April Newsletter for PGRs

The Romans called April Aprilis.  No one is sure the exact meaning of the word. Some scholars think that it may be related to an old Italic word meaning “the following, the next”, in a sequence of events. Old folk interpretations link it to the Latin aperire (think ‘aperture’ on a camera) “to open”  – referring the opening of buds and blossoms in Spring.

Either interpretation is apt with Pathways on the horizon – our annual event to help PGRs take the “next” step: many of you may now be wondering what will “follow” your doctorate,  and perhaps on the lookout for “openings” and opportunities.

Pathways 2017

Pathways 2017. Preventative medicine for post-PhD headaches.

Wondering about working overseas? Not sure about industry or academia? Worried about work life balance? Want to know exactly what employers look for on applications and at interview?  Curious about non-academic roles for PhDs in university? This year’s panels will cover all of these topics and more.

You may be especially interested in 2017’s plenary session –“Managing your career in an uncertain world

Registration is now open: http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduates/pathways/

Use your doctoral research skills to find hard-to-find jobs

It could be easy to believe that all the jobs out there are with big graduate recruiters.  In the UK, in 2016 Small- to Medium-Sized Enterprises employed 15.7 million people, accounting for 60% of private sector employment (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/business-population-estimates-2016). Perhaps most significantly,  small businesses accounted for – wait for it – 99.3% of all private sector businesses.  One point three million SMEs employ staff.  Aspiring entrepreneurs are not alone: 4.7 million SMEs did not employ anyone apart from the owner – so maybe it’s time to find carve a niche with your own business? (At Pathways 2016 our 10th anniversary cakes were made by Beth, Dr Beth Mottershead, a UoM doctoral graduate who now runs her own cake-making business: https://manunicareersblog.com/?s=Pathways )

The small- and medium-sized nature of these organisations – generally 250 people or less – means they don’t have the same recruitment budgets and demands as the more familiar “big recruiters”.  For you, the job hunter, tracking them down can be tricky and time consuming.

Here are a few helpful hints to find an SME that might be right for you:

Talk to people.  Given the ubiquity of SMEs in the global labour market – your personal network is likely to contain any number of people who work for or know people who work for SMEs.  They can give you insight into what it’s like working for a smaller company, even if it’s not exactly the work you want to be doing.

The UK Small Business Directory https://www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk/

Guardian SME jobs: https://www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk/

On Careers Link, you can search organisations by size: http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/careerslink/

Use Linkedin to search for organisations http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/findjobs/networking/linkedin/

Do research into specific industries, jobs, products, services that you interested in.  Where are the organisations employing people doing the things you want to be doing? Target them for job searching of speculative applications.

And on that note – speculative applications are an important way to access opportunities in SMEs: https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/applications-and-cvs/271429-making-speculative-applications-for-graduate-jobs

Marketing your PhD

Try this advice for helping you make your PhD make sense to non-academic employers:

Reframing Doctoral Skills: http://daniellejdeveau.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/reframing-doctoral-skills-for-the-private-sector.pdf

Jobs on Toast, Applying for Jobs Outside of Academia: http://jobsontoast.com/applying-for-jobs-outside-academia-from-phd-to-fellow-professional/

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