Recovering Academic Podcast

Recovering Academic

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Episode 03: Turning the CV into the Dreaded Resume
Turning your CV into a resume feels daunting—and maybe even impossible. How do you condense a several page document into a one page resume? How do you make the change without cutting important information? And, possibly most difficult of all, how do you convert your academic accomplishments into ones that are quantifiable and meaningful outside of academia? In this episode, we discuss how we changed our CV into a resume, including how we quantified papers. We also talk about the importance of establishing a “yay me!” file, why self-promotion is ok (even if it feels strange), and that sometimes hiring a professional is the way to go. Links discussed in the show: Melissa Dalgleish, Professional CV to Resume Writer Heidi Scott Guisto, Owner of Career Path Writing Solutions    
Season 02 Episode 08: Burnout and Transition
In this week’s episode, we’re discussing burnout and transitioning. We all think that once we’ve made our decision that all our problems will be solved. We’ll take all that energy we spent on fretting over leaving and put it into side projects. But it seems like it rarely works out that way… Managing Your Energy Even if you don’t move locations (like Doctor_PMS and Amanda), you still have to adjust to your new situation. If you move (like Ian), then you have this extra layer of fatigue on top of adapting to a new job. Even just getting used to sitting in front of a computer all day can be exhausting. – @IHStreet You have decisions to make about prioritizing your work, learning about a new job, and finding out where to find the best coffee in a new city! If you work from home, then that can present another set of issues. From Doctor_PMS who dealt with distractions to Amanda who didn’t have enough distractions, you have to work on enforcing limits. I had a hard time enforcing boundaries. Because there’s always work to be done. – @LadyScientist Under Pressure Academia tells us to always be hustling—always working. If we’re not working, then we’re lazy. Oh, and, if you’re not perfect from Day 1, then you are letting yourself and everyone down. This isn’t true! Be kind to yourself. No matter how qualified you are for a new job, you are still learning. You’re still new there. I do better when I work for a bit and take a break. When I come back to it, I’m better. – @Doctor_PMS Mentioned in This Episode The Quiet Branches – Ian’s science writing Science Reverie – Cleyde’s personal blog about her experiences Busyness as a badge of honor – A good article about how busyness can affect your life and why we should stop Busyness and creativity – A good article about why being busy isn’t always helpful.
Season 2 Episode 03: Interview with Doctor_PMS
In this week’s episode, Ian and Amanda interview Cleyde to get the in-depth story of her experience as a recovering academic. Cleyde’s Advice: Have a Plan Photo by: Steven Johnson Cleyde talks about her reasons for leaving academia, including her relationship with academia. She also talks about what her goals are for her career. We also briefly discuss if it’s possible to control your productivity—that is to avoid having 100 publications in one year and only one the next. Cleyde also brings up a very important point about how your job needs to fit your personality and how your work environment can affect you. Her best advice? Have a plan before leaving if you can. If you know that you want to leave academia (or are even just considering the possibility), start planning as soon as you can. This allows you to find out all the options (there are a lot!) for PhDs and former academics. Mentioned in This Episode The Year Of Albert Einstein: His discoveries in 1905 would forever change our understanding of the universe. Amid the centennial hoopla, the trick is to separate the man from the math Zadra, Dan. 5: Where Will You Be Five Years from Today?  2009. Compendium, Inc.  Diversity Journal Club. The premise of this journal club is to discuss articles and blog posts about Diversity in academia. We choose the paper on Mondays and the discussion happens on Mondays at 2pm EST, every other week, under #DiversityJC.   
Season 2: Trailer
We’re coming back for Season 2 on August 22nd! Curious about what this means for our podcast? Listen to our Season 2 trailer and find out!
Pilot: Starting Recovery
Leaving academia in many fields, scientific and otherwise, is the ultimate taboo. In journal clubs, seminars, and laboratories, jokes are made that scientists who left academia for industry or other jobs have turned to the Dark Side. A certain attitude persists that science is a noble calling, an avocation, that a trainee should pursue with a single-mindedness. “Academia is sticky. It’s heavy. It’s got lot of gravity. …I know people make it out.” –@IHStreet But what happens if you decide that academia isn’t for you? Or if, despite your best efforts, your academic dreams aren’t realized? Suddenly, you’re left without mentors, without a community. We started this podcast to create a community for recovering academics. We will discuss the issues we encounter, the insights that we stumble upon, and topics that you suggest. Remember: there is sunshine outside the ivory tower.
