Dr. Joseph Barber, Associate Director
The Carpe Careers blog on the Inside Higher Ed website is written by PhD career advisors for PhD students and postdocs, and covers all of the key information you need to know about as you are considering your career options and professional development strategies. Here are just a few of the posts from the last few months that you’ll want to read:
Professional identity and skills development
Your attitude is an important part of how you are evaluated by colleagues and employers. Keep a clear focus on being optimistic by having strategies to combat pessimism, and follow the advice of the author who states, “Don’t be a Professional Downer”. Professionalism is also key, and the process of “Ensuring Professional Success” is closely link to the steps you can take to develop a professional reputation.
If you find your own research a little isolating sometimes, then finding opportunities to work in a team-based environment that is big on collaboration will be essential. Collaboration is “An Imperative for Graduate Students”.
The post “Exploring Your Skills” highlights approaches that PhD students have taken to discover and apply skills they may not be used to talking about or using by getting involved in experiences beyond their thesis research.
Several posts talk about the benefits of effective relationships with people who can support your research and your own professional developing. “Managing You Advisor” is obviously very important, but your advisor isn’t the only person who can or should support you. You may also find it helpful to set up a “Job-Search Buddy System” with a group of your peers, or reach out to an even wider range of allies – after all, “It Takes a Village”.
One of the most sought after skills that employers are interested in across industries is critical thinking – including the idea of effective decision making. Practice your decision-making skills when it comes to your own career paths by reading about “How to Decide What to Do Next”.
If you are trying to make career decisions, then it helps if you are also “Cultivating a Career Calling” to understand the types of career paths that will resonate with the way you see yourself. You’ll find great steps you can take to do this within this post.
Applying and Interviewing
In your rush to apply for jobs that interest you, one author cautions that you should “Stay Inside the Lines” when it comes to actually submitting your application materials – and explains why this is important. It will also be important to understand the “Anatomy of a Job Ad” by closely scrutinizing what an employer has written, as this will be the best way to tailor your information to meet their needs.
Don’t forget to be an active listener as well as a great speaker during interviews, as both are involved in effective communication. Read “Interview Success Through Better Listening” to find out more.
If you are looking to ace your next interview, then make sure that you are comfortable with yourself. Preparing answers to questions you know will be asked will always be helpful, but for some questions there are “No Correct Answers”. The more comfortable you are with yourself, the better your performance during the interview will be, and you may find it helpful to think of “Interviewing as Performance Art”.
At the end of the application and interviewing process the goal is to get an offer on the table. Once an offer has been made, the process of negotiation can begin – and this should be done positively and confidently. Avoid some of the pitfalls of this process by understanding the different between your “Worth vs. Value in Job Negotiations”.