Get organised – create a Career Planner

When I first started looking for a job outside of academia, it was initially a very hit-and-miss process. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, find interesting job vacancies, put in applications and learn from my knock-backs, all at once! Looking back now, I can see that success came once I’d met a series of consecutive milestones – these are the steps that I’ve set out in my post on developing a Career Roadmap.

I wish also that I’d had a systematic way of recording my planning and progress. Finding a job is often about overcoming a series of personal hurdles and the better you can manage this process, the quicker you’ll reach your goal. That’s why I recommend to all job seekers that they keep a hard copy or electronic Career Planner file to accompany their career journey.

So take an A4 ring binder or start a new spreadsheet or document. Depending upon your personal taste, you can decorate it with pictures, quotations or anything else that gives you inspiration or energy! Divide your file or document into 4 sections or tabs with the following headings:

1. Discovering my potential
2. Choosing my profession
3. Marketing myself
4. Getting an offer

The posts in this blog are organised into four categories, each of which relates to one of these sections in your Career Planner. So you can safely file away the material you create after you’ve read a post and after you’ve put the principles into practice.

Depending upon whether a non-academic career search will be your Career Plan A or Career Plan B, give your file the appropriate name. You are now all set to begin!

Further reading – getting started

Why you need to start thinking about a career outside academia – today! by Chris
Use my Career Roadmap to kick-start your career planning, by Chris
Deciding when to quit the academic job search, part 1, by Chris
Deciding when to quit the academic job search, Part 2, by Chris
Preparing for life after the PhD – re-train your brain, by Chris

 

About Chris

I've made the transition from a PhD in Medieval Studies, into a career in business, consulting and project management. But I want to give something back to the researcher community, and help everyone who's facing the challenge of finding work outside academia. Jobs on Toast is a way for me to share my insights and experience, helping you to make a successful career change. Use my five-step plan to get started right away!

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