Reflections Newsletter

Issue 8, September 2021

In this monthly newsletter sent on the final Thursday of each month, I discuss trends in higher education and share resources and information on career & professional development topics relevant for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and those who support them.

Missed the inaugural newsletter in January? Read it here​.


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Reflections Blog: September 2021


Why Postdoc? 

This month's blog post centers around a recent presentation I gave to graduate students at North Carolina State University about how to look for a postdoctoral position and make the most of this training period. 

See Blog Post for More

Revisiting Past Blog Posts

I share my own experience applying for faculty positions including the importance of connecting with faculty at institutions you are interested in applying to.

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It is never too early to begin building your personal brand or professional network. Start laying the foundation for your future success TODAY. Even little actions now can pay off in the future.

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While "selling yourself" may seem a bit extreme, being proactive in conveying how your skills and expertise can be valuable to a potential employer is crucial both before and during your job search.

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The Pros & Cons of Staff Careers in Higher Education

Careers on the Staff Track: How to Start a Job Transition

Part of a new series from The Chronicle of Higher Education

  • While pursuing a staff career in higher education can be rewarding, it is often difficult work, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic
  • Pathways to staff advancement are often minimal or non-existent and one can begin filling "stuck" in a role after a few years.
  • Resources are often hard to come by despite the important work staff perform supporting students, trainees, faculty, and other staff at the institution. 
  • In my own field, staff working to support graduate students and postdocs in their career & professional development often must continue to do more with less. Budget reductions, staff reductions, and general lack of institutional commitment to this work can be quite demotivating and I know several people looking to pivot into different roles as they don't see a future (or the possibility of advancement) in this field.
  • As we navigate the great reshuffling​ of life priorities post-COVID, we need to think seriously about how to best support and empower higher education staff, including opportunities for their own career & professional development. 

See also:

The Great Disillusionment: College workers are burning out just when they'll be needed most

Higher Ed, We’ve Got a Morale Problem

A profile of my own experience transitioning to work in postdoctoral affairs

More to Explore - Resources for Trainees & Those Supporting Them

Explore Job Search & Funding Resources On My Website

For Further Reading & Exploration

More About Me
Carpe Careers Column
National Science Foundation Data
Data on PhD & Postdoc Training: NGLS 
GCC Professional Development Webinars
Career & Professional Development Research

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