Last month, I wrote about some of the hidden treasures you might find at your university to help you to manage your career (including the new Wilson Leadership Scholar Award, open to incoming and current McMaster graduate students). Heck, I wrote about it last year, too, because career supports keep developing and changing, which means that they continue to require some active seeking in order to be found.
There are more treasures than those I’ve mentioned, though. It’s almost inevitable that your university will have a network of people who’ve been in your shoes, recently and not. You might be able to meet those people through an online network, in-person events, job shadowing days, or other structures. However, these networks might not be promoted to grad students, specifically. You may need to seek them out through a career or student success office, a faculty office, or an alumni office.
However, you might also find services that were designed for grad students in mind, including ones offered by external organizations. These tend to be easier to find through a central point, like your graduate studies office, or career services. They might include Mitacs offerings, online modules oriented to the unique challenges of academic and post-academic job searches, or links to useful blogs and online discussions. These kinds of resources can save you time by alerting you to common stumbling blocks. If you can access resources on how to translate your academic work to a non-academic resume, or that deal, head-on, with your (likely inaccurate) fears that you might need years of retraining before you can forge a new career path, why not start with those?
Accessing career resources doesn’t need to happen all at once. In fact, many of the resources I’ve referenced change over time, and are worth checking in on periodically. Find out what seems like it might be useful to you know. Then carve out a little time to give the resource a chance.