Just a quick note today in response to some comments from students that all the jobs being advertised are for business roles. It is not strictly true as MyFuture carries many opportunities with a wide range of employers. We strongly recommend that you look our two job hunting guides:
Public Sector Graduate Schemes
There are some great public sector schemes either open or about to open some of which are already in MyFuture:
Civil Service Fast Stream (various different streams) open now closing date 30th November
National Graduate Development Programme (local government) opens 24 October 2016 and close on 11 January 2017
Frontline (working with vulnerable children and families) closes 21st November
NHS Graduate Scheme (four different schemes) Opens in around 11th October closes early December
Think Ahead ( fast track scheme for mental health social work) closes 1st December
Teach First (Teach First Leadership Development Programme) closes 30th June 2017
Imperial College London's Graduate Management Training Scheme closing date 30th October 2016
Ofcom Graduate Scheme 2017 closing date Jan 3rd 2017
Health and Social Care Information Centre Graduate Scheme ran in 2016 and opened in February, no information yet if the scheme is running this year.
IntoUniversity Trainee Graduate Education Worker closes 7th January 2017
Check out Careers in the Charity Sector on Moodle for resources.
Two Grad schemes open at the moment:
EVENT: Working in the Not for Profit/Charity Sector - 2 Bath Alumina stories
1-Dec-2016 at 1:15 - 2.05 pm We have invited two Bath alumni to come and talk to you. One has a senior role in a national charity and the other is part of the CharityWorks Graduate Scheme.
Graduate Jobs other than Grad Schemes
Whilst many employers come to Bath to recruit our students there are many other areas of work that graduates can work in which have alternative or less visible ways of recruiting. Our Careers Advisers have produced a series of information sheets to help students with some of these areas. They can all be downloaded from the information resources section of our website:
- Alternative careers in science
- Careers for modern linguists
- Careers for those studying economics
- Careers in biosciences & pharmaceuticals
- Careers in medicine, dentistry & allied health
- Careers in scientific analysis and R&D
- Careers in sport
- International development, international organisations and international relations careers
- Politics careers, including working in Westminster and Europe
- Social policy, social sciences and sociology careers
- Working in the charity sector
During the summer I read an article in the New Scientist called 'Finding your meaning at Work: 6 things salary can't buy'. It was the result of a sociologist collating research on this topic and finding that there were six characteristics that help. It is worth a read as it is very short.
I was interested because as a Careers Adviser I spend a great deal of time talking with students about what they might be looking for in a job. By the way, it is true that you can talk to a Careers Adviser even if you have no idea what you want to do. Sometimes students already know these things they are looking for because they have reflected on them but don't know which job they apply to. Other students I meet need prompts from me to get them thinking. What I hear the most is that students are looking for a career that has meaning for them. Other words they use is something worthwhile or putting something back. These are all very individual concepts so part of my job is actually helping students to work out what that means for them. This New Scientist article might help but there is other advice and information in the Choose a Career Section of our website.
No-one says it is going to be easy trying to work out what you want to do with your life. Think about what’s your story. What are the common themes in the things you have done so far? What skills are you most drawn to using? What are you interested in? What do you find boring and why? What are your values in relation to the type of work you do or the employer you will work for? Being open minded and aware of your strengths, skills and interests is more important than pinning a label on your future job title.
Be curious and get talking to people doing jobs you could do. You can learn a lot from people who enjoy their work. We organise for employers to come onto campus for Careers Fairs and individual employer events. Talk to family and friends, lecturers and anyone else you might know. Use the Bath Connection (google on University website) to contact Bath Graduates and use LinkedIn Youniversity to find Bath alumni
Ask for help because everyone needs help with big decisions. Engage with Careers Service resources and our Team because it will take a while to work through this but we can help you every step along the way.
Other blogs on this theme:
Revealed: the secret to career success
When's a good time to see a careers adviser?
Choosing between career options
Find out facts not fiction about jobs
OK, I must confess. I have been meaning to write this blog post for the last three days, but each time I have found something else to do. One of my many useless strengths, is my ability to engage in 'task displacement' - also commonly known as procrastination.
This morning whilst eating my breakfast, I found myself thinking - why do I avoid doing certain things? In my case it is often the fear of getting it wrong, thinking I am not good enough or simply getting distracted by other, more fun things (for example, lately I seem to playing this game called Crush and popping balloons easily ends up in an hour or two wasted).
I think this TED video by Tim Urban provides a very insightful look into the mind of a procrastinator.
