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3 minutes | Jan 29, 2020
Send Recovering Academic to the NPA Meeting!
Happy 2020, Recovering academic audience (& hello to those new to us). We hope you had a restful break and 2020 is off to an amazing start. Recovering Academic has been invited to the annual NPA Meeting in March, and we’re raising money to travel there. Instead of just asking for donations (you can, if you like, however!), we’re selling awesome Recovering Academic stickers for $5.00 each via Paypal link below and you can buy a Recovering Academic T-shirt at our Bonfire store for $25.00. Get your Tshirt here! Get Your Shirt Here We are also actively seeking sponsors, so if you’re interested in sponsoring us for mentioning your company, get in touch with us here! We’re excited about 2020 and we’re excited for our session at the NPA conference and providing insights into the complex world of career transitions and the world of possibilities that exist for PhDs!
43 minutes | Nov 17, 2019
Season 4: ep 02: Dr. Emily Roberts
Dr. Emily Roberts. Photo source: pfforphds.com. We spoke with Emily Roberts, PhD about their business Personal Finance for PhDs. Emily’s career after academia is advising PhDs about finance. One of the key points she made was to how having a solid amount of savings enabled her to make the decision to start her own solopreneur business, making the transition easier. Financial security makes transition less stressful. Dr. Roberts also encourages PhDs with a side hustle to do one that builds and demonstrates skills they are interested in and that might turn into a new career path. Listen to the episode to hear more wisdom from Dr. Roberts about PhD’s taxes, managing money, and her current career running her own businesses. Show Notes Get a financial life by Beth Kobliner
36 minutes | Oct 31, 2019
Season 4, Episode 1: Eva Amsen
Eva Amsen, PhD. Photo from Easternblot.net. Photographer: Rannie Turingan For our series four opener, we talk with Freelance writer, editor and science communicator Eva Amsen, PhD who joined us in the middle of her night from London. Eva got her PhD at the University of Toronto where she started a blog, EasternBlot.net. During her PhD, Eva had already decided that she didn’t want to pursue a faculty career. Through her blogging experience, she freelanced through the economic crash of 2008 just after her PhD. Giving herself a one year deadline post PhD to find a job, she landed a job at the journal Development to start their still-existing (and excellent) blog, The Node. While she has had full time jobs in the last decade, Eva is now a full time freelancer again and we discuss the nature of freelancing and finding work, the job that is communicating science, and her project Share Your Sci (hint: have a specific audience in mind). Eva’s Bio Eva Amsen is a writer and science communicator, focused on the common ground between science and the arts. She runs a quarterly newsletter highlighting collaborations and overlap between scientists and musicians. Eva has written about science in culture and society for Nautilus, The Scientist, Spacing Magazine and other places — including the science blog she has maintained since her days as a PhD student in Toronto. Eva also runs Share Your Sci and helps researchers communicate their work. You can follow Eva on Twitter @easternblot.net. Show Notes Book Ian mentioned: Hiding in The Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting out there when you’d Rather Stay Home by Morra Aarons-Mele.
7 minutes | Jun 27, 2019
Recovering Academic Season 4 Teaser
We’ve discussed our experiences regarding the struggles we faced when leaving academia. So now we want to hear from you! The recovering academic trio is on summer break, but we want to ask for your help to plan our next season! Send us questions, suggestions for topics, tell us about your specific transition struggles! Let us know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous or be credited. You can get in touch via Twitter (@RecoveringAcad, @LadyScientist, @Doctor_PMS, @IHStreet), our Facebook page, or email show at recoveringacademic dot net. We will be back in your ears this fall!
38 minutes | Apr 30, 2019
Season 3 Episode 11: Space
The Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Public Domain. Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Recovering Academics. Its mission: to explore different and new industries. To seek out life outside of academia To boldly go where no former academic has gone before! In this episode, our intrepid trio discusses the importance of giving yourself space to try out new things. The trio will also take our own advice and give ourselves some space. This is the end of season three, but don’t despair! We’ll be back for season 4 in the fall. Mentioned in this episode: Show notes for our Space ep (at least things I mentioned): Kati Morton’s series on BurnoutLisa Loeb’s “Stay” video.
