When you include this slide into the workshop that you are revising, please highlight the corresponding workshop in yellow on the grid “Exploring Careers Outside of Academia” is still on the grid for now (still pending a final decision)
Note – summer hours are currently indicated. Once we switch back to regular hours in September, we will need to remember to change the hours on this slide
Exploring Careers Outside of Academia
Location: POD 60
Phone: (416) 979 – 5177
Hours: Mon – Thu 8:30 am – 6:30 pm/Fri 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Career Development Workshops
Know yourself and what you
Present yourself with style
Make your move
• Discovering Your Career
• The “Wow” Factor:
Resumes & Cover
Letters that Stand Out
• Job Search Strategies
that Maximize Results
• Exploring Careers
Outside of Academia
• Interview Techniques that
Land the Job
• Networking On & Offline
• Grad School Application
• LinkedIn: Developing
Career Connections &
• Cultural Adaptation:
Working in Canada
5. Create a Personal Brand
- What do I want them to know about me?
1. What Brings You Here?
2. Major Concerns in Job Search
3. Exploring Other Areas
- What other kinds of jobs are out there for me?
4. Conducting a Successful Job Search
- Self Assessment
- Skills Inventory
- CV vs. Resume
- Job search methods
What Brings You Here?
Your ordinal plan was to go into academia, but then…?
You feel that the labor market is poor.
You got a PhD for its own sake and want to see
what’s out there.
You have no idea what is out there and
what your education can do for you.
Low Labor Market Prospects
Several studies have shown a rapid decline in educational funding across many
One study indicated that only 50% of doctorate grads work in academia, and only
50% of them work full time
You’re used to an academic environment and are not sure how to adapt to the
You’re accomplishments may be difficult to translate to employers
You may not have “traditional” work history
You feel that leaving academia means leaving behind all that you have done
Ironically you may feel that you may know nothing
Myths About Post-Graduate Degrees
& Job Search
Adapted from an article from the University of Florida, Career Resource Centre
Myth 1: “I have no skills outside of academia”
Truth: You have gained many valuable transferable skills throughout your education
These are also known as employability skills that many employers will
find attractive. These are gained through your research work (both for
your papers and for the professor you had worked for), projects,
committees, volunteer work, student organizations and survival work.
Some examples of these skills include:
Problem Solving and Leadership skills
Myth 2: “No one will hire me with such little work experience”
Truth: You have already gained valuable work experience
What you need to remember is that you need to “speak” the language
of the employers when discussing your experiences. You have many
skills and experiences to offer to employers, but you need to bridge the
“meaning” of what these are so that the employer sees its value.
This means learning to say what they want to hear.
Myth 3: “I have no idea where to work”
“It’s impossible to get a job”
“I’m over qualified”
Truth: You are not overqualified. There are plenty of places to work, however, you
just might need to think outside of the box.
Myth 4: “I can’t talk to my advisor. They want me to stay in
Truth: You are not the first person to explore other options.
It is important to speak honestly
with your advisors and mentors.
However, you want to avoid just
dropping this idea on them. It is
better to approach this concern
with more of an exploratory
discussion method. That way, you
can get their advice and potential
leads for others who have also
gone through this process.
Exploring Other Areas
There may be many other areas that you can explore outside of academia in which
your education and skills will be highly valued. Here are some sample areas:
Higher Education Administration
(You may not have to leave the school environment after all!)
Teaching, Writing, Learning centres
Research and Public Affairs offices
Student and Academic affairs
Financial Analyst, Advisor
Industry Research & Development
Become an Entrepreneur
Do the same type of research, but now for companies
Take a look at the resources below to find
out more about these careers
Or, professional association websites
Working in Canada www.workingincanada.gc.ca
Career Cruising www.careercruising.com
Ontario Job Futures www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/ojf/
Conducting A Success Job Search
The next step in your journey is to begin job search. However
before we can start, there are three very important things that
need to happen first.
