Show cover of The Work Seminar

The Work Seminar

The Work Seminar is the podcast for people with liberal arts advanced degrees considering work outside their fields of study. Join me for unscripted conversations with MAs, MFAs, PhDs, and the like who made the leap to adjacent or (seemingly) unrelated work after grad school. You'll hear about life's unexpected turns, what guests have learned along the way, their thoughts and advice for finding enjoyable work, and work's role in their lives.

Tracks

Ep. 37: Season Three is in the Books
And once again, a semester of The Work Seminar comes to an end. We’ll return with Season 4 after the break. In the meantime, here’s hoping you’ve learned as much from these conversations as we have. See you back here in 2023. Don’t be a stranger in between seasonsSend your questions, thoughts on the show, and guest suggestions to jesse@theworkseminar.com. Wanna leave us a tip? Treat us to a virtual coffee on our Ko-fi page. Check out our BookShop.org store for the books mentioned in all our episodes.Check out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter.Support the show
02:19 10/19/22
Ep. 36: Finding a Career Outside Your Academic Discipline w/ Author and PhD Zakiya Akerele
Zakiya's debut book Dump Your Degree is a practical guide for thinking beyond academic credentials as you pursue a new career. And she’s followed her own advice, transitioning from the professoriate (with a PhD in religious education) to full-time author.We delve into her methodology through a step-by-step example of:considering different work after or during grad schoolreflecting on and discovering your natural interests, unique talents, and in-depth knowledgetranslating these abilities into relevant full-time, freelance, and self-employment roles networking and creating content to highlight your expertise and create your own opportunitiesLike many guests have said before, it’s always easier to update your résumé and indiscriminately apply to jobs. But the success rate and job satisfaction of Zakiya’s playbook is much higher, particularly for the liberal arts crowd.    Where to find Zakiya and her bookDump Your Degree by Zakiya Akerele ZakiyaAkerele.comZakiya on TikTok, Instagram, and FacebookCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
34:41 10/12/22
Ep. 35: Judith Lagrou - M.Ed. in Higher Education Turned Investment Banking Strategist
Judith finished grad school with a passion for increasing student retention. As she spent more time — and moved up the ladder — in higher ed administration, she became equally committed to expanding access.And she did, indeed, make retention and access top priorities in positions across student affairs, development, and international education. But what appeared to be a perfect career progression on paper was not in practice. That’s when Judith, for the first time, looked beyond the ivory tower for work. Within a few years in finance, she had the opportunity to transfer to investment banking, where she now relishes the quick pace of change and ability to solve complex problems. Had she not taken the time to question what she valued in her work, Judith may have never considered if careers outside of higher ed could be a better fit.Books & other resources mentionedWhat Should I Do with My Life? by Po BronsonThe Four Tendencies by Gretchen RubinLife map resourcesCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
38:24 10/5/22
Ep. 34: Austin L. Church - MA in English Turned Brand Strategist and Business Coach
A self-branded writer/poet, Austin relished the opportunity to hone his creative skills in grad school. And he was open to divergent work after graduation.Just as he found his footing as a copywriter and social media strategist at a small marketing agency, the Great Recession reared its head, ending his gig six months after he started. And that marked Austin’s last full-time job.  The freelancing he began during a rough economy morphed into entrepreneurship.  Now Austin splits his time between writing, consulting, and building Freelance Cake, where he passes along the lessons he’s learned to land better clients (more pay, less drama) and strategic marketing projects. His time in grad school — particularly those poetry workshops — instilled a love for the economy of words, which he’s reflected in his copywriting and content ever since. **Please forgive my poor audio. A couple technical difficulties popped up that I’ve hammered out for future episodes.”** Books mentionedLet Your Life Speak by Parker J. PalmerGive and Take by Adam GrantRange by David Epstein Where to find Austin & Freelance CakeAustin on LinkedIn and TwitterAustinLChurch.com FreelanceCake.com Check out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
41:47 9/28/22
Ep. 33: Jackie Sanders - MA in Material Culture & Public Humanities Turned Digital Marketer & Visual Arts Entrepreneur
Jackie held down six (six!) part-time jobs after grad school. But a couple years into her first full-time gig, her art and career hit a lull. That’s when she started devoting her commute time to learning everything she could about digital marketing. In relatively short order, she secured a full-time marketing position at a small agency. And she started focusing on her art in the early mornings, soon joining a shared studio space where she could better create and showcase her abstract and geometric art.Now she helps fellow artists hone their craft and balance their practice with the Level Up Artists podcast and her online course, all while flourishing as a marketer. By focusing on processes she could incorporate into her life — and not abiding by the unwritten rules of how artists and scholars should live and work — Jackie has found a day job that informs her artwork, and vice versa.Book mentionedThe 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss Where to find Jackie, Level Up Artists, & Jackie’s art workJaclynSanders.com and Jackie on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and FacebookLevel Up Artists podcastCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
