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Catherine Reynolds

February 23rd, 2022

PhD Journeys: Top tips from our Michaelmas PhD panel

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Catherine Reynolds

February 23rd, 2022

PhD Journeys: Top tips from our Michaelmas PhD panel

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

At our PhD panel in November 2021, we heard from speakers now working in four different career sectors – the UK public sector, academia, consultancy, and an international organisation. Their different trajectories reveal experiences of career development which will interest anyone laying the foundations of post PhD progression. Here are Astrid, Jaskiran, Jun and Anne’s top tips when looking for roles after your PhD…

1) Move away from thinking about your PhD as a specialised topic…

Especially at the job application or creating personal narrative stage. Move towards thinking about your PhD as a set of skills and about the driving motivations / passions behind the PhD.

2) Consider the seniority levels of jobs to look for…

When choosing roles to apply for, it really depends on what experience you have outside of the PhD and what you want to do; for example, how can you evidence and strategically tailor the skills asked for in a job spec? There is always the possibility of working your way up within the organisation or moving to another organisation for promotion and progression, but moving directly into a very senior role straight out of PhD is quite unlikely and uncommon.

3) It’s okay to miss academia…

And if you do, outside-of-academia work and academia overlap significantly in certain fields (like in government). For example, collaboration with academia is a theme in certain fields of policy work and team members with academic degrees and PhDs are a common occurrence.

If you miss “hard core research” (for example fieldwork in, say, anthropology), you can use this to shape your future job search for fields outside of academia that still require these skills, for example sectors such as charities and inclusive education.

Missing academia and being appreciative of one’s current job are not mutually exclusive – speakers now working outside of academia said they like learning new skills and having new experiences while also acknowledging that there is a gap between their current work and their PhD research.

 

With thanks to all our contributors to the PhD Journeys series – Astrid Hampe-Nathaniel, Jaskiran Kaur Bhogal, Jun Yu and Anne Irfan.

For more support with planning your next steps after your PhD, book an appointment with Catherine Reynolds.

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Catherine Reynolds

Posted In: Applications | Career planning | Careers Advice | Finding work | LSE Careers | PhD | Postgraduate study

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