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By JO VANEVERY | February 28 2012

Stress is inversely related to the amount of control you have over your situation. The job search process can be highly stressful because so many things are out of your control: whether a job in your field will be advertised what the competition for that job is like how the decision to hire is made […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | February 13 2012

In most things you do, you get to see progress. You start painting a wall and, an hour later, you can see that you’ve put in an hour’s work, and that less work remains because of your efforts. You incorporate feedback from a reviewer when strengthening an article for publication and, sure enough, you end […]

By NICOLA KOPER | February 07 2012

I have to admit that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. I swear, I didn’t forget to write this blog post… which is due in 10 minutes, so technically, it’s not late yet. It’s just that I am writing this big grant proposal, and I’m working on the animal ethics for said proposal, and […]

By JO VANEVERY | January 30 2012

Your CV (or résumé) details past employment, past education, and any other relevant experience. Ideally it indicates your achievements. All of that is organized so that it is easy for a potential employer to find the information they need to determine if you have the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job they need […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | January 23 2012

Before moving on from the topic of awkward moments in networking, I want to address one final, painful topic. So far, I’ve looked at situations controlled by the networker. What happens, though, if you run into someone with whom you suspect you have burned a bridge? That question came up in a workshop, in which a […]

By NICOLA KOPER | January 16 2012

I have a confession to make. It’s a bit embarrassing. But here goes…. I have 18 graduate students. If you’re wondering whether that’s an unusually high number for one prof, you’re right… it is. I hardly know how it happened. It was just bit by bit … I’d get a great idea for a project, […]

By JO VANEVERY | January 09 2012

Welcome back. All of us here at the Careers Café hope that you had a joyful and relaxing holiday season. We’re gearing up to provide more advice and support for your career in 2012. One of the things that is so attractive about an academic career is the job security. If you secure a tenure-track […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | December 19 2011

In my mission to abolish networking awkwardness, I’ve written about reaching out to potential future colleagues and following up with new contacts. Getting back in touch with people from your past can be tricky, too.  Most of my clients have had at least one valued mentor with whom they’ve lost contact. By “lost contact,” I mean […]

By NICOLA KOPER | December 12 2011

You’re overworked. Swamped. Exhausted. You have five years of data filed that you’re just itching to get at. And finally, after years of struggle, you’re looking forward to the opportunity to catch up on everything that you’ve had to put aside while starting your academic career. You have a research leave, or sabbatical, coming up, […]

By JO VANEVERY | December 05 2011

No matter what stage of an academic career you are in, you will always be developing your skills and knowledge. Whether it is improving how you do the core tasks of your job, learning how to use new technologies, or taking on new challenges, there are always things to learn and experience to gain. Needing […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | November 28 2011

Since my last post was about staying in touch with your network, it seemed suitable to get back in touch with someone from mine. This past weekend, I had coffee and a conversation with one of my favourite profs. We talked about networking, particularly as it applies to the academic job search. Her take was that networking is […]

By NICOLA KOPER | November 21 2011

While most of my blog posts are aimed at all early-career profs, this is a special one for the conservation biologists out there. How do we engage students in understanding significant conservation concerns in environments and habitats that they – and perhaps we – have never visited? I’ve been working in conservation biology for about […]

By JO VANEVERY | November 14 2011

Recently a woman contacted me with a question that was clearly causing her some distress. She’s applying for academic jobs. And she’s a mother. Being a mother has had an impact on her publishing record and means her career trajectory doesn’t look quite like the ideal. And yet she doesn’t want to engage in any […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | November 07 2011

If you’ve visited your university’s career centre or read job search columns and books, you already know most of the common steps in the job search process: figure out what you want, determine what employers in your desired career path want, tailor your résumé and cover letter to specific jobs, spend less time applying to […]

By NICOLA KOPER | October 31 2011

I’m just getting ready to leave for a conference tomorrow. And I’ll admit it. When my students and I learned that the largest wildlife (part of my area of research) conference in North America would be held in Waikoloa, Hawaii, we were… what would be the best word… jubilant. Along with my laptop and external […]

By JO VANEVERY | October 24 2011

If you are successful in your search for a tenure-track job, you are going to be with that institution for a long time. Your potential employer knows it. What are you telling a potential employer about what you’ll do once you get past the doorway? Try this exercise: Imagine you are successful What will you […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | October 17 2011

A colleague and I were recently discussing the challenges postdocs face when writing résumés. One difficulty, we thought, lies in the difference between how CVs and résumés establish an applicant’s credibility. Much of the CV demonstrates what you know, whereas résumés focus on proving what you can do. In terms of structure, this means that some […]

By NICOLA KOPER | October 03 2011

The Tri-council funding system, made up of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding councils, reminds me a bit of Fluffy. You know, from Harry Potter? It serves an important purpose and you feel safer knowing it’s around. […]

By JO VANEVERY | September 26 2011

Apologies to the scientists. In some disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, publishing a book is almost expected, despite widespread debate about whether it is reasonable to do in the current publishing economy (e.g. this MLA report). A book may be required for you to get tenure but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | September 19 2011

In a recent workshop I did with a group of graduate students in the humanities, participants were keenly interested in knowing whether it was too late to embark on a career shift. Most were in their mid-20s to early 30s and had invested some time, effort and sense of self in studies that might not […]