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Careers Café

BY LIZ KOBLYK | June 07 2016

Making yourself competitive for a new career and figuring out what that career might be are two peas in a pod, not two steps in a staircase. Instead of being done with one before moving onto the other, you might be best served by undertaking them both at the same time. A little reflection is […]

BY TARA SIEBARTH | May 27 2016

If you want to avoid the crowds – or just need a break – at this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, you are in luck! The University of Calgary is providing designated quiet spaces around campus which will be open for the duration of Congress. Education Tower – 202C Professional Faculties – […]

BY TARA SIEBARTH | May 24 2016

Anyone can be an alcoholic, even a PhD astronomer. – Women in Astronomy, anonymous author This line, from a blog post sent to me by a colleague sparked a discussion at the University Affairs office. How do academics who prefer to stay sober or are in recovery deal with alcohol at conferences? The Congress of […]

BY TARA SIEBARTH | May 13 2016

We are fast approaching conference season in academe. As academics everywhere put the finishing touches on their presentation notes and confirm hotel reservations, we at University Affairs  are collecting your advice on how to survive conference season. Some of these posts will be specific to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, since a […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | May 02 2016

These lists are not useful because they are built around a tiny part of what makes you a good job candidate.

BY LIZ KOBLYK | March 30 2016

This month, let’s try looking at the future through the lens of design thinking. While design thinking is certainly trendy, its popularity is at least partly due to its utility as a way to approach complex problems. Unsurprisingly, it has already been applied to career exploration, and is particularly useful when you reach points in […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | March 01 2016

Exploring career options assumes that you have some. So, of course, people sometimes avoid exploring career options because they assume they don’t have any. Becoming very specialized, whether through career growth or very focused study, can exacerbate that sense of having few options. Facing family or peer pressure to follow a certain path can, too. […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | February 03 2016

Thanks, survey respondents! It was interesting to find out what you’re looking for from Careers Café. In a few cases, I forwarded ideas to writers whose columns are better fits – specifically, to Melonie Fullick of Speculative Diction and Jennifer Polk of From PhD to Life. There was more interest than I expected in long-term […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | December 01 2015

If you’re lucky enough to work for an organization you like, and unlucky enough to be frustrated by some of the work that doesn’t get done, you may be well positioned to propose a new position – for the organization and for yourself. It may sound audacious to propose an entirely new role, but it […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | November 02 2015

It has been about five years since Careers Café started, and we’ve addressed a few before-and-after scenarios: how to explore career options and search for a job before you get one, and some tips for being in a job more happily once you’ve found work. So, why not talk about topics pertaining to the job […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | October 05 2015

Networking still seems to be one of the best job search strategies out there. Maybe that’s bad news, since so many people hate networking. In the good news column, though, is this: the skills networking develops continue to help you when you’re employed and need to manage up. There are some false assumptions out there […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | August 31 2015

My recent post on interview skills left me with a niggling irritation; it didn’t do enough to distinguish pattern identification from giving canned answers that “they” want to hear. So I’ll take this opportunity to say it more clearly: focusing on “what they want to hear” is among the worst interview mistakes. It’s an approach […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | August 11 2015

My last post was on getting from blank screen to a draft of a cover letter, ideally without testing your computer’s aerodynamics. This post offers a few quick editing options to keep in your back pocket. First, have a look at the content. Have you picked the two or three most important things about your […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | July 09 2015

When you get right down to it, the cover letter is not much different from any other piece of persuasive writing. In other words, it’s really tough to edit when it’s still a blank screen, and it’s almost as tough to get a draft started. Here are some suggestions for going from writer’s block to […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | June 08 2015

That saying about how, “every time a door closes, a window opens” never struck me as compelling. I was far more likely to feel immobilized by the idea that looking out the window required closing a door. So it was a delight when a colleague reminded me of David Winter’s “Two Birds, One Stone” work […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | May 13 2015

After serving on a number of hiring committees and conducting hundreds of mock interviews, I think that one of the most useful and trickiest ways to prepare for interviews is to identify patterns – the patterns in your responses that you might not even be aware of. Grab a friend or relative who’s willing to […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | April 28 2015

If you’re reading this blog, chances are excellent that you have invested years, blood, sweat and tears in graduate level education. And you may have concerns about “wasting” your education on unrelated jobs or those that seem beneath your level of training. On the other hand, if you’re also about to enter the job market […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | March 02 2015

Liz Koblyk explores the pitfalls of short-term contract work.

BY LIZ KOBLYK | February 02 2015

Last month, I wrote about evaluating whether volunteering was worth your time. Let’s move up from unemployment to insecure employment! What do you do when you see an interesting short-term contract advertised? My quick take is that you don’t dismiss it out of hand, and do as much looking as you reasonably can before you […]

BY KELLY GALLANT | January 19 2015

Turning problems into possibilities at the University of Calgary.