Group Coaching

Fall 2016 we’re launching a new, 10-week program for PhDs and graduate students who are preparing, or actively searching, for new careers beyond the professoriate. The group will combine the expertise of:

Jennifer Polk (PhD, University of Toronto), From PhD to Life

L. Maren Wood (PhD, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Lilli Research Group

Heidi Scott Giusto (PhD, Duke University), Career Path Writing Solutions

Download the syllabus

Objectives: Empower participants to become confident in their abilities to conduct a non-academic job search and land a job suited to their abilities and skills.

Format:  Each group will include up to 10 PhD or graduate student job seekers from across North America. Sessions will include a group coaching and/or workshop component, plus Q&A and/or discussion, as appropriate. The emphasis will be on instruction and learning, as well as coaching and support to help participants plan and implement action.  Meetings will be virtually/online.  They’ll last for one hour each week via GoToMeeting.

Cost: $995 US.  We offer a payment plan: pay 1/2 now to reserve your spot, and 1/2 when the course begins in September.

Guarantee: Land your dream job before the coaching session begins? Present a written job offer for a full refund – and congratulations from the three of us!

There are two group options:
Tuesdays, beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET (Starting September 6, 2016)
Thursday, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET (Starting September 8, 2016) 

Join us! To sign up, send your current resume, c.v., or LinkedIn profile to and indicate which group you’d like to join.  Don’t worry if what you send us isn’t perfect: we only want a sense of where you’re at. 

For more information, read our FAQs.

What To Expect

Emotional Support: Job hunting can be lonely. Leaving academia can feel destabilizing. By joining a group, you’ll connect with fellow academics who are experiencing similar challenges with their transition: grappling with a shifting identity, building a new network, and reimagining their lives beyond the professoriate.

Expand Your Network: Group coaching allows you to tap into the network of other people in your group. They can introduce you to people they know and send you job leads. You can brainstorm possibilities together, share resources, and learn from the experiences of others.

Enhance Your Job Search: Heidi, Maren, and Jen will provide you with expert advice and coaching to help you create a successful job search campaign. We’ll give you tools to work through the emotional roller coaster of leaving academia and launching a new career, help you learn how to talk about what you do instead of what you know, and communicate your knowledge, skills, and abilities to potential employers through effective professional documents and by networking like a professional.

About Us

Jen circleJennifer Polk, PhD, works as an academic, career, and life coach. Her clients—graduate students and PhDs—are a diverse group of individuals based all around the world, from Canada, the US, the UK, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere. Jen coaches them to finish grad school and launch meaningful careers. She also speaks on campuses and at conferences throughout North America on issues related to career outcomes for PhDs, and her writing has appeared in the Globe and MailUniversity AffairsChronicle Vitae, and Academic Matters.

Find Jen online at, which features resources for PhD career changers, and at her award-winning University Affairs blog. Join her twice a month for #withaPhD chat on Twitter and for Beyond the Professoriate, an online conference for PhDs in transition she produces in collaboration with Maren Wood. Jen earned her doctorate in history from the University of Toronto in 2012. She lives in Toronto with her cat, Izzy.

L. Maren Wood, PhD, provides career coaching to individual PhD Job Seekers as well as research support and consulting to graduate programs and universities. In addition, Maren speaks on university campuses across North America where she talks about the state of the academic job market (providing hard numbers) and tips and strategies to PhDs interested in careers beyond the professoriate.

Maren has worked with the American Historical Association tracking career pathways of PhDs, and worked on an in-depth study of the academic job market for the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Her current research focuses on the history of the academic job market crisis, which will be serialized and published in the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2017.

Maren earned a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and knows first-hand the challenges of being an adjunct, having worked as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of History at UNC Chapel Hill. A proud Canadian, she currently resides in Denver.

Heidi circleHeidi Scott Giusto, PhD, owner of Career Path Writing Solutions and Career Igniterhelps individuals and businesses succeed when the stakes are high. Whether that’s people who are in a job search and need help with their resumes or interview skills, or businesses looking to publish high-quality website or marketing copy, Heidi offers a wealth of experience though her 1-on-1 and small group coaching.

Heidi earned her PhD from Duke University and holds certifications in resume writing, interview preparation, and empowerment coaching. She has been featured in publications including US News & World Report and Vitae and writes for organizations including MFGJobs, FBI-LEEDA, and BitesizeBio. She delights in empowering job seekers to present their best selves to potential employers—on paper and in person. Beginning September 2016, Heidi will proudly serve as an Advisory Board member at Duke for an NEH Next Generation PhD Implementation grant.