Networking is really hard and difficult. It's hard to put yourself out there and ask people for help. So, it's demoralizing when you are reaching out to people on LinkedIn but nobody is writing you back.
In this episode, Dr. Maren Wood talks about some of the biggest mistakes graduate students and PhDs are making when reaching out to people on LinkedIn. To be effective at networking, you need to think about WHO you're reaching out to, WHEN you're reaching out to them, and WHY you're reaching out to them.
Many graduate students and PhDs try to stay "open to anything" in their job search. They wrongly assume that staying broad in their job search will help them land an opportunity quickly. They worry about being "too picky."
While you don't want to unnecessarily limit your options, you DO want to be clear on who you are as a job candidate and how your unique combinations of talents and skills can help an organization succeed. This means conducting a lot of market research to really understand your audience.
In this episode, you'll learn how to find the "sweet spot" between being too narrow and too broad in your job search.
Networking is one of the most important ways to explore career options and land jobs. But it can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you don't have a network. How do you build a network if you don't have a network? In this episode, Maren shares tips and strategies you can use to help graduate students, PhDs, and alumni, build authentic networks so that they can identify career options, land opportunities, and build meaningful careers.
Many job seekers spend hours stressing about perfecting their resumes. It makes sense - it's something you can control. We often use resumes as a metric in the job search, counting the number we've submitted or the number we plan to send per week. It can be frustrating and demoralizing when we don't hear back from employers.
In this episode, Maren discusses 3 common myths about resumes, and how job seekers can actually land interviews for coveted positions.
Alumni are struggling. In study after study after study, the evidence is clear: alumni are not able to build the careers they want with their degrees. And when alumni struggle, they blame their institution and their education.
And they do so, publicly.
In this episode, Dr. L. Maren Wood shares data on the underemployment crisis affecting graduate students, and how their negative experiences are impacting the reputation and long-term financial future of graduate programs.
Graduate alumni are struggling to land jobs where they can leverage their education and training. About 40% of master's degree holders and 34% of PhDs report being in jobs that don't actually benefit from their advanced education and training.
In this episode, L. Maren Wood, PhD, talks about the implicit and explicit promise of graduate education - that it will help students build jobs and lives they couldn't without their degrees. But, when so many alumni are underemployed, it erodes the American public's trust in graduate education.
The way to fix this problem? Universities need to scale career education and job search support so that alumni are able to build careers where they are paid for their education and training.
There's a trend happening in tech: companies are including language in job ads stating that they will not accept academics transitioning out of higher education for new positions. Why?
In this episode, L. Maren Wood discusses the chasms between industry and academia that make it difficult for new graduates to land opportunities. While academia values credentials and academic disciplines, employers value skills and the application of those skills. Industry and academia have very different work styles, and master's students and PhDs have an enormous learning curve when they enter industry; many companies don't have the resources to retrain academics. And finally, universities are doing an inadequate job of preparing students for the job search.
We talk about "graduate students" as though doctoral and master's students are the same. They are not. PhD and master's students pursue their education and training with very different goals in mind. Doctoral programs and master's programs look nothing alike. The challenges that master's and doctoral students encounter when they apply for jobs in industry are also very, very, different.
In this first episode of season two, L. Maren Wood, PhD, shares research findings about the unique challenges facing doctoral students and master's students. To provide effect career and professional development training, we need to understand the different segments of the graduate student population.
We're concluding our final episode for Season 1 of the podcast with some big wins!
In this episode, Maren shares success stories of podcast listeners who recently landed nonacademic jobs. What did they do to be successful? They evaluated their strategy and identified where they were going wrong in their job search.
In this episode, Maren shares these wins, what these PhDs did to land their new jobs, and gives you that pep-talk you were needing to make big changes in 2022.
A lot of PhDs are frustrated by the idea that they need to start entry-level in their nonacademic careers. That somehow, entry level is an insult to our advanced education and training. In this episode, Maren talks about why entry level positions are actually an opportunity and a critical component of building a new nonacademic career.
Academia is populated with over-achievers competing for scarce resources and reviewing and critiquing each other. It's a recipe for toxic culture.
It also means that too many PhDs feel like they're not good enough, that they lack worth and value. We're also hesitant to ask for help or admit we don't know, because not knowing is an invitation for another academic to be cruel or unkind.
But we have to overcome our sense of impostor syndrome in order to be successful in landing a nonacademic job. We have to admit we need help, and that we don't know what we don't know. We also have to trust that people will help us.
In this episode, Maren talks about ways you can overcome impostor syndrome and approach your job search with curiosity and openness.
A lot of "alt ac" jobs that are promoted by academic departments to their students are unicorn jobs - they are rumored to exist in nature, but are rare and difficult to find. That's because so many of the jobs PhDs were landing in the 1980s and 1990s aren't growing fields anymore. They've become saturated with PhDs, just like the academic job market.
For PhDs who are moving out of academia, you want to move into careers where there are numerous opportunities to be paid well and make a difference. Here are the growing career sectors you should look into if you're serious about career security.