33 minutes | Mar 19, 2019
Season 3 episode 10: Value
In this episode the recovering trio discusses how to ask for more when academia train us not to negotiate/request what your time is actually worth. How do you put a dollar value on your time. Entrepreneur Amanda has so many great things to say, like researching rates charged by others in the industry, charging more for rush requests, and not falling into the trap of feeling like a constant beginner and never ending up charging for what you can do. And last: if someone comes to you with a project that might be worth doing, but would make you grumpy or stressed to do, ask for a rate that would make you not feel stressed out or grumpy and let the client say yes/no to that rate. In other words, make yourself happy. We also discuss the three P’s (Passion, Prestige, and Pay). If a project or job doesn’t offer at least two of those three, turn it down. We also discuss how hard it is to say no to opportunities sometimes, and how you have to feed your cat. People pleasing may be a common trait amongst academics (at least n=3 for the podcast co-hosts), and one that can lead us to not ask for our value or accept offers that are too low for our actual value. “If you’ve ever thought about calculating your hourly pay as a postdoc or PhD student, my suggestion is to not do that” – Amanda “…if a project comes back with a dollar amount, practicing saying “that sounds a little low” – Ian (quoting advice of science writer Kate Gammon Ian encountered at SciComm Camp). “Working on next month’s pay in the current month…” – Amanda on how she works with a cushion, always working on the next month’s pay in the current month.
57 minutes | Feb 10, 2019
Season 3 episode 9: Interview with Gary McDowell
In this week of the Recovering Academic podcast we talk with Dr. Gary McDowell and his journey outside academia. Gary is the executive director of The Future of Research, a non-profit organization created for and by early career researchers to make the research enterprise more sustainable for future generations. Their mission is to champion, engage, and empower early career researchers with evidence-based resources to improve the research endeavor. Gary tells us how even though his path out of academia was somewhat ‘easy’ to delineate, it was still very hard to finally take the decision and leave. “But I don’t know if I’m ready yet.You come walking into this roomLike you’re walking into my arms.What would I do without you?” I don’t think people understand how difficult is is (to leave academia). @BiophysicalFrog He also discussed how almost everybody that leaves academia experiences the same feelings of disappointment and feelings of failure. Also how it seems most of the recovering academics have a self-imposed isolation from academia to have a ‘clean break’. Unlike them, Gary is still directly involved with academia, and most of his daily duties seem a lot academic-like. I hear this a lot: “Nobody twists your arm and say you have to be a post-doc”. Nobody physically does it, but psychologically, they do. @BiophysicalFrog You can read more about Gary’s career in the FoR website and contact him on his Twitter account: @BiophysicalFrog Mentioned in this episode: K99 NIH grant: NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00) Love and Anger by Kate Bush: lyrics The expanse: TV show Athena Swan: ECU and Wikipedia Putting mentoring at the heart of academia: conference in Chicago in June 2019 Athene Donald
36 minutes | Jan 28, 2019
Season 3 Episode 8: Surprises
On this episode, we talk about what surprised us the most about the transition from academia to our post-academic lives. What has surprised you the most when leaving academia? Was it the difference in working life? Was it the different feeling about work? Did you have a lot of free time? Was it an easy adjustment? Or difficult? Transitioning can be all of these or none of these. We’ll share our stories. Mentioned in this podcast: Original surprise tweet from @drmarenw https://twitter.com/drmarenw/status/1055191449858383872
38 minutes | Jan 8, 2019
Season 3 Episode 7: Cynicism
Drought Crack Life Survival Flower Desert How to avoid cynical feelings of feeling helpless. “Always wear shorts under your skirt so you can go to the monkey bar” —@ladyscientist Mentioned in this episode: Learned Helplessness: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness Grant rejection tweet: https://twitter.com/jeroenphv/status/1064579050134478848 Brain pickings assay: https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/02/09/hope-cynicism/ The Sunk Cost Fallacy: https://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/03/25/the-sunk-cost-fallacy/ Blog Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured): https://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/ TV show Quantum Leap: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Leap The Worst Songs Of All Time? https://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2014/02/06/272457460/the-worst-songs-of-all-time Video of us dancing: https://twitter.com/IHStreet/status/1064729957249818625
33 minutes | Dec 20, 2018
Season 3 Episode 6: Holiday Episode
The Recovering Academic trio takes some time to reflect about the past year and make plans for 2019. We also discuss how it is hard to find motivation and focus during this time of the year, but we give some tips about how we can trick ourselves to have some work done during this holiday season! It’s the season of generosity, but there’s actually little time for generosity @IHStreet As recovering academics, we need to get used to the idea that the metrics used to quantify your “success” might be very different than the ones on academia, and not very well defined. Chance favors the prepared mind @ladyscientist In the end we should all aim for balance @Doctor_PMS Thanks everybody for listening, we hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and an even better 2019! Mentioned in this podcast: Forest app: https://www.forestapp.cc/en/ Papyrus – SNL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVhlJNJopOQ Season 02 Episode 09: Reflections and Resolutions: https://recoveringacademic.net/season-02-episode-09-reflections-resolutions/
32 minutes | Dec 6, 2018
Season 3 Episode 5: Career Path
Have you ever felt ‘decision paralysis’? With so many choices and not sure which way to go? Hesitant to put all your eggs on a single basket? Well, you are not alone! In this week’s episode we discuss how to define your career path when you leave the ivory tower. Academia has a defined career path, but that may not be the case once you leave it. There isn’t a unique answer to these questions, but we discuss the importance of taking breaks to analyze and reflect about these things. Not making a decision is also making a decision – @ladyscientist
31 minutes | Nov 19, 2018
Revisiting Starting Recovery
We’ve noticed that a lot of new people have subscribed to the Recovering Academic podcast. Here’s your chance to listen to our very first episode when we started on our path to recovery. Keep an eye on this space for our next episode!