Episode 10: Asking for Help
Birds networking. Photo by Ian Street. In this episode, we discuss asking for help. There comes a time in the transition process where you may want (or need!) someone’s assistance. This comes in many forms: talking to friends, reaching out to your network, finding a career/life coach. We talk about what a career/life coach is (and isn’t), tips on how to find one, and why you might want to talk to a coach. We also assert that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help! Don’t be afraid to ask for help because you will be surprised of how people are willing to help you. -@Doctor_PMS Links for this episode: Reading Rainbow One Hundred Years of Solitude (Family Tree) Workflowy Career/Life Coaches: From PhD to Life (Jen Polk) Lilli Research Group (Maren Wood) Entropia Consulting (Dr. Marquita Qualls)  
Episode 14: Are You Still a Scientist?
In this episode, we discuss the elephant in the room: Are you still a scientist after you leave academia? After spending a decade or more identifying as a scientist, deciding to leave may academia may be mean more than abandoning a culture—it may mean losing your identity. Many factors come into play with deciding who is (and who isn’t) a scientist. Join us as we explore what it means to be a scientist.   Mentioned in this episode: Lenny Teytelman’s post: If you’re no longer doing science, are you still a scientist?
Episode 04: Unique Transferable Skills
In this episode, we discuss unique skills that we gained in academia. When looking to leave academia, you might think, “What do I know outside of pipetting?” …Just for example. As it turns out, working in academia we gain a lot of unique skills. For example, you can prioritize. You’ve spent years deciding what to do first—what to do to get you closer to your goal of publishing that paper or getting that grant. Also, highly-motivated and self-directed aren’t just buzz words in academia—they’re highly sought after characteristics in other industries. And by virtue of being in academia, you’re both of those words. There are many more examples of transferrable skills that you’ve learned during your time in academia. What makes these transferrable skills hard to see? Why do we hesitate to put these skills on our resume or CV? We discuss a bit about getting out of our own way and sharing these on a CV/resume.  
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.
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    
Episode 01: Reasons
In this episode, we discuss the reasons why we transitioned, or are transitioning, from academia. Our reasons for leaving varied, and sometimes overlapped, but we all made the same decision: leave academia. Looking at your own reasons and seeing them add up to the same decision can be a bit intimidating. We each experienced, or are experiencing, that same fear of the unknown. Taking that leap of faith in ourselves required a lot of debate (both internal and with others). We hope through sharing these reasons with you that we can normalize the experience. Because you’re not alone. We’ve walked that same path and made it out to the light on the other side.
Season 02 Episode 06: Interview with Jennifer Polk
In today’s episode, we talk with Jennifer Polk of PhD to Life. She’s a life coach and entrepreneur and has a PhD in History. Everyone Feels This Way Sometimes We ask Jen about her transition out of academia and into entrepreneur life. She shares with us the high and low points of her transition—and how many of her clients feel (or felt) the same. She discusses her many business ventures. In addition to life coaching in her PhD to Life business, she also runs Self-Employed PhD (a community for other PhD entrepreneurs) and Beyond the Professoriate (a community that she runs with her business partner, Maren Woods, that focuses on professional development for alternative careers).   Mentioned in This Episode From PhD to Life – Jen’s life coaching business Self-Employed PhD – Community for Self-Employed PhDs (full time or part time!) Beyond the Professoriate Community – Community that focuses on professional development for alternative careers S1E10: Asking For Help – Recovering Academic episode where we discuss getting help from career coach (or others) to navigate your new career path.
Season 02 Episode 05: Identifying skills
You always hear about transferable skills—and how PhDs have them. But how do you identify them? How do you know what skills to develop? In this episode, we discuss how you can identify them and how to develop them. What’s Your Super Power? All of us have a tendency to discount things that we find easy. Is it easy for you to pick out grammatical errors? Is it easy for you to develop your own voice in writing? Is it easy for you to connect with anyone? All of those (and many more!) are skills that are transferable. Also, skills are environment dependent. Skills that you may have developed outside of your current career might be applicable in your next career.   Mentioned in This Episode* The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn: Ira Glass – Discussion of identifying skills Synesthesia – Super powers The Greatest General Ever – You have to be in the proper setting to fully use your skills. Do you know what’s your dream job? Try the Flower Exercise! – Doctor PMS’s blog about the Flower Exercise What Color is Your Parachute? – Book about identifying your skills and what career would suit you So Good They Can’t Ignore You – The opposite approach to the above book * I couldn’t find the twitter thread where someone was translating academic skills to resume speak/transferrable skills. If anyone has the link, please send it to us! (Comment here or send us a tweet @RecoveringAcad)
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: Grant rejection tweet: Brain pickings assay: The Sunk Cost Fallacy: Blog Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured): TV show Quantum Leap: The Worst Songs Of All Time? Video of us dancing:
Episode 09: Productivity Through the Transition
Making the transition requires you to take on extra work. Work in the form of side work (a new side hustle), informational interviews, going to conferences in your new field, attending workshops, making different versions of your resume, and so on. How do you stay productive during this time? How do you stay on track? In this episode we discuss our difficulties with staying productive (you’re not alone!) and the tricks we’ve figured out along the way.   Discussed in this episode: Slap Productivity
Episode 12: Overcoming the Fear of Failure
Courtesy of @BWJones Getting over the fear of failure. As academics, we are inherently perfectionists. There’s nothing like applying for jobs to bring out those tendencies. In this episode, we discuss our fear of failure, what causes it, and how we got over our fear. And Ian makes us laugh hysterically over an extended metaphor.     Even if it’s n=1… you still have to do the experiments with your life. –@IHStreet Mentioned in this episode: Dunning-Kruger Effect Dealing with Impostor Syndrome The Expanse (TV Show)
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
Episode 08: Is LinkedIn Worth it?