The truth is, some of us hide under the umbrella of procrastination when in reality we are struggling with genuine anxiety with regards to the task at hand. I often observe this with the students I work with. A common confession I hear from students is; "I find the whole job hunting thing really overwhelming" or "I cant seem to find anything I can do". Occasionally students also tell me how they worry about getting things wrong when job hunting (this could be getting the application, interview or even choice of career wrong). Therefore, it is all to easy to find distractions and to not confront the real issue.
If this sounds like you, below are some tips to help you take that first step:
- Overwhelmed: my granny always said to me, "you can't eat an elephant whole". Putting aside the fact that this is a rather gruesome analogy, there is something in it and applies to job hunting. It might be helpful to break the whole job hunting thing into smaller manageable actions such as: book a quick query with an adviser, attend one event on campus or spend an hour exploring what Bath graduates have done. Small action can lead to big clarity.
- Perfectionism: If I had a pound for every student I have seen who was waiting until they were sure that they were applying for the right opportunity, I’d be a a very, very rich woman. John Lees (who is a superb writer on all things careers) suggests the 70/30 rule. If you feel engaged with 70% of the role you are considering (and meet 70% of the skills required), then it is worth applying. The other way to view this is to approach job hunting as a series of small controlled experiments. Give yourself permission to give things a go and along the way you'll not only gain clarity about your future direction, you will also pick up useful skills. Do remember, the job you do now, isn't something you'll do for the rest of your life.
- Fear of failure: have you ever stopped yourself from applying for a particular placement or job because you think 'you are not good enough'? Self-sabotage is one of the ways we try and protect ourselves from failure. More often than not your perception of your self is far more critical than the reality. Therefore one approach is to challenge your self-perception by actively seeking feedback. Instead of thinking you aren't good enough, pop in and see a careers adviser who can help you identify your strengths. Hit the send button and get a few applications out, it is the surest way to test the market. After all, you really don't know your limits until you try.
- Easily distracted: the best way to tackle this is by eliminating time wasters. Be honest, what do you waste time on? Yik Yak? Facebook? Twitter? Stop checking them so often. One thing you can do is make it hard to check your social media – remove them from your browser quick links, switch off notifications and your phone. Schedule set times to browse and perhaps reward yourself with social media time when you tick an action off your to-do-list. The same approach applies to Netflix, you tube etc.
- Fear of change: it is easy to put off the fact that your university life will come to an end. Some students apply for a Masters course to procrastinate and to put off career decision making for a further year. At some point, before you know it, you will have to confront career decision making. However you don't have to work through this on your own. The careers team are here to guide you, inspire you and help you feel more confident about your future. Do consider booking a guidance appointment - it is only 45 minutes of your time, so what have you got to lose?
We are really looking forward to welcoming you at Bath. I understand amid all the excitement you may also have moments of being nervous about this stage of your life. I thought I would pen some hints and tips about how to make the most the careers service and what to expect.
- University careers support is different to what you may have experienced at school. You can make an appointment as soon as you arrive and you don't have to know what you want to do. Instead, we can help you clarify your thinking and most importantly we won't tell you what to do.
- Throughout Freshers week, our careers advisers will pop up during lectures or as part of formal induction talks. This way you'll know who they are and how to make contact.
- Your engagement with the careers service doesn't have to be face-to-face. We arrange loads of skills training events and talks. You will also be able to meet employers on campus.
- You can come and see us as often as you like! (even after you graduate).
- Its OK for your career thinking to change, just give yourself the time and space to consider different options. Don’t rely on student gossip about what to do when. Make sure that you have the time frames and application windows clear in your mind. Your careers adviser will know.
I can picture the scenario, you've had a super summer and it can be a bit of a drag getting back into academic studies. This is even harder if you're a finalist and returning from placement as adjusting from the freedom of work (and earning money) to being a student is tough. Fear not, you have 9 months after which the big wide world beckons. So, what can you do to harness the career early bird and bag yourself a job before you graduate? Some of the big graduate schemes are already open for business, so there’s no time to waste if you want to get ahead of the pack.
- Make a list: yep, that old chestnut! However, making a list of the key employers you are interested in by application deadline will help you plan and prioritise your applications. The Careers Service's MyFuture site along with GradDiary are really useful. You can search by company and sort by application deadline. Key is to make a start and actually apply, especially as many employers recruit on a rolling basis.
