I hope that life is treating you kind. It’s official, I finished school one month ago. I have the degree in the closet to prove that I am finished. I am not stressing over completing my dissertation or any of the other annoying things that come along with a doctoral degree in the United States.
I’ve traded that stress in for the stress of the job hunt. I cannot say that it is going bad because frankly, I am so exhausted from all of those years of preparing for a job (career) that I am acutely aware of the type of jobs I will entertain.
One issue with having a PhD is that one has to mention it on resumes, especially if there is a gap in employment. Hmm…I sure some of you are wondering, Why would anyone leave the PhD off of their resume? It is not a matter of shame; although, depending on how much headache and heartache your PhD process was, it may feel a bit shameful or at the very least like something you’d wish to temporarily forget! However, it is usually because of the perceptions others have of the PhD.
Of course, it goes without saying that the PhD is a research doctorate and many individuals dream of pursuing a research career upon completion. PhDs are often prepared to enter academic positions based on the skills and knowledge obtained through the process. There are not enough tenure track positions for everyone and many PhDs realize they are not remotely interested in academic positions.
Many of us who suffered through the PhD process, have a least one course that includes writing or submitting an academic CV; but, we rarely are ask to write a resume using the transferable skills necessary for alternative academic and industry careers.
One of the things I do is help individuals write resumes and academic CVs and if I do say so myself, I do this very well. The individuals I help write resumes range from people who never graduated high school to individuals who have doctoral degrees. I’ve assisted many of the individuals with doctoral degrees with both resumes and academic CVs – they tend to have a better grasp of the academic CV.
I enjoy coaching people on how to write resumes, academic CVs, personal statements, teaching philosophies, and research philosophies and also just writing effectively so I find myself doing this a lot.
I heard someone that individuals should look at the things they do the most and are naturally inclined to do when they are considering what they should do for a career…well none of the things I am naturally inclined to do are directly related to my PhD. I believe this is common in many people with PhDs; however, that does not mean that the PhD is worthless.
It is important to understand that regardless of your educational background how you use the skills, knowledge and values you obtained will look different. I enjoy editing and consulting…those skills were refined during my PhD program. I enjoy research and that was definitely refined.
My goal is to convey through a few lines on a piece of paper who I am and what I have to offer an employer without being overshadowed by the perceptions of the PhD.
As my tagline on this blog states – I am more than my attributes and my attributes are great!