I Practised What I Preached: What happened when a PhD careers adviser took her own advice

‘I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it’ – Alice, Alice in Wonderland 2022 marked me passing five years in my current job. Over five years… that’s the longest I’ve ever done anything. Longer than any degree I’ve done, relationship I’ve had, place I’ve lived (except my parental home). With thisContinue reading “I Practised What I Preached: What happened when a PhD careers adviser took her own advice”

How can you ‘use’ your PhD in your future work? Options for Arts & Humanities PhDs

Now, Bob Dorough and many people after him have tried to convince us that three is the magic number. For me, for some unknown reason, it seems to be six. Perhaps that comes from my innate tendency to make everything twice as complicated as it needs to be, but in my last post I lookedContinue reading “How can you ‘use’ your PhD in your future work? Options for Arts & Humanities PhDs”

How can you ‘use’ your PhD in your future work? Options for STEM PhDs

‘Science isn’t [just] WHAT you think, it’s HOW’ – Science Everywhere Before I go on, I just wanted to say… I hear you, humanities people, and an equivalent post is coming for you in a few weeks! Now we’ve got the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get down to business. Or industry. Or entrepreneurship.Continue reading “How can you ‘use’ your PhD in your future work? Options for STEM PhDs”

Non-academic job interviews: convincing your interviewers that you’re “just the job”

‘Just the job’: [British. Informal. Idiom] – exactly what is needed. E.g. ‘I was so thirsty, that cup of tea was just the job.’ Synonyms: excellent, ideal. This post is based on a recent interview with Grad Chat for PhD Balance on top tips for PhD career transitions beyond academia, available as a podcast orContinue reading “Non-academic job interviews: convincing your interviewers that you’re “just the job””

*Podcast Episode*: Your PhD ideas didn’t come from nowhere… your career ideas won’t either

Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the excellent Kelly Preece, Researcher Development Manager and Research & EDI Manager at the University of Exeter, for the podcast Beyond Your Research Degree. We talked a lot about my own transition from PhD to an ‘Alt-Ac’ career, and the lessons learned along the way. Here’sContinue reading “*Podcast Episode*: Your PhD ideas didn’t come from nowhere… your career ideas won’t either”

When leaving academia isn’t ‘giving up’… it’s actually finding yourself

‘Changing your goal or vision is ok. You can be happy beyond academia: it’s not second best, it’s an alternative.’ – Dr Naomi Tyrrell One of the most confusing conversations I had in my PhD went something like this: Me: Yeah, I’m properly looking into careers in university professional services for after my PhD. FellowContinue reading “When leaving academia isn’t ‘giving up’… it’s actually finding yourself”

What industries really value… and how to leverage this in your post-PhD job hunt

In academia, you might publish a paper and then say to an industry employer ‘hey, look, I have this thing!’ And the industry employer will respond ‘Ah, ok great…… what is that??’ – Eric James Stephens There’s a line in the Barenaked Ladies song ‘One Week’ (or as we called it at school, ‘The ChineseContinue reading “What industries really value… and how to leverage this in your post-PhD job hunt”

Making the ‘wrong choice’: why there’s no need to solve your entire life with your first post-PhD job

‘Your first job helps you learn and evaluate where exactly you want to be […]. Your first job post-PhD is your next step, not necessarily your end goal. – Dr L. Maren Wood I graduated from Careers Adviser School in 2016. Yes: Careers Adviser School exists. (It’s actually a Postgraduate Diploma, but that doesn’t haveContinue reading “Making the ‘wrong choice’: why there’s no need to solve your entire life with your first post-PhD job”

Curious, not creepy: ‘Networking’ your way to a post-PhD job

When your networking is driven by curiosity rather than asking for a job, I found people were very receptive to that. It didn’t come off as needy… or creepy!   – Dr Kinga Stryszowska-Hill Talking to someone in the bathroom at a conference Striking up a conversation with a fellow passenger on a flight CatchingContinue reading “Curious, not creepy: ‘Networking’ your way to a post-PhD job”

‘Someone who can’… how to close-read your way to convincing post-PhD job applications

‘You might think, for example, that as a teacher you’re an obvious fit for a non-profit seeking someone with “great communication skills.” But unless you know what that phrase means in the context of the organisation, you’re likely to miss the mark when enumerating your specific talents.’ – Dr Christopher L. Caterine I haven’t talkedContinue reading “‘Someone who can’… how to close-read your way to convincing post-PhD job applications”