38 minutes | Oct 26, 2018
Season 3 Episode 4: Interview with Dennis Eckmeier
In this week of the Recovering Academic podcast we talk with Dr. Dennis Eckmeier, his journey outside academia and his actual advocacy projects, including the Science for Progress podcast and its twitter rotating twitter account @SfPRocur. This was a joint podcast between the Recovering Academic and the Science for Progress podcasts, so we all discuss our reasons for leaving academia and realized Amanda was the only one of us that never did any experiments in the dark! There’s always the transition period, but after you decide that you’re going to do it, it feels good. @Doctor_PMS One of the challenges Dennis is facing is that, although advocacy is supposed to be for free, he is still trying to find alternatives of how he can proceed with this and make money with it. Some people make it sound like networking is like another skill, is like learning to act, but I’ve learned that it’s not like that @DennisEckmeier The goal of the Science for Progress podcast is to explain how academia works to people that are not academics. What is sort of the opposite of our recovering academic podcast that tries to show what PhDs can do outside academia. You can contact Dennis through his webpage or his Twitter account: @DennisEckmeier Mentioned in this podcast: Marcha pela ciencia // March for science Lisbon EAT CHEESE LIVE FOREVER This Is Why The 2018 Nobel Prize In Physics, For Lasers, Is So Important Science Magazine article: Sunshine outside the ivory tower Science for Progress podcast: The Journal Impact Factor: how (not) to evaluate researchers – with Björn Brembs
51 minutes | Oct 12, 2018
Season 3 Episode 3: Interview with Kristen Witte
Dr. Kristen Witte, Ph.D. We sat down and spoke with Dr. Kristen Witte, an exhibit developer at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago Illinois. They discuss their transition story, taking some time away from academia to find what’s next and the challenge of getting to know yourself in an all-consuming environment that is earning a PhD. “Once I was able to release my identity as a scientist, it allowed space for understanding the other parts of myself that just didn’t have space before” Kristen is a recent museum transplant with a scientific background in pipetting – er, cell biology. Having most enjoyed the literature research and storytelling aspects of their Ph.D., Kristen now spends their time in exhibit development at the Museum of Science & Industry where they discover and define the compelling and fascinating stories that resonate with the museum’s diverse audience. Speaking of diversity, Kristen identifies on the non-binary side of the gender galaxy and uses they/them pronouns. They are committed to increasing the visibility of the queer science community and to deconstructing systems that result in the diminution of the queer experience in science and science-adjacent fields. “There has been innumerable amounts of research that highlight how much better work is done when diverse voices are in the room” Kristen’s brightest moments occur when excited, young, queer museum visitors share how welcomed they feel by Kristen and their “They/Them” pronoun pin. Kristen holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Chicago and received a B.S. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Wisconsin. You can follow they on Twitter @KristenWitte Mentioned in the Episode Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Proper PPE (Personal protective equipment) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_protective_equipment Cheapest source of black nitrile gloves: Lou’s Gloves The British Museum
32 minutes | Sep 26, 2018
Season 3 Episode 2: Adapting
Image by Richard Stephenson Adaptation. It’s not just a macroevolutionary term. It applies to all of us in our transitions, too. In this episode, we discuss how we’ve adapted to life outside of academia. What changes around you? What changes do you have to make? Do you have to wear sunglasses to handle all that sunshine? A lot of things do change, but most of those changes are for the better. One of the hazards in transitioning is a more sedentary lifestyle and needing to learn new life skills. “Moving to a big city means figuring out new life skills… like navigating without a car.” @IHStreet We also talk about how it is difficult to make friends in new places and finding a new tribe. But making those new friends allow us to hear new viewpoints and break out of academia bubble. “We’re not the owners of the truth.” – @Doctor_PMS It can also push us to do new things outside of our comfort zones—which isn’t bad. “I enjoyed the experience of talking to someone I don’t know. I was surprised!” @LadyScientist Mentioned in This Episode Metropolitan Brewing Astronomy on Tap (in Chicago) You can also follow them on Twitter (@AoTchicago) You can Invite the Recovering Academic to a conference, and we’ll do a live show tailored to your group! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Twitter. Google form to apply for our ROCUR account (@RecoveringAcad)
33 minutes | Sep 12, 2018
Season 3 Episode 1: Networking
