C1: Do you fulfil employers’ expectations?


You may have started to think about some new options for your career plans.  These may include looking at jobs or employers in new sectors or using your research skills in very different ways.
Do you know that you have what non-academic employers are actually looking for?  It is essential to understand this to know if you:
• already fulfil their expectations
• must plan extra training and development, or new activities or responsibilities in your current role, to become more employable
• can reframe your existing research skills and experience to show that you already meet their expectations, see section D2 (Build a library of evidence) for more advice on this.
In a survey of over a thousand researchers by Euraxess 65% believed it would be difficult to get a non-research job in business and fewer than 30% believed that businesses value what they offer when working in non-research roles.
You will need to decide which skills to prioritise for development and make a plan to gain them before and during your job application process.
In this section we take a generic look at what non-academic employers want, as well as their perceptions (positive and negative) of what researchers offer.  Of course, you can also directly research potential employers and sectors to find what they are looking for.

Case study quotes

I’m still constantly amazed by the degree to which my PhD applies in a completely different setting. …..I’ve learned to re-think what I studied to recognize the breadth of knowledge I gathered over time. So now, instead of thinking of myself as an historian (although I still am), I think of myself as someone with deep scholarly engagement with the notion of power relations and the theory and practice of social movements and change. Alisa Harrison, Beyond the Professoriate career stories

Back to C: Decide and plan C2: Decision making tools

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