Career Preparation Support
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is here to support you as you prepare for the next stage of your career. In addition to helping you navigate the resources available at Northwestern to help with career preparation and exploration, the OPA also provides one-on-one career advising appointments and regularly organizes workshops to help postdoctoral trainees prepare for the job application process. Information on these workshops can be found below, and additional online and in-person resources can also be found through the Explore Opportunities tool.
Online Resource Highlights
Postdoctoral trainees have found the following online resources to be particularly useful during their career exploration and application process:
- The VersatilePhD is an online resource community dedicated to non-academic and non-faculty careers for PhDs. Of particular note are the career narratives featured on the site. These narratives have been written by PhDs who have successfully transitioned to non-academic careers and include copies of the resumes and cover letters they used to apply for these positions. These can be exceptionally helpful to reference as you begin to draft your own job application materials.
- The Postdoc Academy provides online courses that address foundational skills, career planning, and professional habits that can help you succeed in your postdoc and beyond.
- Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) provides Northwestern affiliates with access to many databases and guides that can be used during your job search. A full list can be found here.
- NCA's annual career guide is an amazing resource to help you navigate every step of your job search, providing information how to read ads, draft job materials, and prepare for interviews.
- The University of California-Berkeley has assembled a step-by-step guide to "informational interviews"--what they are, how you get started, and how you can use them to advance your career search. A list of questions you might ask in an informational interview can be found here.
- Inside Higher Ed's Carpe Careers column features straightforward and practical career advice written by experts in graduate and postdoctoral professional development. Some articles that may be of particular interest:
- "The Strategic Way to Be Yourself in a Job Search"
- "Using Job Ads for Career Exploration"
- "Advice for Navigating Difficult Career Transitions"
- "How to Feel Less Alone During a Job Search"
- "Trying Things that Scare You: The Importance of a Growth Mindset in Academia"
- "What to Do Immediately After an Interview"
- "How to Achieve Career Success through Imagining Stories You Want to Tell About Yourself"
Upcoming Career Preparation Workshops
Workshops will be announced once a schedule for Spring 2020 is available.