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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.

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3. You’ll Have to Figure Out Your Values and What Kind of Work Culture You Need

Nonacademic workplaces have their own cultures that are distinct from those in academia.

That’s neither bad nor good; it’s just different. If you love wearing jeans to work but you take a job where business formal attire is required, or you love working collaboratively across teams but you’re in a workplace where people are individual contributors, you might find yourself unhappy or unfulfilled.

An essential part of your career transition is learning what you value most in a new job and work environment and what you will compromise on. This may take trial and error to figure out, but you can start by looking at the things you do currently as a PhD student.

Ask yourself: What energizes you, and what makes you cranky and impatient? What tasks do you avoid or put off doing, and what projects do you actively seek out? The better you know who you are and what you want, the easier your transition will be (and the easier it’ll be to convince hiring managers you’re worth taking a chance on).

The one thing to remember is that you can make the switch. It may be intimidating, but you’re a lot more qualified for a nonacademic role than you think. And if I can do it, you can, too!

Credit K Lodge

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