Job clippings - review what’s out there

Get to know what excites you. Research the kinds of roles that are out there and what aspects of careers appeal to you.

  • Each week spend a small amount of time looking at job adverts. Don’t restrict yourself to any particular type of website, newspaper or magazine. You can start with LinkedIn and Indeed (generalist catch-all webistes). Be open-minded and look in as broad a range of titles as possible. 
  • Skim through the job titles and descriptions without looking at the salaries, locations, skills required etc. Bear in mind that the purpose of this exercise is not to actually apply for these jobs. 
  • When an advert catches your attention, for whatever reason, simply save that advert in a folder. Don’t overthink this, just collect the jobs that you are naturally attracted to. Do not dwell on the salary, location, required skills or experience. You are simply figuring out the types of jobs and organisations that appeal to you.
  • Place your ‘clippings’ in a folder and when you’ve gathered a large amount, at least 20, check and see if you can start to see any common themes. These might be the sector, the types of skills used, the environment, or culture of an organisation.
  • Use these themes to help you to refine your career search around a particular skill, activity or sector.
  • If you need help, ask a friend to look through and tell you what they see as the common themes. Or make a one-to-one appointment to discuss your ideas with the PFDC.

Different career paths

Funding bodies and insitututions recognise that there are many career paths outside of research in academia. Below are some links where you can explore many different careers collated by the Royal Society, UKRI and others.

  • The PFDC has a list of contacts and a new series of video case-studies that you can use to learn more about different career paths – Contacts databasePathways Video Resources.
  • The Royal Society has collated case studies in their series Changing Expectations – Royal Society Changing Expectations
  • UKRI has launched a campaign called 101 jobs that changed the world. This is a collection of profiles of people who work in science related roles beyond research in academia – UKRI 101 jobs that changed the world
  • PhDs at work has a series of guest blogs titled “A week in the life” and you can explore what people with PhDs went on to do after they left research in academia. You can explore them by company, work sector or degree field – Week in the life – Science Degree
  • Research Careers, a project from Oxford University volunteers has many different profiles of Postdocs from different areas that you can explore and connect to – Research Careers

Job searching and career development websites

As you will be looking beyond academic employers to find jobs to apply for, there are an overwhelming number of starting places. A few useful ones are:

Employer's talks, fairs and events

You might not necessarily apply for any of the jobs advertised or work with any of the organisations represented. But by looking around at the huge range of opportunities, you may become aware of jobs or sectors that you had never previously thought about.

The PFDC runs a series of career talks – you can find more about these on the Pop Ups Website.

You can attend an employer event or look at past Employer presentation recordings from the Career’s website. These can provide you with some information about different organisations and roles you might be interested in applying to.

If you want, register in the Careers’ website JobsLive (see Register as a staff member) and attend a career fair  - these are dedicated to specific sectors and attended by a variety of different employers.