All the things I’ve learned while I should have been working on my thesis

This is a departure from what seems to be my main-blogging-subject (that is, running) for a few things that I have learned and found along the way to finishing my thesis.  None of these have to do with my research, but in some way or another they all have to do with getting a job at the end of the PhD.

Recently, Dr. Nadine Muller made this comment on twitter:

p1 p2While I obviously don’t have anywhere near the experience that she has (which you shall see shortly, from the links below) I think the sentiment rings true.  We should be helping each other out because we’re all in the same position as PhD candidates who are, at some stage, going to be thrust into the job market, academic or otherwise.

So, this is a bit of a list of links and things that I have compiled which I find helpful:

I think the best academic CV resource is, far and away, from Dr. Karen of The Professor is In.  Dr Karen’s Rules of the Academic CV is mean.  It’s thought-provoking.  It’s anxiety enduing.  It’s the single most helpful thing I’ve ever read about CV construction.  I am such a fan of TPII that I have booked a CV Strategising Session with Dr. Karen in early May (I will let you know how it goes!).  Be wary, though, that this is aimed at the US market, and therefore some tinkering will be needed to suit the UK.  Which is why you need to read Nadine Muller’s The New Academic’s Guide to Academic Job Applications.

Incidentally, this is the exact same situation with grant writing, and therefore proposal writing which follows basically the same form, obviously with some adjustments.  Start with Dr. Karen’s Foolproof Grant Template and supplement with The New Academic’s Writing Grant Applications.

These two sites – The Professor Is In and The New Academic are both amazing, mine-worthy sites filled with information about everything you want to know regarding life in academia but didn’t want to ask your supervisor.  Just as a side note, you should be able to ask your supervisor, but in case you can’t (or your supervisor doesn’t know…) then these are gems.

Finally, I want to say a word about academia.edu and linkedin.  I have both (my academia.edu and my linkedin) and I keep both up to date.  Academia.edu I think is much more useful as a research dissemination tool.  That is, I have listed all my conference papers and PDFs of any handouts from them, there is a link to my book review and, as time goes on, I will put other publications and things on here as well.  Linkedin on the other hand, is much more job focused.  I have the ‘other half’ of my CV on here: education, teaching/research work, projects, conference organisation.  I also have included links to both these sites on my CV.  I think they will become increasingly important to maintain, and as networking moves increasingly online I think it’s both wise and appropriate to have a place where you can undertake formal networking (rather than informal networking on, say, twitter).  I’m not an expert at this, obviously.  I just think it’s wise to cover your bases and to do it properly.

Anyway – I had better get some actual work done.  I will do another one of these posts with some more information that I use, particularly around getting postdoc proposals ready.

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6 thoughts on “All the things I’ve learned while I should have been working on my thesis

  1. medievalisterrant says:

    Ooh, thank you for the link to the New Academic! I’m also a big fan of Professor Karen, but not everything translates well to the UK market. Definitely interested to know how your session goes!

    It’s also nice to see more people being constructive about the process (I’m in the middle of such a post too) instead of the usual OMG JUST DON’T GO TO GRAD SCHOOL IT WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE that seems to be so catching!

    • Neon Anonymous says:

      I understand why some people feel the need to write ‘Don’t Go to Grad School!’ posts, but you’re right – it’s not constructive. It stinks of sour grapes of one sort or another (i.e. either ‘I’ve failed and I think everyone will fail’ or ‘I’m in a nice cushy job and I don’t want competition.’).

      It’s important to help each other out. Hopefully we can breed the ultra-competition out of academia.

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