1. Self Assessment
2. Skills Assessment
3. Research the industries and jobs
1. Self Assessment
Before you look at the jobs, you need to look at yourself.
Most Common Question
“I don’t know what I
want to do. Is there a
test or something that
can tell me what career
is right for me?”
Objectives of Career Exploration
Self-assessment is the first step of the career planning process.
It allows you to learn more about your:
• An informed career decision
• Information for a strong resume
• Self knowledge for interviews
• Natural talents
• Work styles
• Unique strengths in
relation to career
fields and titles
The result is:
2. Skills/Strengths Assessment
There are many skills that you have that add value to you - and being a good researcher is
just the beginning. Some examples include:
What you need to know is what you can offer an employer.
… and many others!
Look at the “Personal Strengths” worksheet and take a few minutes to
checkmark any of the strengths you think you have. Fill out the YOU side only.
Pick a strength from the list and prepare to present it to the rest of the class.
3. Research the Industries and Jobs
As part of this process, you need to relearn how to present yourself in such a way that
employers find value in you. The best way to find this out is to research the key terms they use
and understand their vision and point of view.
Feature vs. Benefit
An information dump of what you did and how you did it that presents YOUR
academic backgrounds. This could include words, jargon and results that may
mean little to the employer because it lacks relevance.
Benefit: Demonstrating how what you did and how you did it will benefit the employer
in terms that they can relate to. This again means knowing what they want,
Among its benefits, LinkedIn is a great source for research. There are several Groups
(forums) that are dedicated to careers outside of academia that you can look into
joining. The members of these particular groups are individuals who may have found
themselves in a similar situation you’re currently in. These individuals may be people
you’d like to connect with and/or find out about their experiences.
CV vs. Resume
In the vast majority of cases, an employer is going to want a resume instead of your CV.
Please attend our Resume & Cover Letters that Stand Out workshop, or
book an appointment to find out more detailed information. Below is a
quick summary of differences.
No page limit
Emphasis on academic
experience (e.g. research,
1 or 2 pages
For academic or research
positions, grad school,
For employers outside
of academia or
Job Search Methods
Success in your job search will greatly depend on the method you use.
The most popular include:
1. Internet Job Search
3. Recruitment Agencies
The following slide will provide a synopsis of these methods; but for more detailed
information, please attend a counselling session or attend our Job Search Strategies
and Networking On and Offline workshops.
1. Online Job Searching
By far the most used method to look for employment. However, on a statistical level, the
least effective. Although many schools will post employment opportunities online, many
mid-small sized companies will not. Most current statistics state that up to 70% of jobs
are not found online.
Statistically, one of the least used methods. However, one of the most successful! A current
survey that had been conducted, stated that up to 80% of jobs are found through
networking. Part of this reason is that there is less competition, and creating a personal
connection is always superior.
Informational Interviews: This is a highly effective form of networking in which you would
speak directly, either in person or on the phone, to someone who is in your desired work
field. This is when you can ask customized questions about your next steps.
3. Recruitment Agencies
These are for-profit, commission based, organizations that can act as a “bridge
builder” for you. They often have hidden jobs and direct contacts with employers
that they can connect you with if they wish to take you on as a client.
Creating a Personal Brand
Branding is very important in the current labour market. It helps set you apart and makes
you memorable. When creating a brand, you need to answer a very important question -
“What do I want them to know and remember about me?”
Since you are looking at making a “jump” in your current career it is important that your
brand is both focused and relevant to your goal. A brand can be both a statement and an
Please complete the form below.
Remember that you have accomplished a lot to get where you are right now.
There are many potential barriers, but also many myths about leaving
academia. You may have to think outside of the box to achieve your goals.
It is important to know your direction, know what you have to offer
and know how to get there.
Connect With Us!
Ryerson University Career
Development & Employment Centre
Location: POD 60
Phone: (416) 979 – 5177
Regular Hours: Mon. – Thurs.
8:30 am – 6:30 pm
Friday – 8:30 am – 4:30 pminstagram.com/ryersoncareer