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While filling out online applications seems like a good approach to job-hunting, you could be implementing much more effective strategies. Here are 5:
If you're exploring new career directions, don't limit yourself to reading about different professions online (though that's an excellent early step!). Start reaching out to people working in fields that interest you. Formally called "informational interviews," the conversations you have with professionals willing to share their experiences will help you determine whether a particular path fits your interests, values, and skills. For more on how to request and conduct these interviews, check out this step-by-step guide from Career Transition Coach Tracy Jenkins, PhD:
"[A]n authentic and compelling brand starts with knowing your personal value proposition. What does your audience need and how do you fulfill those needs?"
For anyone who's juggling a day job and passion project after work, here's some encouragement to keep at it—the side hustle is more beneficial than you may realize!
Maybe you have a networking event coming up--or you've been consciously avoiding such functions because they sound awkward. In this article from my Transitioning PhD Series, scientist-turned-entrepreneur Mike Davies, PhD assures, "It is not a matter of if things get awkward; it's just a matter of when. Don't worry, it's not you, it's EVERYONE!!" He offers 3 easy ways to make socializing at these events less anxiety-inducing and more beneficial for your career transition:
This article about "recruitment red flags" is written for an audience of business owners, but I encourage job seekers to check it out, too. Learn about behaviors that signal lack of interest in a company so you can avoid them:
Looking for some inspiration to fuel your post-PhD career exploration? In the final article for my Transitioning PhD Series, Shweta Krishnan, PhD, reflects on the mindset that holds lots of promising job applicants back. She strongly believes in “Rebranding the PhD” to highlight all of the transferrable skills earned while pursuing a doctorate:
This is such an important distinction: “I have a large network. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean I have a strong network.” More on how to build a “meaningful network” here:
As a PhD in the process of changing careers, you might be worried about landing a job in your target field with a skill set that's more academically-oriented (teaching, research, service, etc.). One way to start bridging the gap? Identify your transferable skills. Beyond the Professoriate's L. Maren Wood, PhD has an approach that will help you see your existing experience with fresh eyes and boost your confidence and marketability:
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”—Steve Martin
More tips here for successful networking:
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