I Lost My Job – 5 Practical Tips For Job Searching

I lost my job a week ago. I was a SEO Analyst for a consulting company.

However, I am not discouraged in my job search. Through the process I learned to be more confident in myself and the quantity and quality of my networking relationships is much different than 2 years ago. 2 years ago I was working on my dissertation, interning, and expecting a baby on the way. People have graciously reached out to help in my job search.

The purpose of this article is to share my tips from a fellow job searcher and be fully transparent about how I intend to land my next job. After Your PhD is meant to help folks, I want to put that into action with quality information from a job seeker.

Below is an overview of my 5 practical tips.

  1. Don’t Feel Afraid To Tell Others You’re Looking For Work.
  2. Process What Happened And Make a Plan.
  3. Revisit Your Network.
  4. Focus on Quality of Applications, Not Quantity.
  5. Validate & Evaluate Your Goals.

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Don’t Feel Afraid To Tell Others You’re Looking For Work

Losing your job (whether it was or was not the fault of your own) can feel embarrassing.

Nonetheless, you need to reach out. Your network (friends and family) want you to succeed and job searching in many ways takes a village. Your network can identify job search leads and boost your social media profiles posts. But at the very least, you need to communicate your wants and needs with others.

Last week I posted on LinkedIn that I lost my job.

I felt embarrassed and down that I had to post this news to my network after posting months of posts about my previous role. However, I got several reactions and direct messages of support. I was also able to get a few interview leads through this post. Overall, I had 7000+ views.

That’s 7000 more views than saying nothing.

Process What Happened And Make a Plan

There’s a lot of emotions tied into losing your job and then going back on the job market.

I’m not going to lie. I cried about it. I put a lot of mental energy into trying to prove my worth to others.

I called close friends and went to my therapist a few days afterwards.

Jumping back right away to the job market without learning from your past experience and then putting a plan together can make you disoriented and discouraged.

Reach out to folks not for networking purposes, but for emotional support. They can give you a welcome boost of self esteem.

Talk to a therapist. I wish I talked to a therapist sooner when I was on the job market 2 years ago. You need to examine your own thoughts and feelings before moving onto the planning stage.

Once you feel that you can move on.

Write down what it’s going to take for you find your job. That can include:

  • Important Skills To Consider.
  • People To Contact.
  • Things you need to revisit including your resume, website, LinkedIn, etc.

Revisit Your Network

Your network is incredibility important in your job search and relationships with your network aren’t supposed to end once you land you want. If you have built your network over the years, check back to conversations with people you’ve talked to in the past that can provide more insight what to do next.

You may have had an exchange that made a lasting impact, but you didn’t realize it. I’ve had people reach out from my last company that have offered to help and I only had a few exchanges on Slack.

Here’s a few ideas of who to contact:

  • Former Recruiters Who Interviewed You.
  • Coworkers of Past Companies.
  • Did you have an informational interview in the past, reach back out to them.

Focus on Quality of Applications, Not Quantity.

Job searching is a numbers game, but it’s also a relationships game.

When you apply for a job, you’re dealing with people. People who manage the application process, interview people, and recommend folks for jobs.

You should apply to as many job as possible, but, you should also keep in mind that the quality of applications matter. Do you have a referral for the application? Referrals can make a huge difference in a job application and act as a back door for your application.

For example, I recently had an informational interview for an analytics position. I was given a referral for the role and the interviewer mentioned that through the referral process my application was being “prioritized.”

Furthermore, do your research of the company. Dig into the company and identify information that can help you stand out. Don’t know the hiring manager? Look up people on LinkedIn who are most likely going to be reviewing your application. Examples can include:

  • Recruiters
  • Talent Acquisition Leaders
  • Directors
  • Managers

Validate & Evaluate Your Goals

The last tip is more abstract, but it can be the most important part. Job searching is about finding a role and that you are a fit for the role because x, y, and z. If you want to prove to others that you want a specific role, you need to validate, or demonstrate or support the truth of the reasons why you’re the perfect fit for the role to others and more importantly yourself.

Find ways to motivate yourself and refine what you want in your career. When you motivate yourself enough, you start to learn new things and you can validate your goals and prove to others that you deserve that specific role. Afterwards you can evaluate what’s working, and what’s not working in your job search. Questions to consider when you are evaluating your job search.

  • Does my resume need work?
  • Am I targeting the right roles?
  • Am I standing out from the rest of the applicants?

When you can put together the pieces and identify your game plan and reach out for help, you’ll be on the right track for success. I certainly feel that way.

Ryan Collins PhD

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After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?

How To Use AI To Help Your Career Pivot

There’s a lot of fear about Open AI’s new chatbot called ChatGPT in academia and even outside of academia. That’s understandable. People have always feared new technologies because – well – it’s new. If used correctly, AI can be useful in your day to day. AI tools can certainly assist you in making small tasks more efficient. But can AI help you in an important part of your life like your career pivot? I would argue, yes.

Below are a few examples of how you can use ChatGPT to assist you in the next steps of your career.

Note: Don’t fully rely on the tools. Use and verify.

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Create Outlines For Informational Interviews

The first way AI can help your career pivot is by formulating questions to ask people you want to interview. Below are the top five questions from ChatGPT. They’re honestly good questions. While you do not have to use the questions word for word, you can edit the responses to fit your situation.

  1. Can you tell me about your current role and how you got there?
  2. What skills or experiences from your past career have you found most transferable to your current role?
  3. What was your biggest challenge in making the career pivot and how did you overcome it?
  4. Can you share any resources or networks that were particularly helpful during your career transition?
  5. What advice would you give to someone considering a similar career pivot?

Generate Career Path Ideas

Secondly, AI can also help you brainstorm new career paths. Below are the top ten questions from ChatGPT based on my question, “What are the top 10 jobs for PhDs in English?”. Again, solid responses that can give you some type of inspiration. Albeit, they are only surface level.

  1. College/University Professor
  2. Research Scientist
  3. Technical Writer
  4. Editor/Proofreader
  5. Content Strategist
  6. High School Teacher
  7. Librarian
  8. Marketing/Communications Specialist
  9. Copywriter
  10. Digital Humanities Specialist

Write Email Templates

If you want to reach people, emailing them is a straightforward way to make a good first impression. Below is the response from ChatGPT. I asked, “Can you write an email template. I want to schedule an informational interview with a SEO director named Sarah.”

