I found these questions particularly helpful from the perspective of someone planning for a career change following my PhD, because answering them helped me assess my career landscape as it currently stands. Understanding the current landscape is a necessary precursor to concrete planning for career progression.
1. What are your drivers?
What motivates you? Pushes you forward?
2. What are your anchors?
What things keep you grounded, in place? What are your non-negotiables?
3. What are your tethers?
What holds you back, but that – with a sufficiently compelling reason – could be shifted? What might you be willing to change for a role? What limiting beliefs might you hold?
4. Where are your networks?
How broad and diverse is your network? In which geographies, communities, industries, or sectors are they located?
Karen suggested turning reflections into realistic and achievable steps by writing a list of initial actions, using your anchors and tethers to help with those first-step decisions. What’s a first step to get to what you need to know, do, see? Who’s a good initial contact? This was a useful way to wrap up an insightful part of the workshop.
This post draws on some of my take-aways from a helpful session called Career Progression: Academia, run by Karen Cavu during QUT’s Career Week for HDR Candidates 2022. Thank you to Karen and to QUT’s GRE+D Team for a great week.
Based on a session called Career Progression: Academia by HDR Career Educator Karen Cavu, from QUT’s Graduate Research Education and Development program. April 2022.
Photo by Lucas Sankey on Unsplash