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The power of skill stacking for academics

Skill stacking empowers academics and post-graduate students to thrive by combining diverse skills, expanding career prospects, and making a broader impact in the working world.

Producing a publication portfolio.

We’re advised to not list our publications within our résumé or CV. Instead, summarise your academic contributions in style with a publication portfolio. This can help optimise your résumé and CV, instil credibility with employers, and can be used to generate additional career opportunities related to your research field.

What can I do with my PhD?

At some point we all google or search ‘what can I do with my PhD?’, only to be met with unhelpful advice and non-specific guidance. To really understand what we can do with our PhD we need to think about our careers differently and break the mould of academia.

Deciding where to live after academia.

Academia often puts our lives on hold. We don’t usually get to think about or even choose where to live. As we approach the end of academia, we get to re-set and intentionally choose where to live based on our own happiness.

Responding to peer review comments.

Publishing is integral to being an academia. Knowing how to effectively respond to peer review comments can be the deciding factor. This post gives a breakdown of our top tips and provides a template and guide to writing a response letter.

End of year goal reflections.

As we approach the end of the year, it’s important we have some goal reflections. Looking back at our goals from the beginning of the year will help us to reaffirm our successes and identify our blockers – providing us with newfound knowledge for next year’s goals.

The art of influencing stakeholders.

Influencing stakeholders is the key to any large-scale project success. Throughout our professional careers, it’s a skill we must learn to master to really thrive. This post breaks down influencing stakeholders into an art form.

Explaining your career gaps.

As an academic you may be likely to have career gaps or be inclined to take one. Overall, a career gap is personal to your journey and important. When it comes to job searching, it’s important you’re able to explain your career gap positively and offer reassurance you’re ready to thrive in the world of work again.

How long to stay in a Job: Guidance for academics.

Historically, you should stay in a job for a minimum of 2 years. It’s becoming more common for people to move after 1 year. Changing jobs comes with both pros and cons, here we discuss them in detail.

Mastering work habits during your PhD.

Good work habits are important throughout our professional careers. Your PhD offers you a chance to perfect them. Knowing how to manage your motivation, time, productivity, and prevent burnout whilst also ensuring you keep developing is key to thriving in any career whether that be in academia or beyond.

Landing a promotion: Top tips post-PhD.

Landing a promotion in the workplace is often seen as the benchmark for success. However, most academics don’t approach this in the right way. To help achieve a promotion it’s important to leave our feelings at the door, keep the conversation open, and to start the discussion as early as possible.

Levelling up your CV and Résumé.

Knowing what to put in your CV and résumé is the first step. To take it to the next level it’s important to portray the same information but in a more aesthetic, simple, and professional way. Being able to express yourself and your personal brand from the first interaction will improve your chances of landing your dream job.

Pomodoro Technique to enhance your PhD productivity.

The pomodoro technique is a popular method to improve productivity whilst keeping you motivated. This post provides a succinct breakdown of the pomodoro technique, how to use it, the evidence to support it plus a few handy apps to help you implement this into your daily routine.

Elevating your visibility in the workplace.

Academia is often siloed and a lonely journey. Knowing how to foster your career visibility in the workplace doesn’t come naturally to academics and PhDs. It’s an important skill to learn and develop when outside of academia. It will be essential to supercharging your career progression.

Applauding your methodical PhD mindset.

Being methodical is the key to keeping the big picture in mind. It’s important to move away from a reactive and reactional state of mind for any job. Thinking about the strategic direction for your role, team, or company will fast-track your career success.

Answering the ‘why leave academia’ question in interviews.

When it comes to career changing, it’s inevitable that you’ll be asked ‘why leave academia’. If you’re not careful, your answer could ruin the interview. It’s important to pause and use it as an opportunity to emphasise what attracts you to the current role, helping to elevate your personal brand.

Your manager shadow post-PhD and beyond.

Being a manager isn’t as straight forward as it seems. Having adept interpersonal skills to foster support and develop those around you is essential. As you progress up the ladder it’s important to think about your manager shadow – how others perceive you, model and emulate your behaviour.

