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Careers Café

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 […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | March 19 2013

Last week, David Smith wrote an engaging article about the big benefits of working in a small lab, from the perspective of his experience as a PhD student. That got me thinking. Just for fun, and in the spirit of academic banter, I thought that this week, I’d write about how lab size affects us […]

BY JO VANEVERY | March 11 2013

It is not uncommon for someone to state that whatever it is they are suggesting to you will be “good for your career”. Teaching this course Working with this professor Attending this conference Serving on this committee Publishing in this journal Developing networks that extend beyond academe etc. The trouble is that if you did […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | March 04 2013

Shortly after you tell a new acquaintance your name, you typically get the opportunity to share what you do as a career.  Or, less comfortably, you get to avoid eye contact as you mutter something about a job you dislike, or admit that you don’t know what you want to do with your life.  Good […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | February 25 2013

When I landed a tenure-track position, several years ago now, I remember thinking how nice it was going to be not to have to worry about money anymore. I was finally on salary. No more applying for grants and scholarships every year and wondering how I was going to put food on the table if […]

BY JO VANEVERY | February 11 2013

Everyone struggles with time management. Everyone. If it were just a matter of accurately estimating how long things would take and then allocating time to do those tasks, it wouldn’t be such a big problem. Perhaps we would be able to make a rational argument that we have objectively more work to do than hours […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | February 04 2013

Think of the times when you sat down and just started whacking away at a paper you had to write.  Compare those with the times when you devoted a few moments to planning your research and your argument.  I’m going to guess that planning has paid off for you more often than not. I promise […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | January 30 2013

I had one of those “HA! I KNEW IT” moments when I read an article in the November 2012 issue of University Affairs. Léo Charbonneau wrote, in “Students prefer good lectures over the latest technology in class”, that students like listening to interesting, meaningful lectures, and that the latest trends in university educations … clickers […]

BY JO VANEVERY | January 21 2013

One advantage to taking a real break over the holidays is that it allows you to return to your work life with new eyes. We all develop habits. Some of them are good habits that allow you to get things done efficiently and effectively. Others are not as helpful and might be contributing to your […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | January 14 2013

When it comes to requesting accommodations at work, I’m going to make a plug, along the lines of my shameless plug for The plug in this case is for Mental Health Works. I’m not claiming the site tackles all disability-related topics. It doesn’t. Its focus is clearly mental health. And it has a bunch […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | January 08 2013

A few months ago, I blogged about preventing plagiarism before it occurs. Sadly, I have recently been reminded that we can’t prevent all cases of plagiarism. In an unusual turn of events, I am currently dealing with evidence that one student plagiarized the work of another. This is perhaps the most difficult type of plagiarism […]

BY JO VANEVERY | December 17 2012

Whether you celebrate anything at this time of year or not, universities typically shut down between Christmas and New Year. You are tired at the end of term. This is an ideal time to take a break. Taking a break is not easy. You will feel guilty that you aren’t working on … well something. […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | December 10 2012

In my last post, I talked about the issues around disclosing disabilities in the pre-interview stages of the  job search. This week, I want to consider disclosure in interviews. There is no one approach that works for everyone. Nor is there an approach that eliminates the risk of employer prejudice.  That said, considering if and when […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | December 03 2012

Last time I blogged, I wrote about the proliferation of interdisciplinary units and departments at universities across the globe. This week I’m going to write about what it’s like to be a professor in one of these research units. First, let me paint a picture for you of entering the Natural Resources Institute. First, walk […]

BY JO VANEVERY | November 26 2012

The core of your PhD program is research and the production of a dissertation. Although you need much more than this to successfully transition into the next phase of your career, your research and dissertation should be a high priority for you. Whether you are working in a lab or working primarily on your own, […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | November 19 2012

I was reviewing some of my previous blog posts and realized just how much I focus on the stress of searching for a job.  Well, apparently I’m continuing the trend.  If the job search is inherently stressful, it gets more complicated when you’re trying to determine whether or how to disclose a disability or disabilities […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | November 12 2012

My most recent blog posting was about teaching a diversity of students, with a variety of backgrounds. Today I’m going to chat about the opposite situation … when it is not the student body, but the department, that is diverse. I am part of the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba. Our raison […]

BY JO VANEVERY | November 05 2012

I have to admit that I was somewhat baffled by the way that others promoted my post on Relevance and Employability as being about non-academic careers. Being able to articulate how your research is relevant is going to matter more and more to academic careers. Already, grant applications for major funding bodies require plans to […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | October 29 2012

This is the question that makes my soul say “argg!” because it typically comes from people with lots to offer, and because the prospect of taking on more training is often looming before them in the form of another degree—a completely different degree than the one(s) they have already completed. Usually, these job seekers feel […]