The response is generally okay, but it definitely needs more style and personality.

Subject: Request for an Informational Interview with Sarah

Dear Sarah,

I hope this email finds you well. My name is [Your Name] and I am a [Your Title/Occupation]. I am reaching out to you because I am interested in learning more about the field of SEO and I believe you would be an excellent resource for me.

I came across your profile online and was impressed by your experience and success in the field. I would be honored if you would be willing to grant me some of your time for an informational interview. I understand that you are busy, so I would be happy to arrange a time and place that is convenient for you.

During the informational interview, I would love to learn about your experience in the field of SEO, your career journey, and any advice you may have for someone just starting out. I am particularly interested in understanding the key skills and qualities that have contributed to your success and how you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to learn from you.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?

If You Leave Academia, You Should Try Therapy

PhDs, like anyone else, can benefit from therapy.

A PhD takes years of your life to complete. Including my masters degree, I spent 6 years in pursuit of an academic career. In some ways, this can be traumatic or at least cause great distress.

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The Stress of a PhD

Getting a PhD is extremely stressful. Speaking from personal experience I recall several sleepless nights. During the writing process of my dissertation, I was drinking red bulls at night to keep myself awake. I frankly had serious anxiety during much of the process, but I just thought that’s what PhDs were supposed to feel writing their dissertation.

Outside of my personal experience. Cassie M Hazell and her colleagues found that over a third of the participants reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and that many reported feeling isolated and unsupported. The article suggests that the intense pressure to succeed, coupled with a lack of support, may be contributing factors to the poor mental health of doctoral researchers.

Leaving Academia Is Stressful Too

Leaving academia can be a challenging and demanding process, and seeking therapy can be a helpful way to cope with the stress and pressures that may arise during your transition. Often times PhDs don’t have the full support of their advisors or even the university itself.

I’m very supportive of informational interviews, but the person you are interviewing is not your therapist. Therapists can help you unpack a lot of mental baggage that was gained before, during, and after your PhD. An informational interview can give you clarity, but not resolve trauma or loss of identity.

A Loss of Identity

For many of us, we were academics. We chose academia and the path to becoming a professor because it was a part of who we were. When you decide that you don’t want to pursue a path that you thought of for years, it can be damaging to your self-esteem and your sense of self.

In 2021, I wrote a Medium post about my experiences of losing my academic identity and a book that helped me find my way. I wrote the Medium post around the time that I was job searching, interning, finishing my dissertation, and being a father of two kids.

Ask Questions To Help Yourself

After Your PhD is all about asking questions. I believe the internal questions we ask ourselves are the most important. When you leave academia and pursue a new career path, start asking questions about what you want in life. Only you can decide.

Having the support of a therapist can certainly make a difference when you start asking questions. Overall, it is always a good idea to take care of your mental health.

Therapy is a great start.

Low Cost Therapy Options

There are several affordable therapy options available in the US. Look into the following options. If you live outside the. US, it’s most likely covered.

  1. Community health centers: These centers provide low-cost or free mental health services to individuals in need.
  2. Employee assistance programs (EAPs): Many employers offer EAPs as a benefit to their employees, which provide a limited number of therapy sessions at no cost.
  3. Sliding fee scale: Some therapists offer a sliding fee scale, which adjusts the cost of therapy based on the individual’s income and ability to pay.
  4. Online therapy: There are several online therapy providers that offer affordable therapy services via video or phone call.
  5. Teletherapy: Some insurance companies cover teletherapy, which is therapy conducted over the phone or video call.
  6. University counseling centers: Many universities have counseling centers that offer low-cost therapy services to students and sometimes to the community. If you haven’t left the university just yet, use their mental health services.

It is worth noting that some people may be eligible for free or low-cost therapy through Medicaid, Medicare, or other government-funded programs.

Feel free to email afteryourphd@gmail.com if you want to ask me anything about my personal journey in academia.

After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?

How To Use A Website To Advance Your Digital Marketing Career

Full transparency – this website is meant to help my digital marketing career as well as help PhDs leave and explore careers outside of academia. In this article, I explain how a website can advance your career too. (:

After Your PhD is a fairly transparent website. I didn’t leave an arguably exploitative environment to not use my time wisely. I left academia to move away from the mindset that “I will spend time and money on something strictly out of my love for it.”

After Your PhD is a passion project and informational resource, but it’s not purely motivated by personal fulfillment.The website is also motivated by a desire to build experience in the digital marketing industry.

By being more transparent about the goals, motivations, and processes of building a website (and a brand), PhDs and people exploring digital marketing careers can learn from this content.

Below I outlined ways that a website can help advance your career.

A Website Is An Ever-Changing Asset You Control

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest – what do they have in common? You don’t fully “own” them. They could all shut down the next day. A website is special because it’s an asset you can continually build and optimize. It’s yours.

Having full control over your website means you can also show it off to friends, and employers. By having a website, you actually have real-world experience because you took the first step of creating a website.

You Learn SEO Knowledge When You Build A Website

To truly take a website to the next level, having knowledge of search engine optimization and user intent will grow your site. Search engine optimization refers to making your site more visible to search engines and users. When people search for “how to leave academia” or “after your phd,” I hope that people will land on afteryourphd.com.

One crucial way I’m directly learning about SEO is by understanding the process of indexing through tools like Google Search Console. Indexing refers to how search engines keep track of all the information that exists in their database. If your pages from the website don’t exist in the index, how can Google serve a search result about your site to users? Tools like Google Search Console allow you to request indexing or learn more about how your pages are indexed.

Building A Website Is Also Brand Building

A website is not only a website but a brand. A brand acts as a positive signal to users.

Ideally, you want users and readers to return to your website. If they don’t trust or even like your brand, why would they both search for it or click links for your site in Google Search?

One specific area I’m learning more about is the notion of brand voice. There are a lot of informational websites about leaving academia, but I don’t see them as being as transparent. I don’t want After Your PhD to be the voice of Ryan Collins, I want it to be a space where others can also share their perspectives on the blog.

Explore Monetization Through A Website

Websites can be a very creative asset for exploring self-expression, but a website can also be used for passive income. There are several examples of people who make money through their content whether that’s from ad revenue, affiliate marketing, paywalling content, or selling merchandise.

Coming from academia, I’m used to paywalled content. After Your PhD will always have free content. However, I have student loans and a family with 3 kids. WordPress isn’t free either and the automatic transcription for interviews costs money as well.