The advantages of remote working post-PhD.

Remote working has become increasingly easier to find, with it being a strong selling point for employers. This perk is not to be underestimated. If used correctly, remote working can drastically improve your quality of life in as many ways as you can imagine.

Being a self-starter – it matters.

Being a self-starter comes naturally do PhDs. Exercising this skill is an incredible asset to help support your growth and development whilst contributing to your personal brand. However, if we’re not careful, this skill can hide us from the credit we deserve.

Living to work, or working to live: A new perspective.

Throughout our academic journey, it’s easy for our career to be the reason we get up in the morning, thus we start living in order to work. However, a new perspective of working in order to live may encourage you to explore other opportunities, leading to a better routine and happier lifestyle.

Getting into the world of Tech post-PhD.

The word of tech is here to stay, with it drastically set to continue revolutionising the world of work. But what do you do if you want a slice of this pie? This post provides a breakdown on how to transition into tech no matter your background, and some career options to help you make the jump.

Tips for your PhD final year.

PhD final year is that last leg of the race. This is where we reap the rewards of our hard work. This post strips it all back, exploring two core objectives that you need to focus on to bring your PhD home and set you up for success afterwards.

When to start your job search post-PhD?

Starting your job search after your PhD can feel daunting and unclear of when to actually get a move on. As with most things this depends on a range of personal factors, but in this post we provide you with a timeline to keep in mind.

Managing your pension after your PhD.

Nobody likes to read or study about a pension. However, our PhD and studying years typically set us back in understanding and growing our pension, so it’s imperative we get to grips with it post-PhD and begin to understand and define a strategy that sets us up for success throughout our career.

Growing your post-PhD Network through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is one of the most effective and popular tools to search and identify jobs. Additionally, connecting with others via LinkedIn can help grow your professional network, identify careers, and validate your skills all at the drop of a message.

Supercharging your ‘get stuck in’ PhD attitude.

Getting stuck in is what PhDs and academics do best. Recognising this skill and tailoring it to help you develop further, grow your network, and acquire new skills will lead to improved opportunities for your academic career and beyond.

How to navigate freelancing after your PhD.

Freelancing is another career opportunity you could explore after your PhD. Being able to set up on your own can provide a different quality of life outside the 9-5, with significantly more flexibility on your working hours. This post breaks down how to get started with freelancing and what it consists of.

Rebranding your professional persona post PhD.

Often, we get caught up presenting ourselves as a well accomplished academic. However, if we’re looking to move out of academia it’s vital that we start rebranding ourselves and our skills in a way that feels more tangible and translatable. Here’s how.

Cherishing your PhD critical thinking skills.

Critical thinking is a core skill most, if not all, PhD students possess. This skill enables you to evaluate concepts, articulate their flaws and opportunities for improvement without being confrontational. Being able to critically evaluate concepts outside of academic is an asset for any organisation.

Post PhD opportunities: The truth.

It’s easy to believe that non-academic and academic opportunities post PhD are scarce. However, this isn’t the full truth – it isn’t necessarily easy, but we can guarantee you it’s nowhere near as hard as you think. You just need the right ingredients.

Company perks & why they matter after your PhD.

It’s easy to overlook the wider perks a job may offer. We usually look at the salary, location, the role itself and possibly the culture. Including perks into the decision making is important to ensure we’re moving towards our happiness and fulfilling our life values.

Emphasising your leadership and mentoring skills.

Leadership and mentoring skills are often hard to foster during a PhD due to limited opportunities. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t highlight it as a transferable skill or something you can consciously work on whilst in your PhD.

Setting goals for the year ahead.

It’s always great to focus on setting goals for the year or the months ahead. This post provides a framework on how to identify your goals, which direction to move in, and more importantly, how to construct and design your goals so they can be fulfilled.

Finding a career in start-ups after your PhD.

A PhD will equip you with a range of skills that are well suited to careers in start-ups. Similarly, they provide a host of new opportunities that academia can’t offer. This posts outlines whether working in start-ups could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Applying your recruitment skills beyond academia.