- Haste makes waste: before you rush off to start writing your applications, just pause for a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a graduate recruiter. Many employers will sift through thousands of applications - its a pretty monotonous task. Therefore they'll be looking for reasons to reject, not select, applicants and nearly all will carry out a rapid “first cut” to remove the worst offenders. Spelling, grammar and general attention to detail are key when writing applications.
- Get it checked: the best thing you can do is get a second opinion against your applications. A fresh pair of eyes will spot little mistakes that you didn't event notice. Simply, book a quick query with one of our careers advisers.
- Go to stuff: our employer team have been busy bees over the summer putting together an excellent programme of employer events. This includes a two-day careers fair, skills sessions and information presentations. Really worth attending as you'll pick up little tips and insights that will not only make your application stand out but will also help you articulate your motivation to future employers.
- Believe in yourself: Many of us watched Andy Murray win Wimbledon this year. He plainly believed in himself and his ability and was able to put his past disappointments to one side. The same personal confidence is essential to successful job hunting. If you don’t believe that you can do a good job, then you stand no chance of being able to convince an interview panel that this is the case!
I've just finished reading Vitae's newly-published report on where postdoctoral research staff go when they leave academia. The report is based on a largely qualitative survey of researchers' career paths and experiences on leaving academic research posts, and includes insights into how people made decisions around whether to leave and what to do next, how they adjusted to new cultures and environments, what they find satisfying about their new roles and what they miss about academia.
Now, as I've been reading the report I've been thinking constantly about how some of these ideas and data can input into my own thinking, workshops and the ways I support our research staff here at Bath. But, useful as this report is for people like me, the primary intended audience is the current postdoctoral research community, so I've also been asking myself the question, 'how can research staff use this report?'
Given that you probably don't have the time or inclination to wade through forty-nine pages, here are some quick thoughts as to how you can make use of this report:
- scan through the sections on 'Making the transition' and 'Advice to other researchers' sections (pp.12-17). Read any sub sections that grab your attention. Notice the practical and emotional challenges people faced in moving into new roles and contexts and how they dealt with these.
- gather some data and insights into roles and sectors you might want to explore further. There are short sections of the report with overviews of popular sectors with research staff, namely research outside of HE, research policy and administration, professional roles in HE, public engagement and science communication, teaching, writing and publishing, and 'other' occupations including business analysts, financial economists and patent attorneys.
- look at sample job titles and possible employers within sectors of interest.
- Check out the 'competencies old and new' section within each sector overview to get a sense of how researchers used their existing skills in a new context and which skills they needed to develop.
- Read the mini case studies to find out how people find their new roles and what helped them make the transition.
- Full case studies are available on the Vitae website.
- Many of these case studies include a link to the person's LinkedIn profile. Use this to see where they have worked, what experience they built up, which groups they are part of (so you can join groups relevant to sectors of interest) and how you might be connected to them. See if you have any mutual connections and ask them to introduce you.
- Have a think about how you can develop skills and knowledge within your current role
- Research sectors and roles of interest further using our web pages for researchers, Bath Connection, and a one-to-one chat with the Researcher Career Development Adviser.
If you're interested in applying for graduate programmes or internships in investment banking for 2017 you'll need to take action quickly - most schemes close by October/ November, if not earlier. Efinancial Careers have just published a helpful list of application deadlines bank-by-bank:
I've been reading this research report by jobs.ac.uk on views around returning to academia after a career break. A welcome and fascinating report on a much-discussed but under-researched topic.
Key findings of the report include:
-89% of respondents who had taken a career break returned to an academic role
- 34% of respondents had taken more than one career break
- the main reasons for taking a career break are maternity leave and redundancy/reaching the end of a contract.
- People's perceptions of career breaks are much more negative prior to taking it.
- a long career break is more likely to result in someone returning to work part-time
- the majority of academics stayed in contact with people in their field during their career break.
- 39% returned to their former role
- 45% returned to work with a different employer
If you are currently taking a break from an academic or research career or are considering doing so, there are lots of schemes and organisations offering advice and support:
The University of Manchester have a list of fellowships and bursaries for people who have had career breaks, as well as a list of case studies. The Daphne Jackson Trust and the Dorothy Hodgkins Fellowship Scheme in particular offer opportunities for scientists to return from a career break and to work flexibly.
The Wellcome Trust have produced a guide to getting back into research after a career break.
The Royal Society have produced some excellent case studies of researchers who successfully combine academic careers with family life as part of their parent-carer-scientist campaign.
WISE have role models and career stories of women who have returned to science after a break.