Many faculty are worried about the career prospects of their doctoral students and postdocs, but are often unsure of how they can help students transition into meaningful nonacademic careers. In this episode, Maren suggests ways faculty can become more familiar with the professional job market, and the challenges their students face when they begin a career transition.
Networking, it might as well be a four-letter word. Talking to strangers, talking about yourself, there's nothing more awkward, right? Yah, that does sound terrible. But the good news is ... there's another way to think about networking, which is about building community, gathering information, and making connections.
In this episode, Maren will help you rethink networking so that you're building lasting connections with people who will help you in your job search because your connections are real, genuine, and built around common interests and values.
As faculty and students return to classes this fall, there is so much uncertainty, fear, and stress. It's going to be anything but a normal academic year. In this episode, Maren discusses the need to bring empathy, curiosity, and compassion to this situation so that we can find ways to support our colleagues, our students, and ourselves. We have to ask questions of our colleagues and students about their fears, and anxieties, so we can find ways to support them. And we need to reflect on what we need, and ask others for help, so that we can move through this year collectively, together, as a community.
Are you one of the thousands of job candidates who are submitting job applications but not getting an interview? It's time to take a step back and evaluate your strategy. In this episode, Maren talks about what she's learned interviewing PhDs at Beyond the Professoriate, common mistakes people are making with their resumes and cover letters, and strategies you can take to avoid these costly mistakes.
The academic job market is awash in a sea of talent - so many PhDs competing for the same job that universities have little incentive in offering competitive offers or positive working conditions. If you say not to the academic job, there are 90 people willing to accept that offer.
You don't have to be one of those PhDs. Instead, when you go on the academic job market this fall, go on with confidence, knowing you have options. Then, if an academic opportunity comes along, you can decide if it's right for you.
Knowing you have options puts you in a position of power, and it will lesson the anxiety, stress, and fear, that too many PhDs feel when they're applying for limited academic jobs.
Have you ever wondered what seperates people who make the career transition from people who don't? Often times, it comes down to hard work and perseverance. But there are three additional qualities that PhDs need to cultivate in order to make a career change and thrive in the professional workforce.
In this episode, Maren shares with you what these three essential qualities are, and why they are so important to your job search.
So many PhDs remain in academia because they love teaching. But what they fail to realize is that teaching isn't their passion: they have interests, passions, and values that are met through the experience of teaching.
To dislodge ourselves from academia and move into meaningful professional careers requires that we examine what truly energizes us about the work we're doing now. Do you love mentoring and advising? Strategic conversations? Curriculum design?
In this episode, Maren talks about the importance of spending time in the Discovery stage so that you can clearly articulate who you are, what you love, and what energizes you about your teaching, so you can imagine a life outside of the classroom.
Too many PhDs make the costly mistake of submitting resumes to online job postings. But, even for the best resume, less than 8% of resumes ever receive a response. If you're spending your time submitting resumes to online job postings instead of networking, you'll be frustrated and unsuccessful.
Beyond Prof has developed a proven process, and a curriculum, to help PhDs move through the job search with purpose and strategy. In this episode, Maren talks about how the process works, and shares stores of PhDs who did, and did not, follow the 4 step process.
PhDs are often told by employers that they are overqualified for positions. But they're also told that they don't have enough experience. So, which is it? Are we underqualified or overqualified?
In this episode, Maren breaks down this conundrum and provides concrete strategies for you to overcome this obstacle in your job search.
We talk a lot on this podcast about how myths and assumptions that are widely dispersed in academia keep PhDs from making a career transition. In this episode, Maren unpacks three of the most common misconceptions about professional work that keep PhDs back in their job search: negative assumptions about businesses; a belief that the PhD credential will open doors; not recognizing that professional careers can be just as specialized and difficult as academic careers.
Using the skills that you've developed during graduate school, and tapping in to your growing professional network, you can discover ways to overcome these misconceptions and launch a great career.
You made the decision to earn your degree and pursue a career in academia. But is that enough of a reason to stay? In this episode, Maren discusses how the sunk cost fallacy keeps people in academia. We've invested so many years earning our degrees and we want that investment to pay off in some ways.
But that time, energy, and money is already gone. It's in the past. And it doesn't have to inform your future.
Many PhDs worry that leaving academia means giving up job security, especially if they've landed a "golden ticket" and secured a tenure track job.
But a job for life traps you. It creates a system where people are chasing a unicorn job, that few will actually achieve. It means that few people enter the system because few people are exiting. And it misses how important firing and quitting are in building healthy work cultures.
In this episode, Maren argues that what PhDs should be seeking is Career Security. They should take their skills and talents and move into careers where they have options ... and where their employer KNOWS they have options.
Graduate students and PhDs are making decisions about their academic careers in the absence of data. How many tenure track jobs are there in a discipline? How many applications do departments receive? When are PhDs most marketable?
The nuances of the academic hiring process matter. But this data doesn't exist for most academic disciplines. In this episode, Maren talks about how we can start collecting this data and the radical impact job data would have on academia.
It's time for academia to be honest about its hiring practices, and provide accurate and transparent data so that graduate students and junior scholars can make informed career decisions.