You may see ads on this site with Google Ad Sense. Having a very intrusive ad can make the experience sour and that’s not my goal. I’m still exploring ways to monetize the site that will benefit the continued production of content.

I encourage you to think of ways to monetize your website that fits within the brand and makes sense. For example, are you an artist with a website? Sell your art through your website.

Your site is yours, go do something with it and tell people about it.

After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?

What Is An Educational Technologist? An Interview with Dr. Miranda Melcher

Do you want to work for a university, but you don’t want to be a professor?

To answer this question I spoke with Dr. Miranda Melcher. Dr. Melcher was awarded a PhD in Defense Studies at King’s College in London in November 2021. Instead of pursuing a career as a professor, she helps professors with their own technology for teaching.

FYI – Dr. Miranda Melcher just launched a new podcast called “Just Access” where she interviews peoples that work in Human Rights Law and International Law.

Background about UK PhD programs

Most of my readers are probably familiar with the US academic system. PhD programs are fairly different than PhDs programs in the US. According to Dr. Miranda Melcher:

  • PhD programs are 3 years long – maybe 4.
  • There’s always a book at the end.
  • There’s no coursework.
  • You come into the program with a research question and your book title, and that’s your application.
  • No dissertation committee.
  • 18 months in you show your methods and lit review, and that’s it. It’s pass or fail.

Note: This interview transcript was edited for readability and brevity.

What are your current roles and activities and what do you do?

Dr. Miranda Melcher: I am an educational technologist at City University of London.

What that actually means is that I work with our academic/teaching staff at the university to help them successfully use technology in their teaching. So I mainly look after part of our university, the School of Science and Technology. So that’s math, computer science, every possible kind of engineering, all of those academics. And my job is to help them with any sort of tech in the classroom. So whether that’s teaching online, how do you use Zoom? Literally which buttons do you press?

But also how do you design an online session? Is it just gonna be exactly the same as what you did in the lecture hall? Probably not. How do you take the class that you’ve prepared for and adapt it?

Pretty much anything that an academic member of staff needs to do that has anything to do with technology in the classroom, around the classroom related to assessment.

According to LinkedIn, you started that position in May, 2021. So that must have been like the height of Covid?

Dr. Miranda Melcher: That was May 2020ish, but it was still pretty intense. Techs actually existed before covid, but there was definitely more demand for it. All of the departments are expanding and kind of the scale and scope of what we might need to work on have gone up a lot. So it’s no longer just a question of being able to explain and use like one or two technologies. It’s a long list.

Did you plan to be a technologist from the start? I read that you have a PhD in Defense (War) Studies

Dr. Miranda Melcher: My PhD was in War Studies. I researched how to write better peace treaties to be more effectively end civil wars. My PhD was how to write a peace treaty 101. It wasn’t a PhD in ed tech.

I was doing my PhD when Covid hit, I was in the sort of final year and I was teaching a lot and suddenly all of my teaching had to go online. Everyone’s teaching had to go online.

Everyone’s an instructor and none of us knew how to do it. None of us had been teaching online before. I had done a little bit of online teaching before, which was really unusual. We had like three days to change, six days to change, like just not very long. I am very young for a PhD in my field. Therefore was one of the people the most comfortable with learning the new technologies and figuring out how to use them and adapting teaching. Not just figuring out which button to press, how do I get all of my students to actually engage? And so I accidentally became the educational technologist in the department. Because everyone else needed help figuring out how to do it.

I was teaching my actual students and I was going around helping senior professor this figure out how to do it. Eventually after the panic subsided I linked up with like my university’s actual educational technologist, I was like, oh my God, wait, they’re a real, they know what they’re doing. Amazing. And started working with them as I was coming to the end of my PhD and realized, wait a second, I actually am good at this and it’s interesting and I know how to do it. I had no idea this was a real job until that moment.

Do you apply for any faculty positions?

Dr. Miranda Melcher: No.

I knew that academia was not what I wanted. Whatever it was going to be post PhD, it was not going to be academia.

How did know academia wasn’t for you? Who did you talk to beforehand?

Dr. Miranda Melcher: I came to it initially on my own and then talked to a whole bunch of people to make sure that my thinking actually tracked with the real world . I did a PhD because I had a question I really wanted to answer and I really like doing research. And then I also really like teaching, I had an inkling going into a PhD that I didn’t actually like a bunch of parts of an academic job And as I got further in, I realized that yes, that is in fact the case.

I don’t like writing, I don’t like publishing, I don’t like conferences. I like answering interesting questions by talking and or researching.

Maybe PhDs pursue academia out of lack of information?

Dr. Miranda Melcher: Two things. One, most PhDs don’t know what else is out there because to get into a PhD program to be successful within a PhD program, there’s a lot of incentive and pressure to sort of conform to what your professors want. And for sure the system has worked for them. That’s how they got there. So that kind of creates an incentive system.

The other problem is that there isn’t always a lot of openness and clarity about what it actually is like to be an academic. Because in a lot of ways being a PhD student is not the same thing as being an academic. You don’t get in for the same reasons that you get an academic job. So being good at doing a PhD is actually may or may not track with actually being good as an academic. They’re just not super correlated skills.

There’s probably a lot of PhDs on the fence about staying in academia, do you have advice for them?

Dr. Miranda Melcher: The one thing that I would say is consistent across all the fields is get the PhD. If you’re already most of the way through your PhD, there is a point where it feels like it’s not worth continuing and it’s not worth finishing. I think a lot of us feel that if you’re in that place, it’s worth pushing through. They can’t take it away once they give it to you. You’ve already gotten this far, just finish the degree.

I would say once you have the degree and you’ve submitted and the decision is whether you should stay or not, then it comes down to what your other options are. That depends a lot on your subject and your skills and your interests. But I do really think it’s a conversation every PhD student should look into. No one should pick academia without at least considering the other options.

I read that you’re involved in a blog and podcast?

Dr. Miranda Melcher: I am one of the hosts on the New Books Network. A massive series that has loads of different hosts that cover a ton of different topics. The idea is that we do in-depth interviews with authors about their books. In the last year, I’ve done 151 interviews. So you pick the book, you read it, and then you get to ask them whatever questions you want for about an hour.

