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Careers Café

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 […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | September 12 2011

Thank goodness it’s Friday! Is that because you will take a well-earned break? Or because you know you have at least 24 hours available for report writing and lecture preparation before students start banging on your door again at 8 a.m. on Monday? I’m going to push you to take a real break on weekends […]

BY JO VANEVERY | August 29 2011

Are you going to be teaching this semester? Perhaps you are a graduate student or you have recently earned your PhD but have not secured a tenure-track position. You might be teaching one class as a sessional instructor or a full-load on a contractually limited appointment. Teaching experience is important to your future academic career. […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | August 22 2011

As far as the job search goes, confidence is overrated. It’s not evil, mind you, but it’s also not necessary to have loads of it in order to land a job. Like “passion“, “confidence” tends to be a loaded word when it comes to careers. It’s often seen as more than just an element of how […]

BY NICOLA KOPER | August 17 2011

I am a young prof, currently in the same position that many UA readers might hope to be in a few years. I recently passed that key milestone of academic life: being awarded tenure. The experience of developing my 8” thick tenure application package has caused me to reflect on my first few years as […]

BY JO VANEVERY | August 08 2011

I want to come back to issues for those applying for academic jobs but at this time of year there is an important question to address for those who have cleared that initial hurdle and find themselves facing a whole track of other hurdles. Do you need to apply for a grant? This is going […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | July 25 2011

While I intended to write on using professional associations for career research, Jo’s recent post on CVs has changed my mind. She pointed out that using generic CVs and résumés hurts your job search. On the plus side, it can help with your career exploration. As in earlier posts, I’m assuming that some of you are […]

BY JO VANEVERY | July 11 2011

There’s no such thing as a standard CV or résumé. For anything. Don’t make the hiring committee do all the work. Organize the information on your CV so that they can easily find what they need to evaluate your suitability for this particular position. Your aim is to have at least one member of the […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | June 27 2011

Whether or not you read Carolyn Steele’s blog or job search guide, you probably know that comparing the job search to marketing makes for an awkward analogy. Nonetheless, most job search books and websites claim that you are a product and that you must market yourself. Small wonder that some of us are reluctant to […]

BY JO VANEVERY | June 13 2011

We talk a lot about having alternatives and sometimes that can feel like it’s pointless to even consider an academic career. In fact, I think an academic career can be immensely satisfying for some people. As I’ve said before, it isn’t one or the other and having options makes you less at the mercy of […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | May 24 2011

By now, it’s pretty clear that I’m a big fan of information interviews and The Versatile PhD. Your university’s career centre likely offers additional resources, such as books that link content knowledge and a few key skills to different career options (e.g. Careers for History Majors). With career research, though, it doesn’t hurt to have […]

BY JO VANEVERY | May 09 2011

I will be speaking as part of the Career Corner series at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences on May 31 at 9:30 a.m. Bring your coffee. “Yes, There is Life After Graduate School” starts from the premise that you don’t need a Plan B and helps you begin to imagine the myriad […]

BY LIZ KOBLYK | April 26 2011

Lest it seem as though informational interviews are the only means of exploring careers, please rest assured that there are other resources out there. My next few blog posts will describe some of my favourites.  If you happen to be a humanities or social sciences PhD, one of the best is The Versatile PhD. If this […]

BY JO VANEVERY | April 12 2011

[Undergraduates] seem to think becoming a humanities professor is a reliable prospect — a more responsible and secure choice than, say, attempting to make it as a freelance writer, or an actor, or a professional athlete. (William Pannapacker, writing as Thomas H Benton, January 2009) I wouldn’t discourage someone from pursuing a career as a freelance […]