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Post-Academic Careers
(full story below)
by Melinda

You have decided you don’t want a tenure-track job. How do you explore other career paths and make yourself competitive for the job of your choosing?

Read a book. Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius, So What are You Going to Do with That?: Finding Careers Outside of Academia, 2nd ed. University of Chicago Press, 2007. 160 pages.

Check out websites. Versatile PhD ( helps graduate students identify, prepare for, and excel in possible non-academic careers.

Devise an Individual Development Plan. Individual Development Plans (IDP) set out your goals for cultivating skills that will make you competitive on the job market for the career of your choice. For more information see:
• Jennifer A. Hobin, et. al., “You Need a Game Plan,” Science Careers, 7 Sept. 2012.
• MyIDP ( is a free tool for students to use in exploring career goals and determining how best to follow that career path.

Go to professional development workshops offered at Notre Dame.
Exploring Career Options
This is a 5-week workshop series for anyone who isn’t sure what career path to take either in or out of academia. Throughout the series we will conduct self-assessments, brainstorm potential jobs, discuss resources for finding jobs, and put together application materials so that when the time comes to apply, you will be ready! Appropriate for all disciplines.

CV to Resume Workshop
In this workshop you will learn the difference between curriculum vitae (CV) and resumes, and learn how to turn your CV into a resume.

Utilizing Online Resources in the Job Search
Learn how to use LinkedIn, Go Irish, and other online resources in your job search.

Elevator Pitch Essentials Part 1: Preparing the Pitch
An elevator pitch is a 30-second to two-minute, well-prepared description of your research. Learn how to create it, rehearse it, and tailor it for a specific audience. In this session you will learn the skills that you will need to craft your elevator pitch.

Elevator Pitch Essentials Part 2: Practicing at a Reception
Students will take the research spiel they developed on their own or in the Elevator Pitch Essentials Part 1 and will practice giving the pitch to other students, faculty, and administrators from a wide range of disciplines. The setting is a reception that the Graduate School hosts in support of this event. Business casual attire is requested.

Make an appointment with Graduate Career Services. Graduate Student Career Services ( ) provides career-related support to Notre Dame graduate students and postdocs through a variety of programs and services designed to expand the number of professional opportunities. Use the tools they offer in their office and online to help you decide what career direction is most appropriate for you.

Prepared by Melinda Gormley, Ph.D., Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values,
Passed out at the Lunch & Learn Series event held January, 17 2014.
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