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CAREERS CAFÉ

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 […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | March 28 2011

When you have devoted years to specializing within an academic field, it can be mind-boggling to you and the people in your life if you consider a change. You might be worried that employers, too, will be confused by your desire for something different. A good career story will go a long way to reassuring […]

By JO VANEVERY | March 14 2011

If an academic career is in your plan, you will need to get published. A PhD may be a necessary qualification, but it isn’t enough. The reality is that even in small universities, research matters. A lot of university teaching has been casualized – sessional positions proliferate, many of them occupied by people with PhDs. […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | February 28 2011

Liz Koblyk tells you exactly what to say to get your foot in the door.

By JO VANEVERY | February 14 2011

What do hiring committees look for in candidates? What is the minimum requirement? What makes people really stand out? What is the actual state of the competition right now? What do the CVs of people getting appointed look like? What can you expect in particular institutions? Or at particular stages of career? What kinds of […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | January 31 2011

Academia is good at preparing people to be academics. There are clear (if not necessarily readily available) opportunities to teach, design courses, network with professors, hone research skills, and seek advice from mentors. If you’re considering non-academic careers, however, you may find a shortage of resources and mentors within your department. This is where information […]

By JO VANEVERY | January 17 2011

A reader e-mailed to ask: I would be interested in seeing issues related to negotiating two academic household careers covered (i.e. negotiating spousal hires, career strategies, how to find a meaningful career where your spouse has gotten a position, etc.) What this situation really highlights is the fact that whenever you are job hunting there […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | January 04 2011

In my last blog post, I suggested that passion can be a misleading guide when you’re starting to explore career options. However, if you’re willing to set aside passion in favour of curiosity, you have more freedom to investigate a variety of career options. The next issue, of course, is how to go about doing that.  […]

By JO VANEVERY | December 13 2010

There is a lot of talk about PhDs, the academic job market, and how to prepare students for possible alternatives to an academic career. Almost all of it rests on an assumption that an academic job is “Plan A”. It is fair to say that an academic career is the default assumption. A plan should […]

By LIZ KOBLYK | November 29 2010

Some of you may already know exactly what kind of work you want to pursue. Maybe you’re already pursuing it. My guess is that a lot of readers of this blog are also wondering what career might interest them more than their current work. If that’s your situation, this post is for you. Many career […]

By JO VANEVERY | November 17 2010

To get to where you are now, you had to be very good at figuring out what was expected of you and delivering it. As you moved into a graduate program, especially at the doctoral level, this particular skill started to become less and less useful. It probably wasn’t obvious at first. The coursework and […]