I listened to the podcast a lot as a PhD student because it was a really good way to keep up to date with new books in my area of study to find out whether my library needed to go track them down for me. So I’ve listened to these episodes for years and then I finished my PhD and had a real job and needed to have a hobby and I didn’t know what a hobby was. I had never had a hobby. My PhD was just my hobby. So I didn’t really know what to do with a nine to five job. And my partner said, well you need to do this thing called a hobby. And I was like, oh, well it looks like I could be a host on this podcast that I already listened to. Why not?

In addition, I have a new podcast launching tomorrow with an NGO that’s called “Just Access” where I interview people that work in Human Rights Law and International Law.

After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?

After Your JD: An Interview With Legal Tech Expert Colin Levy

About The Guest: I spoke with a Legal Tech Expert named Colin Levy who happens to not be a PhD, but a JD (Juris Doctor).

  • Colin is currently a Director of Legal and Evangelist at Malbek.
  • Colin received his JD (Juris Doctor) from Boston College Law School.

About the Interviewer: Ryan Collins, PhD is the founder of After your PhD. He graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2021 with a PhD in Media Arts and Sciences.

Note: This interview transcript was edited for readability and brevity.

Can you describe in your own words your current role and responsibilities?

Colin Levy: That is an excellent question. For professional purposes, I am the one and only lawyer for Malbek – A management software company. That is not the only role I have for Malbek. They call me their evangelist. Really what that means in practice is I assist with content development efforts, whether it’s writing a blog, participating on a webinar, or being interviewed for a podcast and or assisting with new marketing initiatives or helping salespeople connect with potential prospects. It’s a kind of a nice balance of the two. Depending on the time of year and time of the quarter I may be doing more legal stuff or maybe doing more sort of marketing stuff.

Can explain the process of the jurist doctor degree? I know most of my audience is familiar with the PhD degree.

Colin Levy: It’s not as theoretical as a PhD. It’s a little structured in some ways. You spend up to three years taking classes and working towards the degree. And then assuming you don’t fail or quit law school, you get your JD. There’s no sort of final project or thesis you have to write because most of the classes are a good mix of them are doctrinal, meaning that they’re in some area of law and then you take an exam that’s your grade. Then during your second and third years, you tend to take more classes that are a little more theoretical.

It may involve either writing a paper or some sort of project. Your first year is primarily exam-based classes. It’s not like college where you can do a thesis or something like that. Or the PhD obviously where you write a dissertation and then defend it. There’s no real sort of process like that. And you don’t sort of have an advisor through Law School. You have professors that you can get to know through the classes, but you are not assigned someone who is with you every step of the way.

Do lawyers see themselves as researchers?

Colin Levy: That’s an interesting question because I think it depends on what area of law you’re interested in. I also will briefly admit I’m probably not your typical lawyer cause I tend to look at things through a little more of a theoretical and research lens. I’m sort of an academic heart, I kind of like to say. Most lawyers I would say are not really researchers per se unless research is part of their role.

Whether they’re a legal librarian or who is not necessarily a lawyer or they’re in litigation. They have to research case law with respect to some case they’re working on or some area of contract law or another area as part of their role working in-house. So sometimes on occasion, I do have to do research to learn more about a certain area of law depending on something I’m asked about. But I would say that you know, I wouldn’t say that lawyers are researchers in the traditional sense.

What is the typical career path for someone with a JD?

Colin Levy: I would say the answer used to be way more straightforward. These days you can do a lot with your JD. You can either follow a traditional path, which usually consists of working at a law firm and staying at that law firm or moving between law firms throughout your career or working at a law firm and then working in-house, or in my case working, graduating law school and then getting some work experience temporary roles and then working in-house.

I didn’t wanna work for a law firm for a variety of reasons. There are also a variety of other career options that are now available for those with JD that include working as a consultant, working for a legal tech company, or some sort of knowledge management type role where you’re developing products, uh, developing solutions and processes to help manage sort of the knowledge base of a law firm or legal department. It could be assisting with sort of the implementation or searching for tools to assist legal departments such as those who work in legal operations who tend to assist with that sort of work among other things. There’s a lot of different roles that are available for those with a JD. And among those roles, not all of them even required you to be a fully fledged attorney, meaning you’ve passed the bar and are license to be an attorney and whatever jurisdiction you live in.

You pivoted to marketing. Can you talk more about your motivations?

Colin Levy: I’ve always been interested in technology. I was curious and intrigued about how I would merge that interest with being a lawyer. So I started exploring sort of technology as it relates to law and talking to people who kind of worked on the border between law and tech. It was those discussions I had and the interviews that I conducted for the then-new blog that helped kind of pave the way for my growing interest in the space and led me to write about the space and explore. Over time that sort of gradually became a little bit part of what I was doing, which was essentially marketing, advocating for legal tech. And so I dabbled a little bit and kind of more purely marketing roles a little bit, but by and large I don’t really consider myself a marketer. I just happened to market have some experience sharing ideas around the space and advocating for the growth of the legal tech space.

What type of skills are translatable from your JD to what you do now?

Colin Levy: I’d say that the ability to translate complex topics and make them simpler. The ability to synthesize large amounts of information and make kind of basic lessons and concepts more accessible to people. I work very closely with business so it’s incumbent upon me to not just be able to translate between the legal world and the business world, but also speak the language of law as well as the language of business, which tends to be more quantitative and metric based.

Are there lawyers who aren’t great at communicated legalese to non-lawyers?

Colin Levy: I’d say there’s a little bit of general generational gap, meaning some of the older lawyers tend to be those who are stuck kind of thinking like a lawyer so to speak. It’s up to you to decide which one you want to do and kind of speaking legalese as opposed to speaking English.

In today’s world, clients don’t want to have to figure out what their legal advisor is telling them. They just want to be guided in a way that is understandable and actionable.

What advice do you have for people who are fresh out of law school?

Colin Levy: Listen to yourself, meaning follow your passions, follow what matters to you. Don’t be swayed by the crowd because there’s a lot of pressure to conform to what everyone else says you should be doing. It’s wise to ignore that and follow kind of what you want to be doing. And two, recognize that your career path is not a straight line. It’s gonna take a lot of curves and turns. Just be open to that and recognize that what you may want to be doing may ultimately be not what you enjoy.

You have to be open to different possibilities. And then the last thing I would say is to be open to experimenting. That may be scary to some JD folks, but I think you need to be open to adaptation and meeting the needs of a very changeable dynamic world.

Anything that I missed that you think would be pertinent to maybe PhDs that are listening or reading this?