What’s so great about LinkedIn? In this episode, we discuss our thoughts about LinkedIn. We all know about it as the professional networking site. It has its upsides (at least two of us have received jobs) and its downsides (the somewhat clunky user interface). So, how do we use it? Why do we use it? What could you use instead of it?   Also mentioned: Scicurious (also known as Bethany Brookshire) wrote about LinkedIn as how you keep in touch with all the people who you don’t want to friend on Facebook. We also discuss other social networking sites: Trellis Science (You can also join the Recovering Academic Podcast group when you register.) ResearchGate Plantae: The Digital Ecosystem for Plant Science Our LinkedIn profiles: Amanda Cleyde Ian Another Use for LinkedIn (Addendum)
Season 4: ep 02: Dr. Emily Roberts
Dr. Emily Roberts. Photo source: 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
Season 2 Episode 01: Interview with Hello PhD
We’re back! This season, we will interview academics and recovering academics. We’re starting this season off with interviewing the hosts of Hello PhD, Joshua Hall and Daniel Arneman. Hello PhD  and the Recovering Academic share a common desire to talk about what no one talks about during your science training. We both hope that by talking about these issues out loud that people who feel isolated realize that they’re not alone. When in Rome… To make our guests feel at home, we brought the Hello PhD tradition of reviewing a beer on air to our podcast. We had to find a beer that was available in four different cities in three different states. The Ballast Point Brewing Company Unfiltered Sculpin’ Extra Hopped IPA (limited edition!) was up to that challenge. It’s definitely hoppy, but delicious. It also had a sextant on the label, which was appropriate for our conversation. How do you know when to break up with academia? We invited Josh and Dan to talk on our podcast after Cleyde heard Episode 75: When Research Sucks. She asked (made) Amanda and Ian listen to the same episode. We all started thinking about how do you know when your research just sucks right now or if it’s a sign that you should leave academia? How do you deal with the emotional aspects of leaving academia? Dara Wilson-Grant answers in Episode 27 of Hello PhD. Academia can still be the right match for you. One way to tell? If you still have the enthusiasm. To hear what that sounds like, the Tap Root podcast has a great example with Siobhan Braybrook. Sometimes your career path isn’t a straight forward exercise. Sometimes it’s more wayfinding than map-orienting.    
Season 2 Episode 04: Interview with Ian
This week we interview (interrogate?) Ian about his recent transition outside of academia. The Many Hats that Ian Wears… Ian shares his venture outside of academia in which he fills a bunch of roles. His current day job is a lab manager with a company that specializes in helping scientists procure lab reagents and equipment. This might seem like an unusual job for an introvert, like Ian, but he explains how it actually can suit him. He also writes for his science blog, other websites, and a magazine. On top of that, he is a volunteer associate editor for the POSTDOCket, the monthly newsletter for the National Postdoctoral Association. During his interview, Ian talks about the ups and downs of his transition _and_ if he’s happier now. Mentioned in This Episode Workflowy – A bullet point-based to-do web app The Quiet Branches – Ian’s Science Blog (we encourage everyone to check it out!) The Postdoc Path: Understanding the Value of a Postdoc Before You Commit – Article by Ian Street and Irina Tiper POSTDOCket: Newsletter of the NPA
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: Papyrus – SNL: Season 02 Episode 09: Reflections and Resolutions:
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.
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.
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.
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Podcast Details
Aug 23rd, 2016
Latest Episode
Nov 18th, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
34 minutes

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