Reviewing advertisements of all sorts can help you identify appealing job types and sectors that you may never even have heard of, advises Derek Attig in this post originally published on Inside Higher Ed.
When it comes to careers, we tend to pay attention to what’s right in front of us. And for most graduate students, that means academe. In graduate school, you are surrounded by other graduate students and faculty using similar kinds of skills to engage in similar kinds of tasks with similar kinds of goals. Immersed in all that similarity, it can be difficult to imagine or examine alternatives.
So how do you actually do that? How do you explore jobs that no one you know works in, jobs that you maybe haven’t even heard of yet?
My colleagues and I in the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a method for doing just that, to provide graduate students with an easy way to identify and explore new career possibilities. We have used this method with groups of humanities Ph.D. students and with individual graduate students in fields as varied as human development and family studies, environmental engineering, psychology and mathematics.
We often have students begin with this sample job ad for a nonprofit consulting position, and I recommend you do the same. Throughout this essay, I will refer to parts of this ad in order to further illustrate the process and help you use it. I also suggest that you take the following steps.
Read Derek's suggestions now on Inside Higher Ed.
Looking for more career advice from Derek? Read his posts on the GradLIFE blog or check out his Inside Higher Ed essays on the following topics:
Want hands on help with your job search? Attend one of our Career and Professional Development workshops!
Derek Attig is the Director of Career Development for the Graduate College. After earning a PhD in History here at Illinois, Derek worked in nonprofit communications and instructional development before joining the Career Development team. A devotee of libraries and all things peculiar, Derek is currently writing a book about bookmobiles.