There is a classical scientific career path at KI:
• Research associate (FoAss)
• Senior Research fellow
As Chrisi already wrote, here it is important to have the exactly right employment if you want to follow this career-path. However, there is also a parallel career-path.
The teaching career path at KI:
• Adjunkt Lecturer
• Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor, Lektor)
• Docent (Associate Professor)
Instead of focusing on a scientific career, you can go for teaching. The position of an Adjunct Lecturer is an option even after you chose a non-scientific career path after getting your PhD. If your PhD is in the field of interest and you can show outstanding teaching abilities, you are eligible as an Adjunct Lecturer.
Senior Lecturer is the second highest teaching position at KI and requires both pedagogical and scientific competence. Holding a PhD is obligatory and same competence as for a Docent is needed. — So, to improve your teaching skills during your postdoc can be of value! However, there is a max amount of 1/5 of your working time.
Other important points you may have in mind during your postdoc are
- Postdoc abroad. A good thing to do is to convince your supervisor already during your PhD to send you abroad to start networking with a group that is of interest for your postdoc.
- Absolutely necessary: getting at least 2 publications as first/last author and preferably other ones to show your collaboration-skills.
- When learning new methods, try from the very beginning to gather a unique combination of skills that will make you attractive. This is a general rule:
- Have a long-term plan! Already during your postdoc period, inform yourself about the requirements for your next career-step (FoAss, etc). Check deadlines and needs for these announcements and who is going to evaluate your application?
- Less important it is to go to large conferences and do other kind of organisatory work. It will distract you from your main duty: publishing.
And in consequence, once you achieved the position as a Research Associate you need to have your next career step in mind: Docentur. To reach there you need to keep up the good work but now show that you do it independently and that you have leadership-expertise by promoting new talents in form of good PhD students and postdocs.
I want to mention that there is even a third career-path at KI focusing on clinicians. So, if you work as a clinician, check it out!
Now you should all be well prepared for climbing all of KIs well visible or hidden career ladders — Good luck with it!