I read once that career development professionals report some of the highest levels of job satisfaction. But when you’re a career development professional, in a small office, you’re in danger of burnout from all the invisible work you’ll need to do to do the work that is expected of you. Our office has been constantly tackling the creep of ‘invisible work’, and I thought I’d talk about it.
Staying incognito: How the OCPD helps UCSF PhD students and postdocs discreetly explore career options
Some PhD students and postdocs have not disclosed to their advisors/PIs their interest in a non-academic career. Career Centers need to think about how to serve trainees who might not want to be tracked at the latest high profile program or on a career office’s social media streams. Here’s what our office our office does to support them.
Career counselors in our office have noted that many graduate students and postdocs repeatedly get ‘stuck’ when exploring the wide range of career options available to PhDs, because they lack a foundational understanding of precisely what it means to ‘explore careers’. So, they read pithy articles or first person narratives that encourage activities like ‘identify transferrable skills’ and ‘conduct informational interviews’, and feel lost. Check out an instrument I developed that we use in counseling appointments to help PhDs get ‘unstuck’ in the career exploration process.
Finally we cover hurdles #4 and #5: the people who relied upon you, and you, because it didn’t occur to you how to respond when you boss asked why you’re leaving.
Last time, I covered the #1 hurdle that can trip you up while going out the door: Your boss. Now let’s talk about the next two on the list: 2) You, and your expectations about ‘leaving well’, and 3) your (unhappy) colleagues.
Resigning from your job? 5 things that can trip you up as you’re going out the door. Hurdle #1: your boss
It’s important to realize that from the moment you say you’re resigning, you’ve entered a continual negotiation phase, where you’re negotiating with your boss, your colleagues and your clients for the limited amount of time you have left. At a time when employees think they’re winding down, things actually get more intense. Here’s how I’ve seen people manage it well.
Thank you notes are tricky things. They are professionally required for most interviews, but lately I’ve been seeing people use them for a specific purpose that I don’t think they do particularly well: to address some perceived shortcoming during the interview. I’m here to say: Don’t do it – there’s a better way to handle the situation.
I’ve been chatting recently with a number of professional friends who have landed in, or narrowly avoided, taking positions where they were well qualified for the tasks, but the environment would have been toxic. One friend asked me how to assess if a work environment is toxic during a day long interview. It comes down to three things.
I was recently reading that the, “What’s your Weakness?” question was the most useless interview question, because everyone tries to dodge it. Rather than useless, I describe it as the most misunderstood interview question, by candidates and interviewers alike. Candidates feel it’s a trick question, and some employers aren’t clear on what exactly they’re looking for when they ask.
This week, I talk about how to handle this specific negotiation situation: the “Have Offer A, but Waiting to Hear From Offer B” scenario. As usual, what’s most interesting to me is the etiquette and the appropriate language to use with both organizations. I give examples of how to delay Offer A, as well as how to find out about your status from potential Offer B.