We are going to shamelessly link to the University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog as they have done an excellent job, through three blog posts, in writing about how you can use LinkedIn to find relevant employers. Thank you Team Leeds!
"Whether you’re looking for experience, placements or a graduate job, it can sometimes be hard to identify potential relevant employers. This is particularly so if you’re looking outside of the large multi-national organisations. Opportunities with other types of employers, or in other sectors, may not be as widely advertised, and many people actually find jobs and experience by pro-actively approaching employers of interest on a speculative basis. In this 3-part mini series, we’ll show you 3 easy ways you can leverage LinkedIn to identify potential employers of interest."
3 ways LinkedIn can help you find relevant employers: Part 1 - outlines how the advanced people search function can help you identify potential employers.
3 ways LinkedIn can help you find relevant employers: Part 2 - outlines how you can use the company search feature to identify employers by location and sector.
3 ways LinkedIn can help you find potential employers: Part 3 - shows how you can use two features of LinkedIn to help you find similar organisations to those you have already discovered.
I've been reading this excellent post on the Research Whisperer about one postdoc's gradual transition into a non-research role (specifically science writing). Do read it for yourself, but it inspired some general thoughts about career transitions that I wanted to share with you:
- Start small. As Ian's story shows, career transitions often happen in small steps. In his case that meant starting a blog (which I can testify is a highly satisfying and therapeutic thing to do, and becomes a lot less scary after a little practice). In your case a small step might be learning a new programming language (there are lots of online courses around which Ian also made use of), booking onto a training course, or arranging to shadow someone working in a field or role that interests you for a day or two.
- Re-write the narrative. Ian mentioned an 'anxiety narrative' that kept playing in his mind when he was in the early stages of trying out science writing. From him the narrative was: 'Anyone could do this', other common negative stories I've heard people tell themselves (and me) regarding a possible change of career direction include: 'Isn't it too late to change direction?'; 'I don't have the necessary skills'; 'but that's really competitive isn't it?' If you hear yourself recounting a negative story that might be stopping you from working towards where you want to be, ask yourself whether the story can be reframed (i.e. you can get the skills you need) or whether you have all the facts or are basing your assumptions on narrow perspectives.
- You may not have to leave everything behind. There may be aspects of your research skills and knowledge that you do want to use in a future career. 'Which aspects of now do you want to take into the future?' is question I ask often in 1:1 career conversations with researchers. In Ian's case he wanted to use the writing and problem-solving skills; in yours it might be data analysis, oral communication or budget management. Researchers gain a wide variety of skills that can be applied in various contexts. This lovely post from my colleague Clare Jones at the University of Nottingham explains how you can identify the skills you have and want to use in as little as ten minutes. If you have a little more time, draw yourself a timeline of a fixed period of your life (say the last five years) and map out the highlights and challenges. Are there any themes that emerge around what is important to you or when you have felt most satisfied?
- Broaden your experience. This could be through getting involved in research-related activities such as organising a conference, helping at an Open Day or explaining your passion for your subject to a group of six year olds. Online courses, for example in programming languages, project management or science communication, can be a great way to boost your skills. For some sectors and roles it would be worth getting some short-term experience; speak to a careers adviser about how to identify suitable opportunities and employers.
- Network online. An effective social media presence will help to raise your profile, develop your networks, keep up to date with developments potential target sectors, and even lead to experience or employment. In Ian's words: 'Most of the opportunities to expand my portfolio have come up organically through my presence on Twitter and connecting with people there.' For guidance take a look at the University's Social Media Toolkit and the Careers Service website.
- Take opportunities when they come up. Say yes to everything and you may have your supervisor or research manager at your back; say no to everything and you may miss out on invaluable opportunities to develop your networks and skills portfolio, as well as have a refreshing break from your research project.
- Identify your personal impact. Employers don't only look for people who can do the job; they also want people who are results-orientated and can make a positive contribution to their organisation. Reflect on your current and past experience not only in terms of duties and responsibilities but also in terms of achievements. What wouldn't happen if you weren't around? Be specific and quantify achievements wherever you can: how much money did you raise, what feedback did you receive from clients/students, what new initiative did you persuade your department to implement?
- Build resilience. Career transitions can take time and may well involve disappointments along the way. Follow Ian's example and identify where you've made progress, surround yourself with a support network, stay flexible and just keep going.
So what next? To get some ideas of potential options outside of academia, take a look at our tailored web resources, look at some career stories of other researchers, and speak to a careers adviser.