42:13 9/21/22
Ep. 32: Jesan Sorrells - MA in Conflict Resolution Turned Entrepreneur & CEO
Jesan pivoted from student affairs leadership to entrepreneurship in a novel fashion: He started with revisiting his grad school curriculum. After combing through the syllabi from his master’s program, Jesan thought, “I could take that topic and turn it into a product.” And so he did, marketing his conflict resolution and reconciliation skills to business audiences willing to pay for them.From his early solopreneur days of consulting and speaking engagements to founding HSCT Publishing, creating training programs, writing books, and hosting podcasts, Jesan centers his businesses on the idea of intentional leadership. And it’s in no small part thanks to capitalizing on his MA work, adjuncting, and previous career in higher ed. Jesan’s books & podcast12 Rules for Leaders: The Foundation of Intentional LeadershipMy Boss Doesn't Care: 100 Essays on Disrupting Your Work By Disrupting Your BossMarketing for Peace Builders: How to Market Your Value to a World in ConflictLeadership Lessons from the Great Books podcastWhere to find Jesan & HSCT PublishingJesan on LinkedIn, Facebook, and InstagramHSCT’s website and HSCT LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram profilesThe Leadership Toolbox websiteThe Leading Keys platformCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
45:07 9/14/22
Ep. 31: Tory Wobber - PhD in Human Evolutionary Biology turned Career Coach
A future of intellectual exploration and research drew Tory to grad school. But two seasons of an unfruitful tenure-track search prompted her to question what she wanted out of work — and where she wanted to do it.After 40 or 50 informational interviews with anyone willing to chat about their careers, Tory landed a data science role in Silicon Valley. She soon discovered a passion for coaching as she mentored her employees.In May 2020, she founded Academic Exit to help social science PhDs succeed in the tech industry. Now she focuses on what she enjoyed most from her time at Meta (Facebook) and Google with the independence she missed from her academic days.And her  willingness to explore what she truly wanted out of a job and to untangle her academic achievements from her work — and overall — identity made all the difference.Where to find Tory & her workTory (Academic Exit) on GumroadTory on Twitter and LinkedInCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
40:48 9/7/22
Ep. 30: That's a Wrap on Season Two
And once again, we’ve reached a temporary end.After a little rest, The Work Seminar will return with Season 3. In the meantime, here’s hoping you’ve learned as much from these conversations as we have. See you back here this fall. Don’t be a stranger in between seasonsSign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to find out first when Season 3 drops.Check out our BookShop.org store for all the books mentioned in our first two seasons.Send your questions, thoughts on the show, and guest suggestions to jesse@theworkseminar.com. Check out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Support the show
02:22 7/27/22
Ep. 29: Balancing a Career & Creative Pursuits w/ Animal Advocate & Musician Jon Camp
Jon taught guitar lessons — including to, once upon a mid/late 90s time, yours truly — while finishing his liberal arts degree. Not long after graduation, his passion for animal rights drew him to leave teaching music for advocacy, and he’s worked full-time in the field ever since. In his first 10 years of advocacy work, Jon played guitar and wrote tunes on the side, telling himself one day he’d take music more seriously. Then in 2012, a severe case of Lyme disease landed him in the ICU for over a week. After that reminder of life’s finite nature, Jon’s priorities shifted. He incorporated playing and writing music into his daily routine, booked time in a studio, and released his first album in 2014. Since then he’s toured across the US, released three more albums, and made music a non-negotiable part of life. All while still devoting his 9-to-5 life to improving the treatment of animals. Today, Jon’s been kind enough to walk us through the logistics and rewards of balancing a significant creative pursuit with a cause you love. And yes, there are plenty of sacrifices along the way. But in Jon’s experience, those concessions are a small price to pay for passion in your work and your art.Resources mentioned“How to be a Musician with a Day Job” and “How to Balance Full-time Work with Creative Projects” by Jeffery SilversteinWhere to find Jon, his music, and his advocacy workJon on BandcampJon on SpotifyJon the Musician on Instagram and TwitterJon the Animal Advocate on TwitterThe Humane LeagueJon’s induction into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame Check out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
38:10 7/20/22
Ep. 28: Pivoting to a Technical Career w/ QA Leader Amie Klager
Amie studied fine arts with no intention of working professionally in the field. She took office jobs during college, and shortly after graduating parlayed that experience into a full-time job for a clinical research company. Without a technical background, she was moved to the company’s quality team. And she’s flourished in that discipline ever since.Amie graciously walks us through the ins and outs of moving to a technical career without the “proper” background or education. She dives into:The liberal arts skills to double down on and emphasize.Entry-level jobs that can act as a pipeline to technical jobs.What hiring managers want to hear — and see — from “nontraditional candidates.” A liberal arts disposition doesn’t preclude technical aptitude or interest. And with Amie’s insights, you can better convince a hiring manager of that fact. Where to find Amie Amie on LinkedInCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