Welcome back to the Season 3 of our Recovering Academic Podcast! We missed you, and hope you missed us as well :)” For this first episode of this season, the recovering trio discuss a very important topic: NETWORKING But what is networking? And how do you do the networking as a recovering academic? And more importantly, how do you get into the headspace of networking? What is your ultimate goal with networking? “[Networking] It’s not who you know, it’s not what you know, but who knows what you know” – @Doctor_PMS Interesting to notice the differences between the takes on networking as an introvert (like Amanda and Ian) or an extrovert (like Cleyde). There are many ‘alternative’ forms of networking that doesn’t require you actively talking to people. “I try to think about a connection of how do I think I can help them out – @LadyScientist” See if you can spot the moment when Ian’s cat interrupted the discussion! “Remember n equals 1 is success” – @IHStreet Mentioned in This Episode Beyond the bench podcast SC 04: Engineering a Career with Family: Dr. GDale Wesson from @DrQualls Networking event mentioned by Amanda was by Dr. Thierry Dubroca, you can see the slides here and contact him at email@example.com Recovering Academic series 1, episode 8 on Linkedin Adam’s Rib Co Dave Shiffman’s (@WhySharksMatter) tweet on how many faculty jobs people applied to before getting one Photo Credit: Chris Potter (www.ccPixs.com).
48 minutes | Apr 11, 2018
Season 2 Episode 16: Season 2 Finale
Flowers blooming in the snow. Out of the snow and into Spring! Could there be a better metaphor This is the last episode of our Second season! And it’s packed! We answer listener question about balancing work and family in the private sector and the best advice we received that helped us during our career transitions, including applying anyway if you only meet some of the listed qualifications and the usefulness of informational interviews. We also check in with each other about our status and how we’re feeling about Recovering Academics a year, a year and a half, and three years out of academia. “I watched a frog jump into a lake, and suddenly, I got it!” – Ian on how realizations occur when you’re out doing other things. We talk about design thinking (have you listened to this episode of Hidden Brain?), when creative ideas land in a sudden moment. And last, we also announce a new initiative to launch ahead of series 3. We’re turning our @RecovAcad account into a rocur account for fellow recovering academics to talk about their lives beyond the ivory tower and where they’ve found sunshine where they are.
40 minutes | Mar 28, 2018
Season 2 Episode 15: Interview with InBabyAttachMode
Today InBabyAttachMode joins our hosts to discuss her transition story. Everything Was Now Open – InBabyAttachMode We know InBabyAttachMode (who we affectionately refer to as IBAM) from twitter and her Scientopia blog. She discusses her transition to industry in a Scientist position. She talks about her work in public-private collaborations and variation in job duties—even with the same job title. IBAM also shares how leaving academia can lead to a wide-open world and how she found her way. Finding her own voice and navigating this new world presented new—but not insurmountable—challenges. In the end, IBAM found a better work-life balance and the light outside of the ivory tower. You can find IBAM on twitter @InBabyAttachMode or on her blog at Scientopia.
49 minutes | Mar 14, 2018
Season 2 Episode 14: Interview with Chemjobber
In this episode, Chemjobber joins the Recovering Academic co-hosts to discuss his transition and his blog. Quantifying the Chemistry Job Market Since 2008 Chemjobber now works in industrial chemistry. He started his job search in March of 2008 and started his blog nine months later in December 2008. His blog aims to help chemists find jobs in a tough market. Also, he works towards a quantitative understanding of the quality of the chemistry job market. He discusses his transition story and motivations for moving away from the academy. In his discipline, Chemistry, does present industry as a viable (and reasonable) alternative. Also, Chemjobber reveals the secret behind his avatar! You can find Chemjobber on twitter @Chemjobber and on his blog at Chemjobber.
41 minutes | Feb 28, 2018
Season 2 Episode 13: Interview with Chris Humphrey
In this episode we’re joined by Dr. Chris Humphrey of Jobs on Toast. You Are More Than an Academic Chris received his PhD in medieval studies from the University of York. His first post-PhD job was working as content analyst for an e-learning startup. Currently, he’s a project manager at a bank in England. Chris shares with us his transition story and why he started Jobs on Toast. Chris’s transition story exemplifies the transferable skills that all PhDs have in their toolkit. We just need to reframe them and translate them to the language that employers understand. You can find Chris on the web at JobsOnToast.com, where you can find information about job hunting in the post-academic market. You can also find him on twitter @ChrisHumphrey
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