Recruitment is a career many PhD students overlook. However, much of the skills acquired during the PhD set you up for success for this profession. Here we break down the skills needed for recruitment and things to consider about this career option.

Complaining about your career: A new perspective.

We all fall victim to complaining and moaning about our careers at some point. This is a concern if it becomes a regular pattern we find ourselves in. Rather than accepting this we must take ownership over the situation and make choices that move us towards our happiness.

Policy careers after your PhD.

Policy careers align with the PhD journey and your PhD skills incredibly well. Seeking non-academic roles that keep you in touch with research, report writing, science communication whilst still being able to have a positive impact are hard to come by. Policy careers offer a nice blend of both, without you having to compromise on your happiness.

The significance of a healthy work culture.

Your work culture is one of the most important things to consider when building your career. The interactions you have with others, the environment you work in, and the day-to-day relationships you have in the workplace should nurture you to become your best & happy self.

Optimising your PhD productivity.

Productivity is a constant battle and challenge we all want to get better at. Being able to optimise this during our PhD but also outside of our profession can really lead to more positive and impactful outcomes in the long term. This post provides some tips to take your productivity to the next level.

Tips for your PhD first year.

Rather than figuring out how to make the best start to your PhD first year on your own, we’ve condensed down our top tips to help you hit the ground running and set yourself up for success in the long-term.

Acknowledging your ability to synthesise and interpret information.

Being able to synthesise and interpret information is a core skill that’s developed during your PhD. The great news is that this can be generalised and carried over to a wide range of professions and even comes in handy when you take the leap and look for new careers.

Delayed gratification during and after your PhD.

Delayed gratification comes relatively easy for most PhD students. This personality trait can enable you to thrive in your long-term career and life more generally. However, it’s important we don’t let delayed gratification prevent us from reaching our goals and full potential.

The need for intellectual challenge & preventing post-PhD blues.

Intellectual challenge is in abundance during the PhD. As this ends, post-PhD blues can set in as intellectual challenge subsides. To thrive beyond the PhD, it’s important to set new goals either professionally or personally so you can push yourself further to keep growing and learning.

Does your first job out of academia really matter?

Worrying and ensuring that the first job after academia is the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ one can be crippling. Overall, what you do after isn’t too important, but this post provides some last-minute encouragement and additional things to consider.

Deprogramming yourself from your PhD and academia.

Academia can have a direct impact on our sense-of self, self-esteem, and even our long-term ambitions. To truly thrive, it’s integral we start deprogramming ourselves and challenge the skewed norms of academia.

Tips for salary negotiations post-PhD.

Academic and PhD positions are known for relatively low pay alongside reduced opportunities for salary negotiations. After finishing your PhD, this can be an unfamiliar topic. This post breaks down the best tips for salary negotiations.

Reigniting your PhD motivation.

Losing motivation during your PhD is almost guaranteed. Taking a break for a short period of time won’t do any harm in the long run, however when we lose motivation for too long we need to find a way to get back into the groove.

The core skills every PhD student has.

All PhDs go on to develop a core set of skills no matter what the subject discipline. The combination and integration of these core skills can open a range of opportunities and career prospects. We must first identify them, and then emphasise them.

Building an impactful career after your PhD.

Being ‘impactful’ is usually a reason to do a PhD. After the PhD, there can be concerns around losing this sense of impact and fulfilment. This post discusses how to continue having impact after your PhD, whether you stay in academia or not.

Highlighting your PhD creative thinking skills.

Being creative and innovative is integral to completing a PhD as you seek to produce something novel for your field. This skill can be applied to a range of professions, careers, and future opportunities.

Is honesty the best policy for job interviews?

It’s not always clear if complete honesty is a good thing for an interview. This post discusses some benefits of being honest at interviews and how best to convey this to your interviewer.

Market research as a career after your PhD.

Research is the bread and butter of all PhDs. Being able to apply these skills to market research careers will enable you to stand out, access new career prospects, and thrive in a non-academic setting.

The significance of social mobility.