Colin Levy: The JD degree is a very flexible one. Getting it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be X, y, or Z. To the extent that you are interested in getting that degree, recognize that it definitely opens a lot of different doors, not all of which may be readily apparent to you.

After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?

Academia to Content Design: An Interview With Dr. Ayala Sela

About The Guest: In an ongoing series of interviews with PhDs with diverse perspectives about academia and career pivots, I interviewed Ayala Sela. Dr. Ayala Sela is a Content Designer at Accenture Song. She graduated from the University of Geneva with a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology.

About the Interviewer: Ryan Collins, PhD is the founder of After your PhD. He graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2021 with A PhD in Media Arts and Sciences.

Note: This interview transcript was edited for readability and brevity.

Can you describe in your own words your current role and responsibilities?

Dr. Ayala Sela: The official title of my role is content designer. Which means I write content for pharma companies when they do media campaigns or outreach projects or build a new website, things like this. The unit that I work in under Accenture, does marketing and communication for pharma companies. In many ways what I’m doing is in between marketing and science communication.

Sometimes it’s more marketing. Then there are some projects that I feel a little bit like fish outside water when I’m working with creative people and being super creative. Sometimes it’s very strict, like there’s a lot of regulation and I need to be the kind of science person that knows where the limits are.

I read on your Lincoln profile that you graduated with a PhD in plant molecular biology. Can you tell me more about your experience, between the end of your dissertation and where you are now?

Dr. Ayala Sela: I defended my PhD in the summer of 2019. Then I stayed for a very short postdoc just to wrap up my paper and have it published. I was also lucky to start looking for a job during Covid, like just as Covid started. I’m extremely grateful for Switzerland. I’ve been here for eight years now and I was very positively surprised at how many systems they have to actually help people transition from academia to the industry. So as part of the unemployment here I got some money and unemployment support, which is a big deal. But there was also a lot of trainings that I could do, a lot of projects that they try and set you up with.

I did a course of project management and they helped me set up an internship in a science communication journal. So essentially I made the contact, I talked to the person who was from my university and had set up this science communication journal. But essentially the Swiss government was kind of sponsoring me to get some type of professional experience outside of academia. Then my CV wasn’t empty anymore.

I don’t know if that’s a thing in the US, that’s really amazing.

Dr. Ayala Sela: That is not a thing anywhere. So originally I’m from Israel and that is not a thing in Israel either. I think that translates also to how we as PhDs have to think about it in the same way Switzerland is saying, these people have all of these skills, we need to help them make this little step. Even if I didn’t have this as an internship paid as part of my unemployment, I would’ve said, can I do this internship while I’m searching for a job as a volunteer, just to have something to get to back up my claims that I have skills, I have the ability.

I was reading on your LinkedIn that you had some experience with a women’s rights non-profit group, I think it’s called Kulan. How did that prepare you for your current role?

Dr. Ayala Sela: This was the real game changer and it took me a long time to even understand that it is because essentially in the beginning, I didn’t really write it up so much. I hardly mention it or maybe I had like a volunteer section and it took a long time for me to say, wait, I’ve done a lot of work outside of my PhD and I need to sell it.

I was doing project management, I was doing social media, I was doing content and all of these things that in a way counted for nothing in my academic career. So I didn’t even realize that they count for something outside and I had to stop and think about it and say, okay, all of this stuff that I did as a volunteer, I spent a lot of, a lot of my time on it. But this is where it comes in handy because I give my CV and there is something to catch the interviewer’s attention.

Do you have any advice for STEM graduates exploring careers in science communication?

Dr. Ayala Sela: Science communication is very broad. What I learned is that there’s a lot of other types of science communication that are inside the industry. So a lot of pharma companies need people to do medical writing or regulatory writing. And a lot of these in essence are about explaining the science to different people, different stakeholders at different level. So I wouldn’t have said that my job is science communications half a year ago. Yeah. But the more I do it, the more I realize that in essence it is, even if it’s a marketing thing, even if it’s somebody trying to sell something or convince you of getting something. Essentially my role is to explain the science.

How did you gain the skills to talk about science communication in a way that’s more easier to understand for the masses. Was there a course that you took or was there like some other experience that helped you kind of develop the skill?

I think I did it backwards. I was doing a lot of content and social media for the feminist organization. I learned how to communicate more effectively to people. Like how do you write an article, how do you get people to click on a link? Things like this. And that’s actually been quite helpful because you become a science communicator, you absolutely need to be a communicator and a scientist. Like it doesn’t work without both of them being really strong. I’ve always been very verbal, I’ve always been good at writing and it never occurred to me before that there is a job where both of these skills actually are useful in the same role.

– Dr. Ayala Sela

Is there anybody on social media that you follow that you’d recommend in the science communications sphere or just any academics transitioning that have a career in science communication?

Dr. Ayala Sela: No, nothing specifically for transitioning from academia, but I am really passionate about this. I immediately jumped to your post because I feel so strongly about this. I know a lot of people who ended up finishing their PhDs and realizing that actually a PhD is detrimental to their CV because they need to get a starting position, but most companies would prefer somebody with a master’s degree and a lower salary. This is a challenge that a lot of people are experiencing.

Is there anything that I missed or anything that you’d like to add to this interview?

Dr. Ayala Sela: Speaker 1: So there is a systemic problem, right? There is some stuff that you can do or that I could do. Talking to individuals and bringing this a little bit to the to the consciousness of people who are doing their PhDs now and pushing them to look for additional things. There is an inherent problem with academia and this perception of academia being the one true calling and a lot of supervisors taking it as kind of an insult when a student says they don’t wanna continue in academia and not really allowing you to open up to two different things. And I think the trap is that a PhD means you get very, very specialized in one very specific thing. Yeah. Whereas getting a job means you have to branch out. Yeah. And you have to always resist this pressure from the system to be 12 hours a day in the lab coming every weekend and reading papers in your free time.

After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?

Non-Profit Careers and LGBTQ+ Advocacy: An Interview With Dr. Ethan Levine

About The Guest: In an ongoing series of interviews with PhDs with diverse perspectives about academia and career pivots, I interviewed Ethan Levine. Dr. Ethan Levine is a Research and Data Analyst at a non-profit organization called Coalition To Abolish Slavery and Trafficking.

About the Interviewer: Ryan Collins, PhD is the founder of After your PhD. He graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2021 with A PhD in Media Arts and Sciences.

Note: This interview transcript was edited for readability and brevity.

