Career Planning Workshop

'Take Charge of Your Research Career'

Who will benefit?

Participants: Research careers are sought-after and increasingly competitive. It has never been more important for early career researchers to be strategic about career moves, develop effective networks and master the right skills to get into their careers of choice.

This workshop is for you if you are an early career researcher in any discipline wanting to be proactive about your job prospects, looking for practical ways to structure your progress and succeed in your preferred career - in academia or beyond.

Institutions: Career planning is an essential skill for early career researchers in today's highly competitive environment, but one that is rarely taught. This workshop provides strategies and tools to help research staff be more proactive about their own career development, lift levels of motivation and increase job satisfaction.

The workshop is also designed as a ready platform for creating peer mentoring groups within host organisations, if required.

What is covered?

This 1-day workshop delivers:

Plan for success, in any research discipline

confident female postdoc

Take charge of your research career

  • tools to help you develop a career plan tailored to your strengths and preferences;
  • a personal roadmap for the career path that will work best for you;
  • analysis of your current network of contacts and how to expand it to benefit your career;
  • practical advice on marketing yourself and your skills;
  • strategies for developing transferrable skills suited to a career in, or outside, academia.
PostdocTraining workshop at RMIT, photo courtesy of Reza Mohammed

'Take Charge of Your Career' workshop at RMIT University

To view and download a sample schedule for the workshop click the button below

About the facilitator - Dr Kerstin Fritsches

Kerstin is a former research fellow in neuroscience with 12 years of first-hand experience of the challenges faced by early career researchers and a strong track record in postdoc affairs and career development. A lack of effective career training for PhDs led Kerstin to found PostdocTraining in 2011, to bridge a gap in professional development by delivering support tailored specifically for early career researchers.

What participants in Australia and Europe have said:

“I learned a lot and changed my outlook on my career. Kerstin was extremely professional, showed expert knowledge, covered lots of areas and always kept to time. Great balance of slides, own work and group work”

"Very useful day which gave me some new ideas on how to plan my way forward. Also was a good refresher on things I knew such as publish as much as possible. Was clear and easy to follow with good mix of activities and listening. I now have a long list of things to do!"

“I liked all the different tools that you gave us, examples of that we can use to find our career path. The brainstorming activities in groups and opportunities to talk to others was great.”

“Very practical advice! Lots of time for discussion; focusses you to set goals and time frames.”

“Great ideas and recommendations how to better structure different possibilities to find future directions / jobs. I know more than ever what I do not want, which helps me to find what I want (anchors). [Realised] that I have quite a broad range of skills and expertise - confidence! Thanks for a great workshop.”

“Today was a real motivation to start investigating my options and most importantly, my wishes. I think all postdocs could benefit from a day like this.”

“Just what I needed - a day of guided thought + reflection on the choices available to me in my career. Helped me realise the positive things in my job, and that I can change many of the negative ones by taking some charge (empty complaints did not help - this did). Thanks!”

“This is a broad introduction to concepts of career path management that meant I could apply the concepts in my own mind to a ‘continue in research’ scenario or a ‘on that other path’ scenario. [Career] mapping was super useful.”

“I expected to get the background info, which was good and informative - but what I found extra helpful were the exercises where you had to apply the new info and how it applied to yourself. Then discussing it was very helpful. [...] I will use the points I have ‘discovered’ about myself from today and include it for my next fellowship application.”

“A really useful workshop which I will definitely recommend to my peers! Thanks Kerstin for a great day.”

To find out more or to book a workshop for your institution, please click on the 'contact us' button below

Frequently asked questions:

1. Will the workshop be useful for my particular situation?

The aim of the workshop is to help you clarify what you really want out of your career (based on your strengths and preferences) then identify concrete steps you need to take to get where you want to be. You may have clear ideas about your path within or outside academia, or you may be unsure, looking for a 'plan B'. Whatever your situation, the workshop will help you clarify your ideas and approach. The aim is for you to walk away with a concrete plan of the next steps you will take.

The day will be very interactive and you'll apply the tools and techniques we discuss directly to your own situation. You'll meet peers in a similar position to you and the resulting group discussions generate plenty of issues, ideas and solutions.

We'll also introduce the 'must-do' items in relation to networking and marketing yourself, and developing transferrable skills. If you are looking for a day dedicated to creating your career plan and learning how to put it into practice, this workshop is for you.

2. Is the workshop tailored to particular audiences?

Participants in this workshop often come from different faculties and are at various stages of their career. The workshop is designed to provide ample time for facilitated work, individually and in groups, so you have the opportunity to apply the strategies and tools to your own situation and exchange ideas with other workshop participants.

You will have the opportunity to complete a short participant survey before the workshop so we can tailor the workshop content and focus discussion time on specific issues you want to pursue.

3. Is the workshop fee tax deductible?

In many countries the fee may be deductible (for example under 'other work-related expenses') given that this involves training designed to improve your career prospects. This is not always the case, however, and you should seek advice based on your own country's tax arrangements.