Moving from PhD to Post-Doc career options


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This presentation was given during the CALRG seminars at the Open University. It focuses on strategies and opportunities to find a job (establish a career) after finishing a PhD.

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Moving from PhD to Post-Doc career options

  1. 1. Is there life post-PhD? Strategies & opportunities Inge (Ignatia) de Waard
  2. 2. Beyond the PhD?!!! AAAHHHHH • Where to go next? A team/network that suits your persona, a job that makes you tick, with opportunities, fitting your life (family/balance) • How to find a job? In academia: your network (social media), funding • What to do? Get your stars out (CV, strengths), Work Out Loud (open science rules: e.g. blog, slideshare, academia/researchgate)
  3. 3. Standing out by Knowing Thyself • Be you: follow your passion • Me: I need to move around, be part of an inspiring team, enjoy doing my own thing and philosophy+technology
  4. 4. Read job profiles • Teaching opportunities (then set up courses, join Brilliant Club) • Learn to present (better): find online and f-2-f opportunities (add to CV) • Collaborate & network: positioning yourself for EU/international funding opportunities … be more YOU!
  5. 5. Identity change Established Practitioner PhD student Early/senior researcher?
  6. 6. Hindsight Lacking structure (writing, academic speaking) and theoretical background (methodologies, evaluation tools, theories) Building on organising and leading projects Build on strengths Attract & learn new skills
  7. 7. The importance of side-kicks/PhD-peers • Finding PhD role models (similar age/method: Jacqueline Bachelor) • Identifying partners in crime (Ronda Zelezny-Green, Michael Sean Gallagher: co-writing, support)
  8. 8. Being visible helps… a LOT • Update your resume (add awards, publications, invited talks…) • Organise events! Take the lead on setting up SIGs (Special Interest Groups), conferences (chair, conference committee), workshops… put yourself out there • Become a reviewer (find journals, ask to become reviewer) … show initiative
  9. 9. Face-to-face contact whenever you can • Attend conferences: let others know you are looking for a job • Be specific: relate to your strengths, keep contact if they said “maybe something will come up” • Work Out Loud on every opportunity
  10. 10. Grow trust and network • Get yourself written into a bid that a senior academic is writing • Co-author papers: not only with supervisors, but with research peers • Help-out: if you hear about a position, share in your network
  11. 11. Social networks WORK • Get into social media (the one’s that work for you): ResearchGate, Academia, LinkedIn, Twitter… • Most jobs via friends of your PLN (Personal Learning Network): let them know you are looking for a job!
  12. 12. Classic job hunting options • Tips from Matt Might (really good pointers) • Papers: e.g. Guardian: academic jobs • Specialized online publications: e.g. Chronicle of Higher Education / job section • Professional organisations (per region): Computing Research Association • Professional social network options: LinkedIn, Academia… • Job pages of different universities
  13. 13. Academic job offers • Most academic jobs: posted Sep – Nov, highest number in October (interviews Jan/Feb): first in = more attention • Relate to universities (teams) you like: you work with people
  14. 14. International job? • Financial differences: e.g. Kazachstan: interesting job, international intentions => worth considering => UNESCO, UN • Cultural differences to consider: e.g. same sex partner with child. • Learn job title jargon: tenure, lecturer, docent…
  15. 15. Moving with family to Country X • Becoming the Other • Isolation (partner): voluntary work (e.g. charity shops) • Country differences: e.g. cost of child care (toddler/pre-school: 700 pounds per month for 3 days/w); high rental cost • Moving costs covered?
  16. 16. No job landed (yet)? Be inventive Find alternatives adding to your professional profile – grow your CV: • Corporate options (consultancy, instructional design,…), start-ups, jump-in for people you know… • Get projects started… e.g. secondary school initiative. • Co-publish about the projects, write a book • Write magazine articles: pays a bit, increases your expert visibility
  17. 17. Questions, networking… 17 E-mail: ingedewaard (at) Blog: Twitter: Publications: Presentations: linkedIn: All the wonderful comics: Jorge Cham