Prep 101: Mapping Out Your Plan B (Part 2)


We often hear from Phds who enter the non-academic job market that they wished they had done things differently while still in graduate school. In this second installment of a 4-part blog series on Phd non-academic career prep, we provide you with advice on how to prepare to be competitive on the non-academic job market by bolstering your EQ.


YEAR 2: You’ve had a chance to get acclimated to graduate school. The next step is to start showing empathy.

Industry employers want employees that are more than just an IQ. They want people who possess a healthy EQ as well. How do you do that? By building strong relationships, and seeking to make a positive impact on your surroundings.

  •  Stay involved: It’s important to dedicate yourself to an activity that you are passionate about on a regular basis. Take some time to engage in an activity that you truly enjoy, and seek to give back. Offer your help to an established volunteer organization, join a sports league, participate or initiate an entrepreneurial endeavor.


  • Give back:  Whatever you do, make sure that you bring value to the organization, or disrupt it in an innovative way. Look for ways to raise more money, recruit more volunteers, or streamlines processes. Networking is not about what you can get from other people, it’s all about finding ways to help others. Employers want to see that you can use your influence to make a positive impact on the world around you.


  • Build on your global competency: In this age of globalization, organizations pride themselves on the diversity of their workforce. Employers seek people who will both contribute by sharing their unique background with their organization, and who know how to communicate across cultures. Your global competency, i.e., your experience with foreign cultures is a great way to stand out. Find opportunities to study and live abroad. Seek out opportunities to spend your summers abroad through a volunteer organization or internship.


  • Start working on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Now that you are on your second year of studies, you are very likely teaching, which means it’s time for you to take a deeper outlook at your doctoral studies as an opportunity to also work on your professional development. The first step is to start working on your resume. Don’t worry if you don’t have too much to write yet. The blank spaces on your first draft should be less about what you have done in the past than about what you should be doing right now! If you haven’t done it yet, download our free Quick Guide to Resume Writing or our free resume template. Don’t forget to also start building your LinkedIn profile. And keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day! Need help? Check this out.


The Bottom Line: Use your second year of graduate school to establish a solid track record of giving back.


Need help with your post Phd non-academic career prep and don’t know where to look for help? Download our free The Quick Guide to Choosing The Right Career Consultant and find out what questions to ask to get the help YOU need.


Mapping Out Your Plan B (part 3)

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