Safety or freedom?
What to choose after PhD?

A book by Natalia Bielczyk, PhD

Available in PDF, Kindle, & Paperback

What Is out There for Me
The landscape of post-PhD career tracks

Inside the Book

What is out there? Do you believe in life outside academia?

For researchers who consider a career switch, the open job market often feels as remote and uncertain as dark wood, or as outer space. To be happy at work, you need to find a job that is aligned with your values, gives you a feeling of belonging, purpose, appreciation, and some level of both safety and excitement. There are so many conditions that need to be met to develop a sense of job satisfaction!

This book explores the following topics:

The right and the wrong reasons to leave academia

What are our natural strengths as researchers?

Strategies to find a dream job

The scope of professions at which PhDs excel

Safety or freedom? On 8 main career tracks for PhDs

How to find the right people and land a dream job?

How to take care of yourself in the process

How to navigate in the job market and keep growing

Why this Book?

This book offers you the best quality per price!

Experienced Author

Natalia is a PhD in STEM. She went through the struggles of post-PhD life herself.
She helps PhDs in building careers outside academia full-time since 2017.


The complete guidebook to the job market for PhDs.
This book is all you need to choose the right career path and launch your new career!


The book was adapted to the new situation - the world in times of COVID-19 - in August 2020.
It contains the most efficient strategies to find jobs in today's reality.

best investment

Fortune favors the well-informed!
There is no better investment you could possibly make, and it will bring you great returns.

The lanscape of post-PhD career tracks, Natalia Bielczyk

Natalia Bielczyk, PhD

A few words about the Author

Dr. Natalia Bielczyk is an entrepreneur, researcher, and author. She graduated from the College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Warsaw, Poland, with a triple MS title in Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology. Thereafter, she obtained a PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

In 2019, she launched Ontology of Value, a company developing new tools to assist professionals in navigating in the job market. She also runs a YouTube channel dedicated to post-PhD careers, and blogs about careers in general.

From the Author

A statement about the book from the Author

"This book is a compilation of everything I learned during my long post-PhD journey. It was a long way to go, from working with PhDs on their careers in academia and beyond as the Career Development and Mentoring Manager in the OHBM Student and Postdoc Special Interest Group, then setting a public foundation dedicated to PhDs, Stichting Solaris Onderzoek en Ontwikkeling, a long period of looking for jobs by myself, getting involved in startups, to setting my own company and helping PhDs in finding great jobs full time.

This book offers insights into the mechanisms governing the job market – you won’t find this information anywhere else! I’ve put a lot of heart into this book, and I hope that it serves you well."

Natalia Bielczyk, What Is out There for Me?

Readers' Opinions

Please find opinions about the book below.

I really liked that the book starts analyzing the problem of "where to go" much earlier than on the application stage. In my experience, figuring out where to apply is much harder than actually getting the contract signed.

I liked the visualization of the job market in very much. The author has plotted all the possibilities onto a plane with coordinates, which is insightful and speaks to me. You can tell that the author is a mathematician at heart. It's a simplified view, but I found it really helpful. I wish other authors used such logical visual representations more often.

I think the advice in the book is quite universal and useful not only to fresh PhDs, but also MSc and others looking to move away from academia and into their future.


If you are in graduate school, planning to join this world, or just looking at your path after your doctorate, this book is ideal for you. By using unambiguous and vivid language, Natalia Bielczyk writes the truth instead of sweetening the reality. She provides a fresh, therapeutic perspective on how to switch careers from academia to the industry.

Natalia explores and gives practical solutions to this phenomenal black hole in the scientific literature. Natalia promotes holistically solving this problem: Besides knowing everything you can about potential jobs, self-discovery is also crucially important in the process. To navigate this transitional moment, you need to be perfectly conscious of your own strengths and weaknesses of your hard and soft skills. Self-discovery is a fun, exciting, and fundamental activity, and this is what this book is all about!

I completely recommend this fascinating, well-written book. Let's take together this fascinating journey to explore the post-PhD career opportunities. Natalia has shown us how!

The author of the book has a natural lightness of knowledge sharing. Reading a book, I immersed myself in the story of a hero who suddenly meets a gap on her way to her destination. Despite many voices, how to get around it, she also hears the internal message and follows it - in harmony with herself.

She accelerates and jumps because she knows that a gap is a chance to choose freedom and finally stretch her wings to a fancy flight for her life purpose. The author shows others how to prepare for favorable flight conditions in PhDs career track within or without academia. A book for those who decided to take responsibility for their decisions.


I really enjoyed how this book explores the cultural differences between institutions, companies, and entrepreneurs, and the different rules they play by. After reading it I feel a lot more sure about where to go next (and where not to go!).

The self-awareness exercises were nice too. Some of them took a while but it was definitely worth it.

I highly recommend this book for other Ph.D students looking to better understand their options. It's also an entertaining read! 5 stars!


Buy Now

This book is available in three formats:

Read the first chapter for FREE

Coming Soon

Natalia's second book is coming up in a few months!

The Longest Journey: The Ultimate Guide To Self-Navigation in the Job Market

This is going to be a complete guidebook to self-navigation in the job market:

For what reasons do most people change jobs these days? What are the functional strategies to self-navigate in the job market?

How is the job market structured and why did it evolve this way?

What are the main working cultures in the job market? How do they work and how to recognize where you belong?

How do strong self-navigators reason and make decisions?

How to make sure that you develop your potential to the fullest?

How to make meaningful connections?

How to stay on top of the game in the job market?

How to stay forever young on your mind?

Would you like to keep in touch and get notified when the book is out?

The Longest Journey The Ultimate Guide

Get in Touch

Would you like to ask Natalia a question?

Contact form

Ontology of Value
Nijmegen, the Netherlands
tel. +31 685 444 840

Disclaimer: Ontology of Value, the publisher of “What Is out There for Me?”, participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Some of the links provided above are the associate links. This means that Amazon grants a commission from sales on Amazon through these links.