28:18 7/13/22
Ep. 27: The Realities of Self-Employment w/ Entrepreneur Brian Bohley
Before Brian hired employees to support his three businesses, he was a solo practitioner in the payroll and financial services space for six years. And in today’s bonus episode, we’re tapping into Brian’s 10+ years of experience helping self-employed clients get off the ground. Brian dives into the realities of starting your own business, including: How to prepare for entrepreneurship before making the leap.Passion vs. practicality in starting a business.The extra work that self-employment demands.How to register a business name and weigh the pros and cons of different business entities (namely a sole proprietorship or an LLC — don’t worry, we explain each).What additional taxes and liabilities you may face, and how to pay yourself.How to bring on extra help if business is booming, and whether those workers are contractors or employees. ***And just to be on the safe side … This episode does not contain or constitute legal advice. You should really contact a CPA or business attorney if you want advice about your (aspirational or realized) business.*** Resources mentioned1871 Where to find Brian & his businessesBrian on LinkedInInFocusPayroll.comGoodBookin.comBrian @ InFocusPayroll.comCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
28:54 7/6/22
Ep. 26: Laura Stef-Praun - PhD in Literature Turned Content Marketing Strategist
Laura’s multipotentialite mother inspired so much in her life: a love of learning, culture, language, and academic achievement. But a few years into her PhD in Victorian literature, Laura doubted that a tenured professorship was within reach. Or that it was the lifestyle she wanted. Thanks to intensive soul-searching and working with a coach, she gained clarity into potential careers, finished her dissertation earlier than the bulk of her cohort, and began her transition to marketing.Between working for a small nonprofit, a large professional services firm, and a few other employers, Laura has become a well-regarded content marketing strategist and ghostwriter for executives. When the pandemic hit, Laura struck out on her own for more flexibility, including time to augment her daughters’ online learning. Laura’s future includes big plans for building a content marketing agency, working abroad for five or six years in Europe, and writing a novel. All ambitions her mother — her mentor — would surely be proud of.Laura’s recommended books for a career switchMindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from The Second City by Kelly Leonard & Tom YortonMade to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan HeathSecrets to Winning at Office Politics by Marie G. McIntyre Workplace Poker: Are You Playing the Game, or Just Getting Played? by Dan Rust The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It by John Tierney and Roy F. BaumeisterH3 leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle by Brad Lomenick and Mark Burnett Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan CainLaura’s recommended content marketing resourcesContent Marketing Institute Content Marketing Profs LinkedIn Learning Content Marketing CoursesOther resources mentionedThe Versatile PhDMentorCoachWhere to find Laura & Sharp StorylinesLaura on LinkedInCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
52:56 6/29/22
Ep. 25: Megan Sauter - PhD in Cognitive Psychology Turned Talent Development Leader
Halfway through her doctoral program, Megan knew pursuing a professorship wasn’t the right path. She loved her studies, but seeing how her work could be applied in industry cemented her decision to look outside higher ed for career prospects.Enlightening conversations with friends and colleagues in the tech scene led Megan to discover the then-nascent user experience (UX) field. One particular chat crystalized UX research as the perfect area for her to focus on. And focus there she did. After nine years in UX research and research management roles, Megan was as (initially) surprised as anyone to move into talent development. But her belief in a growth mindset, her evolving identity beyond a UX and psychology practitioner, and an opportunity to stretch herself all aligned. Now Megan relishes helping fellow leaders develop their skills and teams, along with finding a sense of accomplishment and balance. Books & other resources mentionedMindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol DweckJoinLearners.com  — a UX career resourceThe Calm App or Headspace for starting a mindfulness practiceCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
38:56 6/22/22
Ep. 24: Joe Pulizzi - MA in Rhetoric Turned Content Marketing Leader & Serial Entrepreneur
