August 3, 2020
Intro: I have known Dr. Conor West, as a HDR student, a project collaborator and now we are lucky to have her as a UOW colleague at Learning, Teaching and Curriculum. I love this honest account of her experience and feelings when finishing her PhD and working out what to do next. I think most readers will relate in some way…
Like many of us, the doctoral-shaped monkey on my back seemed to gain weight as the years of my PhD passed by. By the end, it was only my innate stubbornness and fear of disappointing others that kept us together.
I spent much of those four years riding waves of passionate curiosity and troughs of seething disappointment. Not that it mattered, as regardless of how I was feeling, my monkey always required something from me. Time away from it filled me with guilt. I convinced myself that a break could wait until the tables had been re-formatted, a new article annotated, or the next page of feedback was applied. Life happened in the space it left; I always gave my monkey the attention it screamed for. Until, unceremoniously, my monkey was gone.
It was an ordinary Tuesday, working alone from home when I realised the monkey had run out of tasks to throw at me. I had suddenly found myself looking at a submit button, with my full dissertation attached to the box above it. I clicked submit almost as a reflex, akin to accepting terms and conditions. I messaged family and friends and posted about my almost-completion. In silence, I got up to wash the dishes and heard the ping of an automatic email from HDR administration with their congratulations and estimates for examiner feedback. It was all very underwhelming, as I knew my monkey would be back. Continue Reading →
April 10, 2019
Guest post by Dr. Katia Alferova
Introduction: Research on the career outcomes of research graduates show approximately 6% are working in the government sector after graduation*. Public service recruiters recognise the added value that a Higher Degree Research graduate can bring and actively welcome applications. Dr. Katia Alferova applied successfully for a government department role in 2018 – here she shares her experience of the recruitment process.
Considering various opportunities to apply my skills and knowledge in practice, I was determined to find a job that would allow me to use my analytical capabilities and research experience while performing day-to-day professional duties. This opportunity arrived with a position of a policy officer in the area directly connected to my research domain and the responsibility to provide advice to the government and inform its decision-making process. I would like to share my experience with those researchers and PhD graduates who are interested in careers with government agencies, with a focus on the recruitment process. Continue Reading →
February 20, 2019
Guest post by Dr Rachel Loney-Howes, Lecturer, Criminology, School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong
Introduction: In recent years, career development researchers have focused on the role of chance and luck in career development. They’ve found that, although on reflection we have a tendency to ‘reframe’ our career success in terms of luck, there are certain behaviours and attitudes that contribute to taking advantage of ‘chance’ events. Dr Rachel Loney-Howes a Lecturer from the School of Health and Society here at UOW was ‘lucky’ enough to start an ongoing academic position 6 months after her PhD (yes – 6 months!) In this blog post, she talks about one of the behaviours that helped make that happen.
I still can’t believe my luck. Six months after graduating from my PhD from La Trobe University in Melbourne, I was offered an ongoing position here at the University of Wollongong as lecturer in Criminology in the School of Health and Society. Six months. I was under the impression that I would be casually or contractually employed for at least three – maybe even five years – before I would be gainfully employed, as so many of my friends and colleagues were and currently are. At an HDR Panel for post-graduate research students in the School of Health and Society, which ran in October 2018, I was asked to speak about how I got so lucky. What was it about my experience as a post-graduate research student that made me a competitive candidate for my current role? And what pearls of wisdom could I share with emerging ECRs that might help them as they enter the academic job market. In this blogpost, I discuss some elements of that “luck” I encountered during my candidature as a PhD student – most of which came about because I literally “showed up.”; Continue Reading →
January 9, 2019
rnolReflections from School of Health and Society Research Student Careers Event
Introduction: As HDR Careers Counsellor I recently contributed to a career development event at the School of Health and Society (HAS) which included a panel discussion followed by some interactive career exercises. You guessed it – we asked for a volunteer to write a blog piece. Faysal Kabir Shuvo, a PhD researcher in HAS volunteered to share his learning from this event co-ordinated by the Head of Postgraduate Studies, Associate Professor Xiaoqi Feng.
Dr. Iain Butterworth (far right) sharing his career story, pictured alongside Dr. Rachel Loney-Howes and some of the HAS research student audience.
The objective of this workshop was mainly to guide post-PhD career planning. The workshop was an excellent mix of professionals sharing their career journeys. Dr Iain Butterworth is the Head of professional services in the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. Dr Rachel Loney-Howes, has recently been recruited as Lecturer in the School of Health and Society. And finally, we had Ms Sarah Ryan, our on-campus resource for all matters HDR careers. The workshop was nicely moderated by Associate Professor Xiaoqi Feng, Head of Postgraduate Studies, School of Health and Society. Motivated by my participation in the Careers Central Career Ready Learning for Higher Degree Research (CRLH900) subject, I have started to explore a range of post-PhD career options. Therefore, personally, I was intrigued Continue Reading →
November 1, 2018
Introduction: Exploring your future career options can seem like just another item to add to your long list of research tasks – it might be tempting to procrastinate and put it to the bottom of the list. Corinne Green, a PhD researcher in Education and a current student of ‘Career Ready Learning for Higher Degree Research Students’, shows us it doesn’t have to be overly time consuming, by using research career podcasts, one of which she reviews below.
How much time do you spend thinking about your future career? Maybe it is something that plagues your mind constantly, or something you would rather not think about, or perhaps something you have not yet considered. Whatever stage of your studies you are up to, it can be valuable to consider what is coming next and how you are going to get there.
Earlier this year the ‘15 Minutes to Develop Your Research Career’ podcast Continue Reading →
April 17, 2018
Introduction: Recent experience gives us an up-to-date insight into current recruitment practice, so I was delighted when UOW PhD researcher Amy Carrad answered our call for contributors to share her experience of attending interviews.
I would like to share with you the diverse experiences of my first career-related job hunt.
Continue Reading →
March 8, 2018
Review of careers tool for Humanities and Social Science PhD researchers
Imagine PhD is a one of very few (if any?) career planning tools tailored to Humanities and Social Science PhD researchers and graduates. I asked Ross Girdler, a first year PhD researcher, with rich previous career experience to see what he thought of it…
Imagine PhD is an online career guidance resource for those Humanities and Social Sciences PhD and post-doc researchers who have surfaced from their studies long enough to ask the question, “where to next?”. Continue Reading →