Job Search Course FAQ

I’m not a recent PhD. Is this course still for me?
If you are contemplating your next career move outside of a “traditional” professoriate career path, then this course is for you! We work with grad students as well as a range of PhDs – associate and assistant professors, full professors, post-docs, adjuncts, lecturing fellows, adjuncts, etc.

Am I too old (or young) for your course?
No. This course is geared toward professionals who are in a stage of their career: exploration and new pathways. As a result, your age does not matter.

Do I have to be from a particular discipline for this to be relevant and useful?
Kind of. We specialize in helping PhD holders from the humanities, social sciences, and hard sciences, so if you fall into one of those categories you’re likely a good fit. This course might not be a perfect fit if you have a professional track PhD. Check out our last question with the checklist of questions to help determine if you’re a good fit, or contact us with questions.

Why are three coaches joining forces?
To provide you the most value! As individuals, Maren, Jen, and Heidi specialize in different yet complementary areas. Individuals routinely work with each of us, under individual packages, oftentimes starting with Jen and/or Maren and ending with Heidi. Believing in the power of community and group coaching, we created a group package that addresses our most popular services, designed for the clients we work with day-in and day-out.

Can I work with just one of the coaches?
Absolutely—but not in this group coaching course. We all work with clients individually. Feel free to check out our websites to see our offerings.

Are there resources outside of the weekly calls?
Yes. Each of the coaches will provide useful tools for you to review, reflect on, and learn from. We want the learning to extend beyond just the weekly session. There’s also an online community available 24/7 for participants to engage with each other in between calls.

What if I need individual support?
Individuals who wish to work 1-on-1 work with Jen, Maren, or Heidi can absolutely do so. This may appeal to you if you need extra support during an intense period of focussed job searching. Reach out to them for more information.

What if I miss a session?
Each session will be available online for the group members, so if you miss a session you won’t fall behind or lose out.

I don’t want anyone to know I’m considering a path outside of academia. Is this course confidential?
Absolutely. Unfortunately, we know that some people must keep their lips shut tight about their career preparations. Just like our individual services are confidential, so is this course. You will know the other people in the course to facilitate networking and a community of support, but each student will understand that this is a confidential service.

I would still love to have a job in academia. Is this group going to bad-mouth academia?
Nope. We were in academia at one time, each of us thinking we’d be a professor. We all changed our minds, but we respect that many people still consider academia their home. On a personal note, some of our closest friends remain in academia as researchers and professors.

What we will do is this: we’ll empower you to feel confident in your knowledge of HOW to determine your professional path and HOW to conduct a job search campaign outside of academia. This knowledge need not conflict with your efforts to land a job within academia.

Will you review and comment on the documents I write?
Not in this course. The focus in the course is on teaching and empowering participants to write job documents (resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles) themselves. The course is not designed for individual feedback sessions; while all three coaches will encourage and coach you throughout the course, we will not be providing 1-on-1 feedback and critiques of your work. If you are interested in working with a coach individually, feel free to contact us directly.

Can’t I just learn this on my own?
Maybe. Maybe not. We recommend thinking through this checklist of questions to help you decide if you’re a good fit. Frankly, we only want people to sign up who are right for the course.

  • Do I have a clear understanding of what I want to do with my professional life? Where I want to be going? What I want to be doing?
  • Do I have an action plan for accomplishing my professional job search campaign goals that I’m working toward regularly?
  • Am I able to articulate in clear, lay language not only what I know but also what I do? When I tell people in two sentences what I do, can they understand me?
  • Do I feel confident about the plan I’ve constructed to move forward in my career?
  • Can I articulate the difference between a CV and resume in the North American context? Do I know how a U.S. federal resume is different from a “typical” resume? Do I know how cover letters are different from the “typical” cover letter to apply for a TT job?
  • Do I feel energized and excited about the skills and experiences I have and how I’ve presented them in my application documents?
  • Do I feel good about how well I use LinkedIn? Is my LinkedIn strategy working?
  • Do I have a solid plan for how I will conduct informational interviews and employment interviews?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you should consider how you will acquire this knowledge. If you don’t have a clear strategy for doing so, you’re a prime candidate for our course.