Can you describe in your own words your current role and responsibilities?

Dr. Levine: My job title is Research and Data Analyst at Cast, which is an anti-trafficking organization. Yeah. This was a brand new position. They’ve never had anyone with research in the job title. So I think the best and most stressful part about the job is that we’re kind of making it up as we go along.

Can you tell me more about that?

Dr. Levine: Yeah, absolutely. My background was kind of split between advocacy and higher ed. So CAST is an organization that they do mostly direct service, So providing direct support for people who have experienced trafficking. They also do some work on policy, and they’ve done this little one-off kind of research projects, like with one university partner here and there. They collect a ton of information from service providers that just sits there, and they also wanted to start generating some of the research that like they wish they could cite.

You’re also a counselor part-time?

Dr. Levine: Yes. So I guess all three of the things technically. My full-time official job is a data analyst. I like that part-time for that other position is extremely part-time. When I was finishing my PhD, I actually went into advocacy first before I took an academic job. I took a very wonderful, but very low paying job as originally an LGBTQ advocate at a sexual and domestic violence org, where again, it was like the first position of its kind. I kind of built it from nowhere, but the pay was not sustainable. And so a little over a year ago, I had really wanted to get a connection back to that organization and continue some of the work that I had started there. So I basically just approached their director and said, I’d love to give you a few hours a week if you’ll have me for that. Can you find funding? And she did.

You do a little bit of quantitative work and qualitative work. Can you tell me about that?

Dr. Levine: Yeah. I’ve only been at CAST for about eight months, so some of this is also developing projects in the works, One of the other great things about this is that we are building as we go. We’re able to decide what kinds of research we’d like to see, so everything that I’m doing looking at in-house client data is quantitative. Largely for confidentiality reasons, so I don’t get access to open ended responses to most things. But we have been developing projects that are qualitative or mixed methods as well. A lot of that is going to be ultimately driven by what research questions we have, you know, what’s interesting to the organization and what methods we all feel would be best for them. So there’s a lot of freedom to develop that as we go – which suits me really well because I think I’m someone who generally works best when I have a variety of different things happening.

Do you think your PhD prepared you for this position? Or did you have to learn a number of skills outside of your degree?

Dr. Levine: Yeah, that’s such a hard question. This job is kind of unique because of the kind of organization. There actually wasn’t a specific degree requirement. They wanted a range of research skills. Cast really wants to be able to give opportunities to folks who have the skills to do a job, but haven’t necessarily had opportunities to pursue higher education. That being said. I draw on those skills all the time. I’m the only person who is a full researcher type on staff. And so I think a lot of times I’m working with folks who have really big ideas, problems they’ve noticed and service provision, and this sincere interest in like let’s find out like what’s happened with clients’ mental health in the pandemic, or what happens with survivors who are treated as criminals instead of victims in court.

Do you consider the work-life balance much better in your current role than it was in academia?

Dr. Levine: Yes. That part has been really wild to me. CAST let me wait as long as they were able, but I wound up having to start this job six weeks before the semester ended, and I couldn’t get out of my teaching early. So for six weeks I had two full-time jobs and it was a nightmare. But after that, once I had a couple weeks only, you know, where my only full-time job was CAST, I gotta tell you, I had no idea how many hours I was working in my tenure track position.

It was so constant. It was absolutely seven days a week because there would be all these moments where I would start to feel really anxious out of nowhere and realize, Oh God, I’m worried that I missed eight student emails, You know? And I worked at a school where people really expected a quick response from you kind of no matter what, no matter when. And student evaluations played a heavy role in our job evaluations. There’s a joke post that goes around a bit that says, you may have to work seven days in academia, but the freedom to choose which seven days.

Would you advise that for PhDs that want to work and finish school at the same time?

Dr. Levine: That worked well enough for me. A lot of that’s probably gonna depend on the balance between like how much your timeline to graduation matters and what your financial circumstances are. If it’s better for you and let’s assume someone wants to finish, right? Because you also don’t have to finish your PhD.

Do you find your job personally fulfilling or career-wise fulfilling? Can you see yourself in a different role? Or do you still have being a professor in the back of your head?

Dr. Levine: My partner seems convinced that I’m gonna be going back and forth forever. I do have a little bit of both of those in me. Doing some kind of work that is connected to supporting survivors is really, really essential. I don’t think I was ever gonna make it in any job where that wasn’t at least part of it. Half the reason I got a PhD, honestly, because back a hundred years ago when I was just working as an advocate. I knew what was happening in the field. My colleagues knew we had an idea of what our clients needed, what we needed to improve our services, but we got dismissed because we were like just advocates and what did we know?

I realized that we needed credentials. I have been amazed and horrified at how effective that was. So the icky side of that is that it is as elitist as you think. Right. But, you know, like I am now in a role where I can like, use the credentials I have to like elevate the voices of advocates and survivors, who might be right silent and just, I’m using those skills all the time. It is absolutely incredibly fulfilling. I’m able to set boundaries and work a set number of hours, which is really cool. I would say that I think that having some connection to academic work is really wonderful and important to me. I’ll probably always have some outside research thing and maybe teach a class, but I don’t think I’d ever wanna be full-time at a university again.

Do you have any advice for PhDs like in social sciences and humanities, especially sociology, who wanna pursue a career outside of academia, especially like non-profit work?

Dr. Levine: When I was a PhD student, I was really fortunate to go to a school that had respect for non-academic careers. Which I’ve learned is not standard. I was about halfway through our student union hosted these events where we brought in alumni who had gotten tenure track positions and alumni who worked in industry and they gave us career advice…

I would encourage folks to think more broadly and what kind of balance is necessary for you and what’s like fulfilling and sustaining for you. Salaries vary a lot. I worked at a state school with a great union when I was in the tenure track. I took a $13,000 pay cut to come to my current job. And I will never catch up. I hear about people who left for tech jobs with way higher salaries. Although no one’s laying off 11,000 people in my field right now.

I would ask, are there particular skills that you wanna use? Are there particular values that you want driving your work or communities that you wanna support? Those questions never came up even in my PhD program. It was all either you’re a professor or you’re a research scientist?

Is there anything that you wanted to add, or something that PhDs or academics would like to know in their kind of transition? Any resources that helped you along your way?