Social mobility in your career pertains to obtaining new and exciting opportunities. Identifying your transferable skills is key to getting the ball rolling as it will help breed new opportunities and move you towards a career that is right and fulfilling to you.

Managing your finances during your PhD.

Managing your finances during your PhD can be one of the biggest challenges whilst studying. Learning how to live below your means and better manage your money is essential to creating positive habits for your future.

Battling PhD perfectionism.

Academic environments and PhDs can be catalysts for perfectionism, a feeling most PhD students are familiar with. Fortunately, overcoming perfectionism is mainly centred around how you frame and think about your goals.

Affirming your PhD communication skills.

A PhD fosters multiple opportunities to develop your written and verbal communication skills, which can be leveraged when seeking post-PhD careers. This post provides examples of how to demonstrate these skills and make them more tangible.

Pursuing an analyst career after your PhD.

An analyst is a term which covers a broad set of skills and career options. As a PhD student, analytical skills and problem-solving are your key strengths. Understanding how these skills apply to non-academic analyst jobs will uncover some exciting opportunities.

Refining your PhD presentation style.

Doing a presentation during your PhD is inevitable. This post provides tips on how to improve your storytelling to engage your audience and hit your message home. Containing two free downloadable templates that you can use.

Celebrating your PhD self-resilience.

Completing a PhD requires a tremendous amount of self-resilience. This is a key transferable skill to refer to when applying for post-PhD careers as it can give you a competitive edge.

Glassdoor for PhD students.

Glassdoor is another great search engine to help you find the exact career you’re looking for. Additional insights such as company reviews, salaries, additional benefits, and the interview process can further inform you in your post-PhD job search.

Pushing past PhD writer’s block.

Writer’s block shows up for almost everyone during their PhD. This post provides some guidance on how to push past it and improve your productivity.

Combatting PhD analysis paralysis.

Analysis paralysis is that feeling where we over analyse, keep tinkering, and ultimately avoid following through or submitting a piece of work. This post provides a breakdown of analysis paralysis and a useful analogy on how to overcome it.

Picking the ‘wrong’ career after your PhD.

Picking the wrong career after your PhD is a common worry. However, we overestimate how important this decision is. Getting it wrong isn’t the end of the world and there’s plenty of positives to take from it.

Recognising your PhD project management skills.

Project management becomes so instinctive as a PhD student we forget it is even a skill. Being able to juggle your PhD and everything else that’s going on in your life should not be overlooked as a transferable skill.

Becoming an entrepreneur following your PhD.

Becoming an entrepreneur requires a broad set of skills that are complimented with incredible determination, resilience and motivation. Completing a PhD gives you all the core ingredients necessary to become a successful entrepreneur.

Consultancy as a career after your PhD.

Consultancy is the most commonly discussed career path outside of academia after your PhD. This post covers what consultancy is, the skills you possess to excel, and potential caveats to consider for this career.

Valuing your PhD writing skills.

Writing throughout your PhD is a constant practice. Eventually, we forget how good we actually are at writing. This is a core transferable skill that can open thousands of career opportunities for you. Be sure to let people know.

Hacking PhD procrastination.

Procrastination during your PhD shows up for everyone. It’s important to check in with yourself to see why you’re avoiding certain tasks. On occasion, you might actually be able to use your procrastination to your advantage – read more to find out how.

Should I quit my PhD?

Wanting to quit your PhD is a normal thought, almost every PhD student has a moment when they want to quit. This post provides some additional thinking points when deciding whether this is the right decision for you.

Appreciating your ability to learn.

The ability to learn is not often thought of as a skill. Having a PhD is the reflection of how quickly you can learn new things, providing you with the ultimate skill for the rest of your life.

Setting your post-PhD salary goals.

Working out what salary you deserve and should be aiming for after your PhD is difficult. This post breaks down how to approach setting your post-PhD salary goals in order to build a life you will be satisfied with.

Setting yourself up for PhD success.

Doing a PhD is one thing, but how should you maximise this opportunity to achieve PhD success? This post provides a break down on what to prioritise and how to make the most of your PhD for the long term.

