Career Doctor

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Have you ever found yourself pondering the question, "What will I do with my PhD once I complete it?" only to respond with "I don't know?" Rest assured, you are not alone! Many HDR candidates fail to realize that a PhD offers more than just expertise in a specific subject matter. Throughout your doctoral journey, you acquire a diverse set of research skills that extend beyond academia and your field of study. These transferable skills hold significant value for prospective employers across various sectors, including business, policy, technology, healthcare, and social entrepreneurship. 

Your PhD equips you with critical thinking abilities, honing your capacity to question, analyse, and synthesise information. Furthermore, it fosters interpersonal skills through collaboration with colleagues, research teams, and supervisors. Your resilience is also strengthened as you learn from setbacks, adjust research strategies, and persist in the face of challenges. These are just a few examples of the multitude of skills you develop during your PhD, which makes you highly valuable to many professional environments. 

Stepping into the world beyond your PhD can evoke both excitement and trepidation. That is precisely why the Career Doctor is here to assist you in preparing for life after your PhD. The Career Doctor is a series of five workshops designed to help you: 

  • Recognize and appreciate the skills your PhD has equipped you with
  • Understand the key skills that employers are seeking 
  • Translate your skills effectively for non-academic employers
  • Identify potential career options and pathways 
  • Explore areas for personal skills development 

It's important to remember that your career journey is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all path to success. As you navigate the transition from student to employee, try to approach it with enthusiasm, curiosity, and a willingness to acquire new skills or explore professional landscapes that complement your existing expertise, passions, and interests. The Career Doctor workshops aim to provide you with valuable guidance and resources so you can make more informed career decisions. By participating in these workshops, you will gain a deeper understanding of the diverse range of career opportunities available to you. 

Workshop requirement: These workshops use Mentimeter (interactive presentation software) and all participants will need a smartphone capable of reading QR codes and downloading documents to fully partake in the workshops. Its open to all HDR candidates.

Workshop #1 

Title: What Comes Next? Post-PhD and work  

Date: 3 Aug 2023, 10am-1pm

Are you beginning to think about your future career beyond your PhD? If so, you may be contemplating the steps you can take now to position yourself for future employment success. The answer lies in effective career planning! This workshop is designed to guide you through a series of exercises aimed at exploring your interests and finding the right career path. By understanding your motivations and aligning them with your personal goals and expertise, you can set yourself up for a fulfilling and satisfying professional journey. 

By the end of this workshop, you will: 

  • Gain a better understanding of your professional motivations and aspirations 
  • Know where to look for job opportunities 
  • Devise a career action plan tailored to your goals 
  • Develop a publication plan for your research 

Please register here.

Workshop #2 

Title: Translating your research skills for non-academic employers  

Date: 28 Aug 2023, 1pm-3pm

Unleash the power of your transferable research skills to showcase your unique value to non-academic employers. Being aware of, and emphasising your transferable skills (and their applicability to employers’ specific needs and challenges), increases your chances of securing fulfilling roles outside academia. Your PhD represents more than just a title—it symbolizes your intellectual capabilities, resilience, and dedication to knowledge. Trust in your adaptability and resourcefulness to thrive beyond academia. This workshop is dedicated to honing the skills that interest employers, especially those outside universities. Rest assured, you have many to offer! 

By the end of this workshop, you will:

  • Understand the key skills sought by employers outside academia
  • Be able to identify your core employability skills
  • Be able to describe these employability skills for a non-academic audience 

Please register here.

Workshop #3 

Title: Unlock the secrets to building strong relationships: networking, teamwork and collaboration

Date: 19 Sep, 10:00am-12:30pm

Uncover the hidden job market: did you know that 20% of jobs are not advertised? Networking is essential for increasing your visibility and accessing these hidden opportunities. As a PhD candidate, seize the chance to cultivate valuable connections within your academic community and engage with professionals both inside and outside your field. The connections you cultivate can expand your reach, increase your visibility, open doors to potential job leads, referrals and mentorship – ultimately enhancing your chances of finding the right career opportunity.This workshop explores networking (the benefits of), non-verbal communication (tips and tricks), personal branding, and sought after teamwork skills (i.e. those skills that employers are looking for) to help enhance your employability. 

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:  

  • Understand networking etiquette
  • Develop concise research descriptions and effective pitches (10-words, 1-min pitch, 3-min pitch)
  • Identify great teams and what makes them tick
  • Understand how roles, expectations and processes can influence teamwork and collaboration
  • Assess your teamwork skills strengths and identify areas of improvement

Please register here.

Workshop #4 

Title: Elevate your leadership and project management skills: essential tools and strategies

Date: 5 Oct, 1pm-3pm

Leadership skills enable individuals to inspire and guide others, foster collaboration, and drive organisational growth. Project management skills, on the other hand, allow for effective planning, coordination, and execution of tasks, ensuring projects are delivered successfully. Both sets of skills enhance an individual's ability to adapt to changing circumstances, communicate effectively, and solve complex problems. Employers across all industries highly value these skills as they contribute to team effectiveness, efficiency, and the business’ overall success. Developing and refining your leadership and project management skills will open up diverse career opportunities and enable performance excellence in a multitude of roles. 

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Understand leadership of self and of others
  • Use tools to manage effective workplace relationships (e.g. managing conflict) 
  • Give and receive feedback 
  • Recognise and manage relevant project stakeholders 
  • Understand the 5-phases of project management

Please register here.

Workshop #5 

Title: Self-employment: how to successfully leverage your professional research skills

Date: 19 Oct, 1pm-3pm

Are you feeling stuck waiting for the perfect post-PhD job, or are you searching for a flexible career that suits your needs? If so, self-employment could be the answer you've been looking for. It allows you to capitalize on your knowledge and skills, giving you the freedom to explore independent career paths and test the applicability of your PhD across various sectors. In the realm of self-employment, there are two popular avenues to consider: freelancing and entrepreneurship. Both paths require similar essential business skills, such as financial management, marketing, communication, negotiation, project management, time management, problem-solving, and networking. These skills are vital for success in running your own business or providing specialised services to clients. 

To help you navigate the world of self-employment and determine if it's the right path for you, our workshop will provide valuable guidance in: 

  • Identifying popular self-employment jobs that align with your skills and interests
  • How to recognize the transferability of your research skills to the world of business 
  • The fundamental steps involved in establishing a successful freelancing career or starting a new business 
  • ANU’s 52 day paid-rule (policy for side-consulting for academics) 

Please register here.