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
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
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?
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
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?
We’re delighted to feature this co-authored guest blogpost by Lynn Kamerlin (Uppsala University) and Gareth O’Neill (Leiden University). Read on to learn more about the crisis that those with a PhD are facing, as well as ideas for how the problems could be addressed. The number of doctoral candidates produced by European Universities is increasing at a … [Read more...] about Glass Ceilings and Revolving Doors: a Crisis for European Doctoral Candidates
Our recent series began with piirus.ac.uk correspondent Kathy McKay's post on the portfolio career. Then we heard from a researcher-librarian and guest blogger, Beth Hellen, before our new correspondent Sarah Wayland reflected on how she might have been better prepared for the precarious transitionary period after her PhD. Next, another piirus.ac.uk team … [Read more...] about Everyone has their own career path: our blog series & the essence of post-phd careers
In our previous post we looked at hyper-competition for permanent research careers in academia. While only a small proportion of PhD qualified candidates will end up in academia, this seems to be the most obvious career path for doctoral students. Some figures suggest that as many as 80% of candidates studying towards a PhD aspire to an academic … [Read more...] about Employer perspectives of PhD graduates
In preparation for our survey on career pathways after doctoral research, we tried to find out as much as we could about the current academic job market. One thing that became clear is amount of competition for post-PhD positions across the world. Anecdotal evidence suggests a postdoctoral position in Australia can attract around 145 candidates¹, while in … [Read more...] about Career pathways post-PhD – the impact of increased competition
As we’ve been looking a lot at post-phd career paths lately, we’re delighted to feature this guest blogpost from Irene Garcia Losquino, in which she shares a great technique for researchers to identify their skills (both academic and transferable). When I was eight years old, my mother asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I did not hesitate: ‘I want … [Read more...] about Tricks from an expert: how to identify your skills and boost your confidence