Vanderbilt has a partnership with the helpful resource, Versatile PhD. As we head into our winter breaks, consider these ideas for how to take advantage of downtime:
USE THE PHD CAREER FINDER TO EXPLORE NON-ACADEMIC CAREERS
Anyone can read the descriptions in the PhD Career Finder, even without institutional access. Each description is short, clear and gives you a sense of what this career is like and whether you might enjoy it. It would take you maybe half an hour to read all the careers on your side of the Finder. As you read, notice your inner responses. I bet a small handful of careers will stand out in your mind as potentially interesting.
WORK ON YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
In the non-academic world, not being on LinkedIn is a clear statement that you are not really “in” the working world, for whatever reason. If you do not have a profile yet, make a holiday gift to yourself and create one. If you have one, make a gift to yourself of improving it: get and give some recommendations, add more contacts, update your summary, add details on your current position.
NETWORK WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Learn about what your friends & family members do in their non-academic jobs. Take a genuine interest and follow up later with a thank you. Connect with them on LinkedIn. If you are actually interested in their industry or company, schedule an informational interview in their office and go see them in situ. You never know where these authentic contacts may lead.