Career options for non-STEM PhDs.

Transitioning from a PhD to industry is hard enough as it is. This can feel ten times harder if your PhD is in a non-STEM subject. This post discusses how career change away from academia, and really optimise the value of your non-STEM PhD.

Preparing for your PhD viva.

Preparing for your PhD viva or defence can be extremely stressful. This post gives you some tips and tricks on how to prepare, be ready, and nail it!

Having a growth mindset whilst job hunting.

Adopting a fixed mindset, believing that you cannot change or that you will always be a researcher can harm your job prospects. A growth mindset allows you to think about ways to overcome your obstacles, challenge the norm, and move towards the life you want to live.

Taking a break from your PhD.

Taking a break from your PhD can be unfamiliar and difficult. Sometimes we need a break to be imposed on us. But when we get some breathing room, what should we do with it?

Writing a cover letter – PhD students leaving academia.

Applying for roles outside of academia after your PhD is already a tricky task. In addition to writing a good CV, you also need a complimentary cover letter. This post discusses how to make a great first impression with a cover letter.

Managing your PhD supervisor.

Learning how to manage your PhD supervisor is a difficult yet important part of your PhD. This post outlines some tips on how to manage them.

How to write your PhD thesis.

Writing your PhD thesis can be a confusing and overwhelming task. It’s essential to look into what a PhD thesis actually consists of and what your university’s requirements are. After this, it’s all about starting early and pacing yourself. A free downloadable progress tracker is also included.

Identifying a post-PhD career path.

Not sure what you can do with your PhD? After you’ve identified your transferable skills, you can start identifying post-PhD career paths by mapping these skills to a range of opportunities.

Leveraging your PhD data skills.

Understanding how to manage, interpret, analyse and visualise data is a hot skill for a range of jobs. Learn how to leverage your PhD to emphasise that these are skills you already possess.

LinkedIn for PhD students.

A crash course for PhD students on how to optimise LinkedIn to get noticed by recruiters/employers, discover exciting new opportunities, and to maximise career success.

The importance of writing throughout your PhD.

The importance of writing throughout your PhD can pay you dividends in the long run. Not only can it help maximise your published research outputs, but it can also save you valuable writing time for your thesis.

Post PhD job interviews for industry.

A post PhD job interview can feel daunting and scary, more so than a ‘typical’ interview. It’s important that you explain how your skills apply to the role, demonstrate your interpersonal qualities, and emphasise your long-term potential.

PhD burnout and what to do when it arises.

PhD burnout happens to all of us during our PhD. Feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, drained, and overwhelmed is often due to chronic stress. Take a minute to stop and create some down time for yourself.

Choosing a career based on your life values.

A lot of people adjust their lifestyle to accommodate their job and career. Instead, you should be choosing a career that allows you to live your life in accordance to your life values.

Adjusting to a 9-5 work routine after your PhD.

Adjusting to a 9-5 work routine after your PhD takes a bit of time. After one week into a new job, you may have clearer work boundaries, a better work-life balance, more thinking space and more social interactions.

Developing better interpersonal skills during your PhD.

Having good interpersonal skills is essential to having a successful career, especially if you plan to leave academia. During your PhD, it’s important that you don’t neglect your interpersonal skills, you should be making a conscious effort to improve them!

Time management tips for your PhD.

Tips on how to have good time management throughout your PhD. Stop spreading yourself too thinly, overcome your guilt, and start paying attention to the quality instead of the quantity of your work.

What is ‘Industry’?

Industry isn’t always an evil entity. It can provide you the perfect breeding ground to excel, thrive, and achieve new heights.

Should I leave academia?

Leaving academia shouldn’t be taboo, shouldn’t be a trade-off from doing what you love, and it most certainly is not a definitive choice which you can’t go back on. These obstacles shouldn’t influence your decision when trying to work out if academia is right for you.

The mindset for leaving academia.

Before leaving academia, career changing and entering industry, it’s vital to get your head in the right frame of mind. Re-defining your identity and working through any shame for leaving academia is needed in order to move forward.

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