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3 Things Every PhD Needs to Know About Getting a Job Outside Academia

But for another thing, networking will be your best friend in finding roles outside your specialty.

2. You’ll Have to Be Prepared to Tell Your Story

Earning a PhD takes a high level of commitment. As you start discussing your plans to seek nonacademic work, you’ll get questions from family, friends, colleagues, and, most importantly, hiring managers about your decision to pursue an untraditional path with your degree.

Whether you need to explain the brutal realities of the academic job market to your uncle or talk about how your research skills will benefit your future employers, you’ll tell the story of your career transition a lot. Start practicing the many stories you’ll tell those audiences. The more you rehearse them, the more confident you’ll feel and sound.

Start practicing answers to questions like:

  • What new careers or jobs are you interested in?
  • How did your PhD prepare you for your new career?
  • What is your research about? (Tip: Learn to answer this without using jargon.)

Here’s everything you need to know to nail down your elevator pitch

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