Dr. Levine: I wish there had been more projects like this. I would really encourage folks not to feel locked in. The best piece of advice I got was actually from my grad director at my PhD program who brought all the first years and said “Hey, so you’re in a sociology PhD program. Where are you hoping this will go?” And I told him I’d like to direct research at an anti-violence organization, which I do now. His response was so great that he said, uh, basically I have no idea what that job is or who has that job and I don’t think I can guide you. So your homework is find two or three people doing the work that you wish you were doing, and connect with them and ask them how they did it.

It took some time. These jobs are also relatively new. The first two people that I spoke with had no one to guide them along in the process. It’s only the last 10, 15 years where these jobs have been a thing. If you can kind of muster the courage in the moment, I would say reaching out to folks who have the work that you want and just asking them how they got there.


Visit the CAST website to donate to a great cause!

After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?

How To Get a Data Scientist Job As a PhD: An Interview With An Activision Data Scientist

About Our Guest: In the ongoing series of interviews with PhDs with diverse perspectives about academia and career pivots, I interviewed Kyle Boerstler. Dr. Boerstler is a Data Scientist at Activision.

About the Interviewer: Ryan Collins, PhD is the founder of After your PhD. He graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2021 with A PhD in Media Arts and Sciences.

Note: This interview transcript was edited for readability and brevity.

Can you describe in your own words your current role and responsibilities?

Dr. Boerstler: So I am a disruptive behavior data scientist. This is basically a fancy way of saying I’m an anti cheat data scientist. I focus on trying to eliminate disruptive actors and our competitive online environments. This can range from direct cheating within the game. It can also sometimes transition over into anti toxicity, things that we do not what we want in our spaces. We want a safe and inclusive gaming environment as much as possible, for sure. I definitely work across the board. My main responsibilities consists of using data to detect and mitigate people who would otherwise disrupt our online environment.

Did you ever imagine you’d be doing this?

Dr. Boerstler: I still can barely believe that I’m doing this. It’s such a cool job. It’s surreal every day to come in and do the things that I’m doing. So it’s definitely a lot of fun and not something that I ever would’ve seen myself doing, uh, even a year and a half ago when I was on the job market.

Can you just kind of briefly talk about your journey from your philosophy PhD to where you are now?

Dr. Boerstler: It is the story, that I’ve told hundreds of times and there’s varying levels of detail, but the gist of it is I went into a PhD in philosophy because I loved teaching and I loved students. And so I had a passion for engaging with students and mentoring them and assisting them in their educational journeys. I got a master’s degree first and realized that I was not making any money at all. So then I went on to the PhD, finished that and also realized, it was also not gonna make very much money.

And that’s not necessarily a deal breaker. It’s definitely a huge strain on family whenever you have to try to do multiple post docs, lots of moving and things like that just to kind of get your academic career started. So whenever I spent my first year on the job market, I was primarily targeting academic jobs, but I failed that first year, which is the same year I was finishing the PhD. The next year I opened up the search to non-academic jobs as well and I actually landed a job as a clinical ethicist. So my specialization in philosophy, well as bioethics. And this lended itself to the possibility of me bringing my ethical background in philosophy into a clinical ethics position. And a clinical ethicist is someone hired by a hospital to consult on ethical cases for both doctors and patients and also they would serve on the oversee research.

There were various tasks and duties like that for the hospital system. So I was offered a job at a hospital system in Michigan. And so we were living in Florida at the time. And so we started to pack had our house basically halfway packed. We had a realtor about to put our house on the market and I was offered the job in February of 2020. And so of course right at the same time Covid was kicking off.So what ended up happening is our house was gonna go on the market on a Monday and I got a call from the person who hired me at this hospital system in Michigan on the Friday before. And she said basically, “please don’t move to Michigan. We don’t have a job for you because we are bankrupt as a hospital.”

So I went to my chair because he had hired me as an associate or a visiting teaching faculty after I finished my PhD to help me out to kind of bridge the gap to getting my first academic job. And I asked him, Is there any way you can renew my contract because my career launching job just fell through. And he said, “Well, once we heard you got that job back in February, we kind of promised the money to a new postdoc that’s coming in next year. So now there’s no money to renew your contract.”

So I went from kind of having my career launching job, settled into in May I was unemployed with a PhD.

What was the moment that you decided that you needed to explore new careers?

Dr. Boerstler: Yeah, I would say that there wasn’t a definitive moment. There was just kind of a period of searching and waffling like, do I want to keep giving the academic track a shot? Do I want to wait out Covid and try for the clinical ethicist track again? Or do I want to launch into the unknown after spending, you know, five full years getting a PhD and just do something completely different? That’s a pretty hard decision to make. You know, especially when it kind of comes out of the blue. It’s one thing if you kind of are halfway through your PhD and you decide, you know, I’m not gonna do this academically, so I’m gonna have a plan going into my dissertation that I’m gonna basically transition immediately. I never had that. I was fully committed to doing the academic route.

I noticed like throughout your journey though, that you went to boot camps and you were into like personal projects. How did these projects maybe help?

Dr. Boerstler: I would say most likely the biggest contributor to my current job is LinkedIn networking. So I would stay my personal projects and my interests that I kind of brought to the table put me on a platform that made me attractive to talk to. I don’t think that without the networking that if I have had a cold applied to the job that I’m currently in that I would’ve even been looked at. I can’t say that it would have necessarily got me an interview. I had actually been friends with the person who hired me for going on nine months, before she offered me the job because of LinkedIn. Now I will say it was my capstone project at my bootcamp that kind of got her interested in me on LinkedIn. She thought it was a really awesome project and was really impressed by it. And that’s what started the conversation.

They go hand in hand, I had to kind of like push the envelope over the next six months in that friendship to develop the connection so that when she had a job opening, I was the first person that came to her mind. Yeah. And she basically reached out to me and told me to apply.

You discussed earlier that your background was in ethics, how does that domain of knowledge translate into your current role?

Dr. Boerstler: It was actually kind of funny cuz they hired me for an antitox specific role because of my ethics background. But right after I got hired, the focus of the company turned almost squarely into anti cheat. And so the resourcing for anti tox became less important. So I got shifted over to anti cheat. So my ethics background is definitely still relevant but I would say it’s more relevant than a field like anti toxicity where you’re developing policy on how to deal with people that aren’t necessarily directly breaking any rules, but are just creating an environment that’s either hostile or not welcoming to other gamers. So there’s like an ethical boundary of where you should draw the line on what’s an appropriate punishment or an appropriate mitigation and whether or not you should even punish as opposed to let’s reward positive behavior. And that way we encourage people to behave in a less toxic way. There’s lots of the ethics that kind of play into that. And also psychology kind of topics. So part of my dissertation was on the philosophy of emotions and I’m slightly leaning into psychology background because of the things I did for my dissertation.

