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Careers Café

BY LIZ KOBLYK | September 03 2013

Talking about career chaos usually doesn’t win you any points with people in the midst of career exploration. But thinking about how to make use of chaos is a smart idea. You don’t need a robust, scholarly understanding of chaos theory in order to have a useful framework for thinking about careers. You just need the […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | August 21 2013

I’ve had a great time working on this blog for the last two years, but it’s finally time for me to say goodbye. My reason for leaving will probably resonate with many of you. One of my first posts was called “just say no”, and while that post was aimed at urging young profs not […]

BY JO VANEVERY | August 12 2013

This is a post for those readers who are starting something new this fall: a PhD program a tenure-track job a new role like director of graduate studies, head of department, etc. Although you may have officially started already, it is the beginning of the fall semester that will feel like the real beginning. Stop […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | August 06 2013

Ah, it had to happen sooner or later. Brazen Careerist founder, Penelope Trunk, was eventually going to take grad school down a peg. Given her typically provocative style, she was unlikely to say that it’s a wise investment. She’s challenged the wisdom of pursuing grad school in the past on her blog, but using more measured […]

BY JO VANEVERY | July 22 2013

Which journal should you publish your academic article in? Jo Van Every tells you which factors to consider.

BY LIZ KOBLYK | July 15 2013

If you’ve read anything about job searching, you’ve heard the truisms about taking an assertive approach, selling yourself to employers, and treating the job search like a full-time job. The overall gist is that you need to be assertive. And that’s true. You do need to be able and willing to express what you can […]

BY JO VANEVERY | July 02 2013

We are now well into the summer. For most academics, your work rhythm changes substantially. Summer is when you anticipate really diving into your research. Longer field work is possible. Or, lengthy visits to archives. You can really get into flow with your writing. You can catch up on some of your reading. You have […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | June 26 2013

For reasons best known to the gods of coincidence, I’ve recently been in several formal networking situations. In those situations, some people have used pitches, and others have not. Here is what I have noticed about pitches: 1)   If the conversation is going to last more than 10 minutes, it might just make sense to […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | June 19 2013

I’ve had a few reminders lately that university students represent a particular subset of the population. Like most of their professors, a lot of our students are type-A, hard-working, driven and perhaps tend towards overachievement. Traits that most of us can sympathize with. While these personality traits may well have brought them to their current […]

BY JO VANEVERY | June 10 2013

Your initial orientation to the job search is personal. Will you like it? Will this job give you the skills and experience you need to move forward in your career? Will it pay enough? And so on … Once you’ve decided to apply, your perspective needs to change. As with any writing or presentation, you […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | June 03 2013

I just came back from the Education at Work conference, which wrapped up with an employer panel. I like employer panels – they give me a chance to test out whether I actually know what I’m talking about, or whether I’ve developed an artificial, Disney-esque view of the way one goes about finding a job. […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | May 27 2013

In my last blog, I talked about the lengths of graduate students’ programs. I noted that often, longer times to completion are in the best interests of the graduate students, and we shouldn’t try to shorten all completion times regardless of individual circumstances. In general, I still think this way. However, I also appreciate the […]

BY JO VANEVERY | May 21 2013

In my last post, I suggested that you don’t have to figure out what to do with your life. I want to explore that idea a bit more. As Barrie Thorne noted back in 1987, we often look at children as who they are becoming rather than as who they are in a specific time and […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | May 13 2013

This is a bit of an odd blog post, because I’m asking you not to do something: don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t need to. Many of you reading this have access to a university career centre. Chances are good that that centre competes with lots of other offices, services, events and clubs for […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | May 06 2013

Many universities across Canada are attempting to reduce times to completion for graduate student programs. At my own university, there have been numerous policy changes that are aimed at reducing program lengths. While masters programs are usually described as one- or two-year programs, and PhD programs are described as three- or four-year programs, average times […]

BY JO VANEVERY | April 29 2013

When you make a decision about a job or a program of study, it is normal to imagine how your life story will unfold if you take this step. Sometimes that story gets in the way of moving forward, or closes off options that might lead somewhere interesting. It is important to recognize that this […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | April 22 2013

I recently had a peek at a new career assessment, and it has me thinking about the benefits and pitfalls of vocational assessments in general. If you’re considering using career assessments, make sure they’re only part of your plan for exploring career options, because they only illuminate part of the picture. Vocational assessments typically look […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | April 15 2013

A few weeks ago, I blogged about funding graduate students using scholarships. This week, I’ll talk about students who are funded in other ways. I suppose this blog is focussed on students who do certain types of research; some, presumably, can complete their dissertations with nothing more than a laptop (our society’s substitute for a […]

BY JO VANEVERY | April 08 2013

I’ve been following the discussion about Big Labs (Nicola Koper) and Small Labs (David Smith) with interest. I suspect many humanities and social science folks have skipped it altogether, assuming that it doesn’t apply to them. I encourage you to read those posts anyway. They raise some important points. Is it a zero sum game? One of […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | March 25 2013

Jo VanEvery’s most recent post, on approaching advice strategically, is itself full of good advice.  As she points out, when people offer you specific opportunities intended to advance your career, you’re under no obligation to take them up.  The same applies to advice people give you about which career to pursue. It’s difficult to disregard […]