If you’re reading this, you already know that academia is a competitive place.
Many of us in graduate programs were given research training (of course), instructional experience (probably), and perhaps some other related experiences (administration, service, etc) depending on where we went to school and what we studied.
BUT, the one thing hardly any program teaches is how to apply those skills outside of the tenure-track market, or alternately, how to apply skills from other parts of your professional life to stand out for faculty hiring committees.
Anyone on the academic job market (for all things academic, not just TT faculty positions) can tell you that the positions are 1. flooded with applicants 2. increasingly more so and 3. many of the most coveted positions (like TT faculty) are becoming more scarce, at a time when more people are seeking them. Of course the research backs this up too. Add in the financial pressures of student loans (and rent, and bills) and you’ve got what can feel like an overwhelming situation.
So what can you do?
Many academics I talk with feel stuck at this point in the search: Feeling pressure to find employment that’s a good fit, and frustrated by the whole search process. Many folks are eager to stand out in their application materials, and itching to explore how they can apply all their valuable research skills outside the academy, but have no clue where to start.
This is where I come in. Unlike the other services out there, I don’t just offer you a prepackaged solution or feedback on one particular set of skills. Instead, what I offer is one-on-one, personalized, and holistic feedback that gets you from where you are to where you want to go. I see myself as my clients’ partner in their journey, and my goal is to help each person pinpoint what they most want in a career so that they are happy, fulfilled, and using all their amazing experience (in academia and beyond) to make a positive impact on the world.
- Initial consultation: We’ll schedule a few minutes to talk on the phone or exchange a few emails, which will help me understand where you’re at and to figure out how we can work together.
- Big brainstorm session: After our initial talk, I’ll send you a list of questions that will help give us a jumping off point for identifying what skills you have and how those map to what you want. During this session we’ll make a list of your ideal career’s attributes (types of tasks, work/life balance, etc.) as well as your skills (Not only those on your CV, but also any experience you’ve had outside academia, as well as “soft skills” that are critical to most jobs but can be hard to articulate on a resume).
- After our brainstorming session, I’ll send you a summary document outlining the job qualities you’re looking for as well as all the great skills you have to bring to that job. I’ll be using my experience across different academic disciplines and from different employment sectors to highlight new possibilities during our session, and will share any additional thoughts I have in this message.
- Job hunt coaching: Using your list of skills and job attributes, we’ll work together to identify the kinds of jobs that are a good fit across different employment sectors, compare your experience to the job requirements, and go over how to fill in gaps in required experience by articulating how your transferrable skills apply or by identifying skill building activities. At this time you’ll also receive my big list of job-hunting resources.
- CV to resume review: We’ll go over your CV and translate it into a resume format.
- Action plan: Finally, we come up with a plan of action for you to help you get the experience you need to land the job you want. This includes articulating transferable skills from your academic experience, as well as creative activities/volunteering/etc, using your experience to build a resume, and creating a path of next steps for you to help you feel in control of the job search.
I’m a PhD who has been extremely fortunate to build a career on a diverse background, pulling from my academic background and applying what I learned from everything from museum curation to community outreach to entrepreneurship. I am a researcher, instructor, food historian, visual artist, administrator, and so much more.
I have found that my most fulfilling work is done when I can combine theory and practice, and draw from all my other experiences to bring new perspectives to my work, and find opportunities to do something awesome (or collaborate with someone awesome) in unexpected places. In addition to the work of my doctorate, I have experience in academic/cultural heritage administration, visual arts, museums, libraries, solo and collaborative research, hospitality, publishing in both academic and practice-based spaces, public transit, international travel, food history, outreach and education, work with underserved communities, and a whole lot more.
That sounds like a really disjointed hodgepodge of stuff, doesn’t it? But you would be surprised how often I draw on each (yes, including public transit) to inform the others, and how my career is so much more rich and fulfilling for it. The trick is that I’m able to articulate how and why each experience I have serves the experiences I want to have, and opens up the door for me to build new skills and apply the ones I have in some really exciting ways.
I got in to doing personalized consulting because I want you to be able to do the same thing. I know a lot of PhDs feel lost at sea on the job market, and am all too familiar with the existential crises that accompany that search (Was all of this for nothing? Does my work matter? How will I find a job? What am I supposed to be doing? Why is this taking so long?) I also know that PhD work can be isolating as well as difficult, making it hard for us to build and maintain support systems during doc programs that help us move beyond these fears and towards finding (and then hopefully getting) what we want. My goal is to use all my experience (academic and otherwise) to help you feel more confident in your job search and use your own experience to find a fulfilling career.
My clients and my students regularly remark on my passion for collaboration and my excitement for watching the folks I work with succeed. I don’t just want to shove a ten-step plan at you and send you on your way: I choose to work clients who I truly believe in, and who I’m excited to work with to help them get the most out of a career that feels meaningful to them. I am consistently amazed by the people I work with in social sciences, arts and humanities, and the hard sciences, and would love to be amazed by your work, too.
Want to know more? Send me an email and let’s chat!