How did you communicate with hiring managers and recruiters that you had mathematical skills when you’re coming from like a philosophy background?

Dr. Boerstler: I tried to emphasize that even though I don’t have a statistics background per se, or even a math background per se that I’m coming from an analytic philosophical program emphasized the logic component. And so symbolic logic and modern logic were a big component of my PhD studies. That translates really well into programming. But I also emphasize that if you really just wanna hire the best statistician, don’t hire me… I look at the entire org’s set of problems and I say here’s the one that I can solve and here’s the one that brings value.

Dr. Kyle Boerstler:

There’s so much philosophy out there that you’re tasked as a graduate student to say, where is the argument that I can contribute to? And the argument that brings enough value to show that I can get the PhD. And so I think that it, what I bring to the table is this ability to synthesize the data in a way that a lot of other maybe traditionally trained computer science people may miss because they’re more focused on the curriculum that they were taught.

I know that the salaries and industry are a lot different than academia, but if money and finances weren’t an issue, do you think you would’ve stayed in academia?

Dr. Boerstler: I would say if I had not had the experience of working as a data scientist, then I would’ve gladly stayed in academia. But knowing what I know and how much fun I have doing the work that I’m currently doing, and just knowing that I’m contributing in a way that actually makes the gaming environment more enjoyable for people makes me feel really good and validated coming to work in a way that academia sometimes did, but quite often did not. When students are really good and they engage with you and they become people that talk to you regularly about the material and seek you out after class, it’s like you can feel very fulfilled and engaged and happy, but then you also sometimes get classes full of people that are completely disengaged, couldn’t care less, and just don’t wanna do anything. And then you feel like, it all meaningless? Is is anything that I’m doing really affecting anybody in my classroom? I don’t feel that ever at my current role.

Are there any resources that kind of helped you along your way?

Dr. Boerstler: I can’t say that there was like a definitive source, but networking through informational interviews with people was how I gathered 95% of my knowledge about the transition. So now there are really cool things there’s a whole hashtag LinkedIn group dedicated to transitioning academics. Uh, there’s like hiring lists like for job talent that exist in transitioning academics…..I would just suggest sitting down with people and chatting with them ,especially academics who have transitioned. I promise you we will be the number one group of supporters you will find if you are trying to transition because we all have done it, have seen the benefits and I think that a lot of us maybe have an even insidious desire to see the academy break a little bit so that it gets better for everybody else who’s there. But you know, we have to start small.

Is there anything else that you or I missed that you wanted to add to this conversation that might help PhDs?

Dr. Boerstler: This information is out there. Be really creative about the jobs you’re searching for. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into like one title because there are lots of job descriptions that actually line up really well with academic skill sets, but they would have titles that just are super nontraditional. And so, and then when, if you do get to the point in your transition that you are negotiating, like you’re going to be tempted to not negotiate because the money is gonna be so much better than anything you’ve ever seen compared to academic money. So that doesn’t change the fact though, that you are almost certainly worth more than the first offer you get. Start your career off as best you can in the transition by negotiating yourself to a higher salary.

After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?

How I Transitioned From Academia to SEO

I always loved school. I wanted to be a film studies professor, but I lost my love for the vocation after encountering the reality of the crushing academic job market, the exploitation of grad students and adjuncts, and my growing lack of self-esteem in a non-supportive institutional environment.

I’m currently an SEO analyst.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was not my first choice in a career, but it ended up being the best fit. This blog post is meant to detail my personal experience navigating my career journey from academia.

Me awkwardly about to teach a class at Indiana University

What Do I Do Next In My Career?

The biggest hurdle was making a damn decision. I’m very indecisive. The world is very wide and directionless and you need to ask yourself serious questions to find clarity. Clarity isn’t about making the right decision, but making the right decision at the time for you and understanding the risks and benefits.

In my pursuit of finding a new career path, I dabbled in the following areas for various periods of time. I learned a lot about what I enjoy, and what I didn’t enjoy. For example, I was interested in Data Science, but I’m not a math whiz.

  1. Content Creation
  2. Data Science
  3. User Experience Research
  4. Non-Profit Work
  5. App Development
  6. Service Industry (out of necessity)
  7. Digital Marketing
  8. Website Development
  9. PR
  10. Data Analytics

Why SEO?

I learned about SEO when I first made my personal website and for a brief time when I was working on content creation for a tech startup. SEO honestly sounded very “buzzwordy.” The more I talked to actual professionals in the industry, that began to change my worldview. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is about making content more visible to search engines. It’s not about gaming the system, but understanding how the system works and knowing the best practices to make your web properties succeed in organic search.

Informational Interviews And SEO

It’s a core belief of After Your PhD that informational interviews are career-changing. Asking questions and finding clarity is what informational interviews are all about. By talking to industry professionals, I could see that SEO was a career I should be pursuing. During my transition, I probably had about 10-15 separate SEO-centric informational interviews.

A recurring phrase I recall from my informational interviews was that “they fell into SEO.” SEO is a field where a degree is not a requirement. Right now, you can go buy a domain and start a website yourself and practice SEO techniques. Seeing people from all walks of life was very reassuring.

The Turning Point – Networking And An SEO Internship

The biggest turning pointing point was appearing for a LinkedIn video on 1000 Hires. It was a short video where I was interviewed about my career interests and they shared it with their network. I was introduced to someone from a digital marketing company and he refereed me to an SEO internship. Once I landed the SEO internship, things began to change. I was learning a lot from people at my internship and I got to talk to dozens of people and ask them questions. It also helped me land my current role. Being able to also put “SEO Intern” made a huge difference for recruiters searching for “SEO Analyst” on LinkedIn. I was actually getting interest from recruiters.

After going through a few interviews, I began my new role as an SEO analyst in September 2021.

Biggest Takeaways

I’m sure I’m missing something in my career journey, but if I had to leave you with 5 things, it would be the following.

  1. Ask a lot a questions.
  2. Network yesterday.
  3. Share your journey on social media.
  4. If you can get an industry internship, do it.
  5. Don’t have experience? Buy a domain and start making a website.

After Your PhD

What's Next After Your PhD?