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The PhD ‘journey' can be rewarding, gruelling, stimulating, terrifying, and a great privilege all at once, but finishing is also often just the beginning of the next chapter. Where do you go next? In this talk I discuss post-PhD pathways with a particular focus on academic careers. PhD graduates are increasingly moving into a wide range of fields and industries, but I will focus my attention here on the academic pathway. This talk is based on my own experience as a Griffith graduate navigating the academic job market over the past five years, developing a post-PhD research agenda, entering into the competitive grant space, and developing a profile in my discipline. In this way my talk will be partly a personal reflection, but contextualised through a broader discussion of the state of academic labour in higher education and a critical consideration of academic publishing and grant culture.