One of the little pleasures I allow myself lately is reading business books. I love them. I love their cheerful optimism, their simple beliefs and motivational rhetoric. While kicking around campus, I would never have been seen dead reading Power Within by Tony Robbins, Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestly or, my current read, You Are a Badass by Jen … [Read more...] about Mobility, Freedom and the 4-Hour Work Week
Our correspondent, Kathy McKay explains her approach to the need for flexibility of location that so often comes along with having academic career goals. In my last post, I spoke about my minimalist approach to possessions – the fewer things I own, the easier I find moving when a job is offered. I have learned exactly what is precious enough to move with … [Read more...] about Have academic career goals, will travel
Minimalism can be a strange beast. Right now, my life’s possessions consist of: 1. one small tortoiseshell cat; 2. one (admittedly squished) wardrobe’s worth of clothes; 3. four blankets; and, 4. eight boxes that I can pick up, mostly filled with books, art, and all my cake tins. You know – the vital things to life. I used … [Read more...] about The Academic Art of Minimalism
Our in-depth interview with full time consultant and entrepreneur, Rob Johnson continues. Last week we focused on the early days of creating a consultancy company. This week, we learn more about the ingredients for success in this sector. - You often work with other freelancers and indeed with academic consultants. Can you describe the ideal … [Read more...] about Consultancy reflections: An interview with Rob Johnson, founder of Research Consulting, Part 2
We’re very pleased to be able to feature an interview with full time consultant and entrepreneur, Rob Johnson. His interview is so full of useful reflections for anyone considering working as an academic consultant that I’ve split it into two parts. This week, the focus is on starting out. - You were once an employee at a University but have now set … [Read more...] about Creating a company: An interview with Rob Johnson, founder of Research Consulting, Part 1
Some academics do seem to be wedded to their research, but let’s leave the marriage metaphors aside. This post is all about choosing which academic work commitments you say ‘yes’ to. At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post on why it was important to be able to say ‘No’. It is a way to create some kind of balance, a way to … [Read more...] about Before you say Yes: 3 questions to ask yourself (And I’m not talking about marriage!)
Our correspondent Sarah Wayland describes her experience of her postdoc position, reflecting on how it has involved some new approaches to her own research interests. Three days a week I travel from my house in suburban Sydney Australia to the inner city hum of the University of Technology Sydney. Each way on the train takes an hour: initially I used to … [Read more...] about Making research space & building a career: the postdoc stage
How do we make the 'right' career decisions in academia, and build our overall academic identity? I received an email from a colleague and this quote got me thinking: "all [ECRs she once worked with] would have benefitted from... support which provided them with sense of independence and value of self; knowing what rules were in place constraining choices; … [Read more...] about Your alternative academic identity: learning the rules?
The precarity of the academic job market appears to be a prominent theme at present, alongside the shear competition for academic roles. Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a google hangout hosted by Vitae, titled Successful career planning for researchers. The discussion that took place further enforced the concern that exists around these … [Read more...] about Building a bigger and better picture of academic recruitment and career pathways
Who do you need? It is not always easy to get by in the academic world, especially when you are just starting out. I’m not one to normally question Simon and Garfunkel but, in truth, no one can be an island for the long-term. At some point, all of us need somebody, if not to love, then to work with – which I’m sure is also badly paraphrasing another classic … [Read more...] about Finding Your People: Mentors, Collaborators, and Guardian Angels
We're delighted to have had so many responses to our survey on Career pathways following doctoral research. Many thanks for sharing to all 5199 of you, and indeed all those who helped us to promote the survey. You've helped to ensure that we could reach so many people and build a career path picture that could inspire and interest both other researchers and … [Read more...] about Our career paths survey: thanks for sharing!
As we begin 2017, perhaps some of you will have taken a seasonal break from your work. Or perhaps you worked right through: it can be hard to take time out from research and academic life. Some of you might be making New Year's resolutions and perhaps one of them might be to think of your work-life balance. With this in mind, our blog is taking a look at … [Read more...] about Saying No: Why it’s important to be brave
Irrespective of which hemisphere you currently live in, the conversation about academic leave this holiday season can bring up some uncomfortable truths for those studying or working. Social Media correspondent Sarah Wayland explores the conundrum of ‘to stop or not to stop’ when those around you take leave… A few weeks ago, I began as a Post-Doc Research … [Read more...] about Rethinking leave – to stop or not to stop this holiday season
This year has seen a lot of focus in the press on issues of precariousness in employment for early career researchers, many of whom are seeking a way out of precarity. In the last quarter of this year, our blog has looked a lot at the career options available to those who finish their PhD. Career paths are a theme close to the core mission of piirus.ac.uk … [Read more...] about Why researchers might want a way out of precarity
Following on from last week's post on the crisis that Europe is headed for, our latest guest blogger, Vera Reed presents an overview of the career position of those with a PhD or doctorate in the United States. Only 1.68% of Americans who are 25 years old or more have earned a PhD, which adds up to about 2.5 million persons, according to data from the … [Read more...] about US Doctorate Earners and Their Earning Potential: What Do We Know?