My favourite Wednesday evening listening is The Moral Maze on Radio 4 and last night’s episode was entitled The Future of Work. One of the issues discussed was the worth or value of certain types of jobs and how subjective ‘worth’ can be. What is meaningful for one person may not be meaningful for another. The worth or value we place on a job is shaped by our social, cultural, religious and personal experience, making each person’s perspective unique.
One of my favourite exercises to do with people involves a values assessment. Many people have thought about their career values subconsciously but few have carried out an explicit, thorough assessment of their values. The links below are a starting point to help you begin assessing your career values.
- My IDP. A US link for scientists with PhDs from the journal, Science. Contains free exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values.
- Imagine PhD. A career exploration and planning tool for humanities and social scientists with PhDs. A US resource, containing a free, values evaluation assessment tool.
It is also worth identifying the skills and experience that you have developed as a researcher, and beyond, when contemplating your career. In addition to your specific subject knowledge and research expertise, capture the skills that are useful in a range of roles i.e., your transferable skills. The links below are a starting point to help you begin evaluating your skills.
- Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). A framework describing the knowledge, behaviour, and attributes of a successful researcher. The framework can be viewed through several lenses, depending on what you want to use it for e.g., it has an employability lens if you are thinking about researcher skills and how they relate to jobs outside academia.
- Transferable Skills for PhDs. A list of transferable skills and how these can be further defined. Written for humanities academics but useful for all researchers.
- Academic and Professional Skills. A blog from [re]searching, describing skills possessed by industry professionals and academics.
- Be the Solution: How to Really Articulate your PhD (and other) Skills to Employers. A blog from Postgradual: The PhD Careers Blog.
- Eurodoc. Identifying Transferable Skills and Competencies to Enhance Early Career Researcher’s Employability and Competitiveness. Outlines the skills and competencies that are developed as a researcher.