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BEYOND THE PROFESSORIATE

By JENNIFER POLK | May 07 2014

Daniel Mullin earned his PhD in philosophy from the Free University in Amsterdam. He’s now a salesperson and consultant. Find him online at The Unemployed Philosopher’s Blog and follow him @dmullin81. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed your PhD? As I was working on my PhD, I still had […]

By JENNIFER POLK | April 28 2014

I was recently chatting with a friend here in Toronto who’s ABD and looking for full-time employment. He told me that when he “buried his degree” on his resume — placed education last instead of closer to the top — that he’d received much better responses from potential employers. Previously, his applications hadn’t resulted in […]

By JENNIFER POLK | April 17 2014

Emily Simmons earned her PhD in English from the University of Toronto in 2011. She’s currently an education specialist at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed your PhD? A few days after my defence I started to search for communications and writing […]

By JENNIFER POLK | April 10 2014

Daniel Munro earned his PhD in political science from MIT He is currently a principal research associate at the Conference Board of Canada, working in the Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education. Find him online and follow him @dk_munro. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed your PhD? I wanted […]

By JENNIFER POLK | April 04 2014

The virtual conference I’m co-hosting in May is coming together wonderfully. Maren and I are thrilled with the line-up of panellists and presenters. We’ve got 23 PhDs lined up to speak about their career journeys and provide helpful advice. Although I share transition stories on this blog in the special Q & A posts, the […]

By JENNIFER POLK | March 31 2014

A couple days ago I picked up a “Business Self-Help” book (so says the back cover) that my dad recommended to me. He suggested (Forget a Mentor) Find a Sponsor because it explains why women and people of colour should seek out sponsors in addition to mentors. Doing so, research shows, will significantly increase their […]

By JENNIFER POLK | March 21 2014

At last night’s Versatile PhD meetup in Toronto, a fellow PhD told me about her experiences talking to professors about her current (non-academic) work. In some cases, they were positive, encouraging, and interested; in others, they were confused and dismissive. I share this anecdote because it reminds me of my own attitude during my doctorate: […]

By JENNIFER POLK | March 14 2014

Being part of a supportive community of people is extremely important to my wellbeing. Not having that during the latter years of my PhD is one reason it proved nearly impossible for me to imagine myself as a professor. And although I’m now in business for myself, I feel connected to a larger group of […]

By JENNIFER POLK | March 06 2014

On Monday I finish a coaching class. This will be the second professional development course I’ve done since getting my PhD in 2012. Back then, I’d never thought I’d see another classroom ever again! And, it’s true, I haven’t: My coaching courses are all over the phone! But still; you understand. I enrolled in the […]

By JENNIFER POLK | February 25 2014

Maureen McCarthy earned her PhD in English in 2013 from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She is now the assistant director of advancement and best practices at the Council of Graduate Schools. Find her on Twitter @maureentmcc. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed your PhD? I was looking for […]

By JENNIFER POLK | February 13 2014

Earlier this week I spoke on the phone with Ysette Guevara, a fellow PhD and post-academic who runs her own business helping young people transition to adulthood. Our business values line up well, and so do our stories of career transition after our doctorates. You know how much I love meeting new people (aka networking), […]

By JENNIFER POLK | February 06 2014

Sarah-Louise Quinnell earned her PhD in geography from King’s College London. She’s now the learning and development manager for the online tutoring service Mactrac, which is part of Macmillan Digital Education.  Follow Sarah @sarahthesheepu. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed your PhD? I had expected, like I am sure a […]

By JENNIFER POLK | January 31 2014

Over the past few months I’ve been in conversation with other post-academic business owners and freelancers, many of whom work with graduate students and PhDs. I had no idea such people existed during my doctorate, and it was only thanks to Versatile PhD that I got connected to Hillary Hutchinson, who was my coach for […]

By JENNIFER POLK | January 23 2014

I had a great notetaking and project management system when I was working on my Master’s thesis (on Canadians in revolutionary Russia). I used a free program called Scribe, which was developed for historians at George Washington’s Center for History and New Media. The program wasn’t particularly user-friendly, but with time and patience, I made […]

By JENNIFER POLK | January 15 2014

L. Maren Wood earned her PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She runs her own consulting firm, Lilli Research Group, which provides research support to institutions and professional development services for PhD job seekers. Follow Maren @lilligroup. What did you hope for in terms of employment as you completed […]

By JENNIFER POLK | January 08 2014

What’s your New Year’s resolution? If you’ve made one that’s work-related, chances are good that it’s to write more. That’s my goal for this year, too. I want to write every day, and produce more blog posts and pieces for publication elsewhere. Since mid-November I’ve been published by the Globe & Mail, Academic Matters, and […]

By JENNIFER POLK | December 13 2013

Let me tell you about an exercise that coaches do with clients. The most used coaching text recommends that we use the Wheel of Life, and many coaches use this tool with clients to help them sort out how they’re doing in different areas of their lives. To do it for yourself, draw a big […]

By JENNIFER POLK | December 02 2013

Joseph Fruscione earned his PhD in English from George Washington University in 2005. Since 1999, he’s taught university-level literature and writing courses at GW, Georgetown, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He’s now teaching first-year writing in GW’s University writing program. He’s published a book — Faulkner and Hemingway: Biography of a Literary Rivalry […]

By JENNIFER POLK | November 22 2013

Leah DeVellis is the coordinator of graduate services & professional development in Carleton University’s faculty of graduate and postdoctoral affairs. She tweets about professional development, social media marketing, entrepreneurship, and alternative academic careers. Follow her on Twitter @LeahDeVellis. Graduate students conduct cutting edge research, invent new technologies, write books, and start companies – and so […]

By JENNIFER POLK | November 19 2013

I want to write about how great I’m doing, how awesome my clients are, and how good I feel about being a post-academic businesswoman. All those things are true, but there’s more to my story. It’s time to fess up, recommit, and move on. (Can you tell I’ve been mired in Rob Ford news for […]