You want a job. A job that’s satisfying. A job that uses your knowledge and talents. A job that pays you enough to live on. A job in a place you’d be happy living. A job that also enables you to devote time to other things that are important to you.
But the state of the academic labour market is probably getting you down. You despair at getting a job at all. You fear that all your education is going to be a hindrance rather than a help. You fear that you don’t have any of the skills and experience employers want.
It’s really hard to apply for something if you don’t know what to apply for.
Before you can use practical advice about how to write a resumé and cover letter, or how to prepare for an interview, you need to figure out some of the stuff you want to say and who might want to hear that from you.
Choosing Your Career Consciously takes you from fear and despair to hope and possibility.
You’ll learn more about yourself: what you have to offer, what conditions are conducive to your best work, what your priorities really are.
You’ll learn how to find out what’s out there. There are lots of jobs that you’ve never even heard of and some of them might be just right for you.
And you’ll do all of this in the supportive environment of a regular class.
Have you thought about whether you even want an academic job?
Most graduate programs operate on the default assumption that every graduate student wants a career in academia. That’s why, even if you entered graduate school open to the possibility of non-academic jobs, you likely got to the end applying exclusively for academic jobs.
Graduate school and a career in academia are two very different things. You could easily love the one and hate the other.
The job market in most fields is a complete disaster right now.
Even if academia is something you could love, not all academic jobs are the same. You might not love being an academic in a particular place. You might not love being this particular kind of academic.
There might be an even better choice out there for you, a career that would delight you even more. Or, a better combination of place and career.
If you and academia are destined for a life-long love affair, going in consciously will help you navigate the job search process more easily and craft a successful career.
We know it’s scary
Most of us have no idea what else is out there and less than no idea how to go about figuring it out. Even if you wanted to explore other career options, where would you begin?
Your program is probably very focused on preparing you for academia. There may even be overt denigration of other options.
Try this thought experiment. Picture your downtown (or any downtown). Here’s part of each of ours:
What do the people in those buildings do with their eight working hours every single weekday of the year?
We have no idea what they do – and we bet you don’t either.
Not knowing is scary. It just is.
Not knowing something that seems like it’s going to affect the rest of your life isn’t something most of us take lightly – and figuring out what else you might do just doesn’t seem possible.
What the course covers
This course will give you two things: greater insight into your own skills and preferences and a method of exploring the jobs and careers that might be a good fit.
We aren’t promising you a job – Julie teaches another class on how to apply for and get a job once you figure out what you might want to be doing. This course simply opens up the wide world and helps you see all the rich and juicy possibilities before you.
“[The] course is about helping us see that value we already have, break out of academic logic.” Melonie Fullick, @qui_oui
“It helped me see I did have a lot of work experience and that I had already thought through quite a bit of what I needed to. The class identified where I needed to go into more detail, provided some reassurance that I could relax about the eclectic nature of my work experience.” — Christina
Class 1: Activating Your Curiosity
Thinking about careers generally brings on panic, but it’s hard to panic when you’re feeling curious. We start by being curious about the breadth of our own lives – and thus our own possibilities.
Class 2: Identifying What You Have to Offer
We all have skills, but we don’t always know we have them. In this class we draw out our hard skills and our soft skills and learn how to articulate them to potential employers.
Class 3: Identifying What You Care About
We’re happiest when we’re engaged in work that’s meaningful and challenging. In this class we start to identify what’s meaningful to you, what challenges you, what environment enables you to do your best work, and how all of that fits together.
Class 4: Expanding Your Possibilities, Part 1
We tend to only know about the jobs that are customer-facing. In order to figure out what all those people in those buildings do, we have to do some research.
Class 5: Expanding Your Possibilities, Part 2
In this class we continue our research by talking to people with actual jobs to find out what they do all day – and thus what we might want to do.
Class 6: Putting It All Together
Tools are great on their own, but by developing a process of career engagement they become rocket-powered.
What it includes
We want you to come out of the class with all of the tools you need to explore lots of career possibilities for yourself. To that end, the course includes the following:
- 6 x 90-minute conference calls dedicated to discussing the concepts, exploring possibilities, and troubleshooting all of the pesky doubts and fears that will certainly come up.
- Weekly homework designed to help you get started on the process. (We suggest setting aside an hour a week for this.)
- Weekly check-ins to help you reflect on the process.
- Recordings of all calls so you can return to them at your leisure or in case you miss one.
“It wasn’t simply the individual steps, but how they were ordered that I found really helpful. You both have done a wonderful job in creating a structure that builds on itself well.” — Rosemary
Classes will be held by conference call for six Wednesdays at 7pm ET (4pm PT). Each class will be 90 minutes long, and we’ll send out recordings afterwards so you can review what we covered live.
The 6-week course costs $179 (US).
Julie also teaches another class that covers the practical aspects of applying for non-academic jobs. If you’re interested in that, click here to learn more about that class.
How do I sign up?
We’ll be running the course again at a later date, so if you’d like to know the next time we run this, enter your name and email in the boxes below, and you’ll hear about everything we’re doing as soon as it’s available.