For many PhDs, switching careers is a pretty big change. Decades spent in education and now you want to take your passions and transferable skills outside of academia?! To make this leap, you’re going to need a decent run-up.
Much like how an athlete trains ahead of a race, if you’re aiming to land a new job in the next six months to a year, you need to be blocking out dedicated time in your weekly calendar for careers-related work. This can be tricky while you’re completing your PhD, but it’s vital for making a smooth transition. For instance, I started my own exit preparations around six months before my post-doc came to an end, enabling me to land a job outside academia before my funding ran out.
Think about it: if you were preparing for an exam, you wouldn’t leave everything to the last minute, or revise in the odd evening here and there, would you? You’d make a revision schedule and revise all of the material thoroughly ahead of the exam. That’s how we got here in the first place after all!
So put a recurring careers slot into your schedule or diary today. One hour twice a week is a good start for developing that powerful resume and persuasive letter of application. You can ramp it up as you start to apply for jobs and get interviews. If you’re super-organised and already invest a chunk of your time in careers work, what hints and tips can you share, or is there something you’re stuck on? Send me a message.