Strategic Career Planning – How to Successfully Transition to a Non-academic Career

Typically, graduate students and postdocs start thinking about finding a job about six to 12 months before they graduate or plan to leave their postdoc. STEM Career Services believes this is much too late. Not having a more strategic career plan leads to missed dream-job opportunities. This is why it is absolutely essential for students/postdocs to take advantage of part-time jobs, internships, training opportunities and volunteer positions during academic training.

Doing so will help them accomplish the following:

  1. Gain valuable skills and experiences to put on resumes
  2. Meet mentors that can help guide their career paths outside of their academic advisors/mentors
  3. Learn more about what they like and don’t like — type of work, type of company, company culture, etc. — to help define the type of work/employer they will target when they are ready for their next professional career opportunity
  4. Build their professional social media profile (e.g., LinkedIn) and have a robust profile with numerous connections and people that they can use to help them network for other professional career opportunities

This workshop focuses on a strategic approach to building career skills and networking as early as possible during academic training; the importance of taking on “real world” opportunities before looking for first professional positions; how to find jobs, internships, volunteer roles and training positions to enhance and build a professional reputation; and how to fine-tune this process to identify the most appealing career.

As a supplement to this workshop, STEM Career Services will conduct private one-on-one career or small group counseling sessions with participants so that they can craft a more strategic approach to their professional career development to better prepare them for a challenging and rewarding career.