Additional resources about academic careers. Whether you’re looking for sites, books, articles, or information about careers or the job market, you’ll find it here.

Book Review: Quiet Influence

Here’s a great book to help introverts (continue to) rock the workplace. It’s called Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference by Jennifer Kahnweiler.

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In the beginning, Kahnweiler identifies 5 skills that introverts rock: thoughtful use of social media, writing, preparation, engaged listening, and focused conversations. Then there’s a quiz to help you assess where your strengths lie among those categories. And the quiz is actually helpful. I like the way it helped me listen to where I am already an expert and which skills I could work on a bit.

And for the rest of this short read, you’ll get practical tips on how to hone each skill, as well as rein it in. For instance, we know that introverts need to build in quiet time into their workday (YES! Can you say it again for the executives in the back and anyone who suggests open offices?!) but she also warns what becoming a workplace loner can do. Throughout she gives some practical tips on how to put each skill into practice, even in cubicle land.

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Resources for Career Brainstorming

It’s Monday, so I’m guessing you’re as braindead as I am. But when you’re job hunting or career planning, you still need to be working on your career, even when you don’t feel like it. So it’s a good day to take on something easy, like brainstorming. Brainstorming is a good way to make use of your time on days when you’re feeling sluggish or caffeine-dependent.  Like, say, Mondays.

How Brainstorming Can Benefit Your Career

Career brainstorming can help you no matter what career stage you’re in. When you’re looking for your first job or considering a career change, brainstorming can uncover new job families to explore. And when you’re in a career but feeling stuck at your current level, it can help you find professional development options you might need to consider in order to advance. Or when you’ve found a job you’d like to apply for, it can help you figure out how to identify and describe your transferable skills on your resume.

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite career brainstorming tools.

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Build your network from connections

There’s not much that I dread more than networking events. So many of us (yes, even me) hate networking. Trying to strike up a conversation, nevermind build meaningful connections with strangers, can feel awkward at best, and at worst, forced and insincere. And for academics in particular, it can feel sales-pitchy, gross, and off putting.

Yet there are real, tangible benefits to networking. Conversations with work friends can lead to opportunities. You might hear about an upcoming job opening before it gets posted. You’re more likely to find out the inside scoop about an employer. Your connections might approach you to speak on your area of expertise, giving you the chance to promote your skills and knowledge. Or when you’re a candidate for a job, you might know someone who can put in a good word for you (in addition to your professional references).

Networking isn’t just about sharing business cards or building up your LinkedIn connections, though. For your network to be effective, you need to have or build relationships with your associates. You don’t want your connections to decline to connect, grow stale, or drop you because it’s a one-way connection. Making your network work for you means meeting people organically, and then thinking of your associates as real, genuine relationships. People who are not just looking out for you, but who are invested in keeping a relationship with you. So how can you do this? There’s two easy steps.

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Book Review: The Professor Is In

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If you aren’t already familiar with The Professor Is In, you should be. It’s a fantastically informative and brutally honest faculty job market blog run by Karen Kelsky. But now you can get her job market insights in book form as well.

I got a chance to read Kelsky’s book, The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning your Ph.D. Into a Job over the past week. After briefly setting the context for why the job market is so very competitive, the rest of the book provides no-nonsense guidance on how to navigate the market more successfully.

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