more in this edition of Bench & Cubicle


What to do when an ill-fated project just won’t die

Chemjobber on slaying the zombie project


Chemjobber shares his secrets to overcoming a fear of public speaking

With practice, you can turn your greatest weakness into a strength


Chemjobber on when it’s time to leave a bad job

When you’ve lost your voice and loyalties have run dry, it’s time to quit


Chemjobber shares his tips on overcoming procrastination

We’re all guilty of putting things off. Here are some tips to overcome the inertia


How to know whether a second postdoc is right for you

Chemjobber reviews what chemists should consider when deciding whether to take an additional postdoc


Layoffs and the midcareer chemist

Chemistry blogger Derek Lowe shares his advice on the job search


It’s performance review time (groan)

If you can’t avoid the dreaded annual ritual, here’s how to get through it


Skype: The new phone interview

Chemjobber on the pros and cons of videoconferencing interviews and how to prepare for them.


What’s in your lab-coat pocket?

The things we carry around say a lot about what we do as chemists.


An introvert’s guide to networking

Looking for ways to help others can ease the awkwardness of asking for help when job hunting.


When it’s time to find a job back home

Balancing career aspirations with family obligations.


How to break down cultural and language barriers in the lab

Celebrating cultural traditions together can be one way to bridge the divide


Dirty jobs in the lab

Cleaning up after others in the lab doesn’t have to be a thankless task


The challenges of moving between academia and industry

Chemjobber on the challenges of moving from industry to academia—and vice versa


Dealing with a difficult boss

Chemjobber on when good scientists don't make good managers


Trading sleep for results

Fighting the temptation to work long hours in the lab

Submit topics for future Bench & Cubicle columns, as well as employment-related questions. Chemjobber will answer questions in his periodic “CJ’s mailbag” columns. Also, be sure to check C&EN Jobs for the latest job listings, employment articles, and videos on what chemists do.