Before Joe founded and sold Content Marketing Institute, wrote six books, and returned to entrepreneurship with The Tilt, he exemplified the liberal arts stereotype: a master’s in hand and uncertainty ahead.  After earning his MA, Joe decided against a PhD and opted instead to find work in internal communications. But that plan hit a snag when hiring managers balked at his lack of experience. He turned to temping, and six months later landed a full-time role that blossomed into a career in marketing and communications. Joe’s known for positive attitude, lifelong learning, and commitment to goal setting (and achievement). Those traits helped him reach a VP spot in the media industry and then pivot to build two successful, education-focused companies.  And, of course, Joe’s grad school days spent mastering the art of ethical persuasion, coupled with exploring his passions and strengths while a student, played no small role in his career achievements. Joe’s Books & Other Resources The Will to Die, Joe’s debut mystery and thriller novelContent Inc. Epic Content MarketingKilling Marketing, co-written with Robert Rose Content Inc. podcastThis Old Marketing podcast with co-host Robert RoseWhere to find Joe & The Tilt@JoePulizzi on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook  thetilt.comCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
43:39 6/15/22
Ep. 23: Dr. Chris Brooks - ThD Turned Impact Investor
Dr. Chris Brooks was in the thick of his dissertation when he co-founded Brown Venture Group, a venture capital firm exclusively for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous technology startups. On top of that, he worked a full-time job and took his commitments as a spouse and father of four seriously. But what sounds like extreme sacrifice to us was “being obedient to my calling” to Chris. And that calling? Creating a new case for human flourishing in communities of color. Chris believes venture capital can move marginalized groups out of poverty and into living wage jobs, making that human flourishing possible. Christian theology — particularly Eastern-rooted theology — and economics are, to Chris, intertwined and inextricable. His doctorate and lifelong study of theology are indispensable to his entrepreneurship and devotion to economic justice. Books & other resources mentionedUnsettling Truths by Mark Charles and Soong-Chan RahThe Mystery of Capital by Hernando de SotoBlack History for White People podcastWhere to find Dr. Brooks and Brown Venture GroupDr. Brooks on LinkedInBrown Venture Group website, LinkedIn, Twitter, and FacebookCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
39:00 6/8/22
Ep. 22: Heather Dileepan - MA in Writing & Publishing Turned Conversion Copywriter
Boredom at her job, coupled with aspirations to become the next Maxwell Perkins, inspired Heather to enroll in an MA in writing and publishing program. While she spent time in educational publishing during grad school, a move to the West Coast after graduation meant fewer employers in her field of choice — and field of study. In short order, Heather landed at Amazon, which serendipitously served as her intro to marketing. She soon discovered that the discipline offered the creative outlet and variety she craved in a career. Over the years, Heather’s explored different aspects of marketing and found her niche in web copywriting, the persuasive content that encourages readers to take some form of action. In 2019, she struck out on her own to found HD Copywriting. Now Heather imbues her work with the skills she honed in those writing workshops and courses. And she’s revisiting her Perkins ambitions as she regularly chips away at her debut novel. Freelancing resources mentionedCreative Class podcastBeing Freelance podcast Copywriting resources mentioned The Copywriter ClubCopyhackers and Joanna WeibeCopy School, a Copyhackers courseWhere to find Heather and HD CopywritingHDcopywriting.com@HDCopywriter on InstagramCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
36:06 6/1/22
Ep. 21: Jonathan Kranz - MFA in Creative Writing Turned Marketing Writer and Trainer
Jonathan’s pursuit of an MFA was “totally mercenary.” After making little headway in his career or with his oil paintings post college, he realized his penchant for writing could be lucrative (and creative). Several years later, with his master’s finished, Jonathan was at a work party when his boss made an offhand remark that sparked another epiphany: If he kept working for others, he’d likely never get a larger piece of the proverbial pie. Within a few months, Kranz Communications was born.The early years demanded learning the ins and outs of copywriting, networking, and marketing his own business while taking whatever work he could get — and often at low rates. But his tenacity paid off. Jonathan’s income tripled between his first and second year solo. And he has earned a solid reputation in his space, landing big-name accounts, speaking at marketing events, and leading workshops at conferences and for clients. Twenty-five years on, the deliverables and technology have changed. But Jonathan’s preference for charting his own path has remained.Books & other resources mentionedTested Advertising Methods by John CaplesOgilvy on Advertising by David OgilvyUgly Things Magazine Where to find Jonathan’s content and creative worksKranz Communications websiteWriting Copies for Dummies by Jonathan KranzOur Brothers at the Bottom of the Bottom of the Sea (YA novel) by Jonathan KranzCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
43:37 5/25/22
Ep. 20: David Brown - MA in Religion Turned Software Development Manager
A self-described “case study in never deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up,” David found himself working in counseling before and after completing his MA in religion. It wasn’t the right fit, but at the time, he couldn’t quite articulate the underlying reasons why. Then four years after grad school, his career moved in mysterious ways. The state changed its professional licensure requirements for counseling, meaning David could either pursue a second master’s in a field that he had no passion for or look elsewhere for employment. Instead of starting with what existing skills he could transfer to a new job, he contemplated where an introvert like him could flourish. A little freelancing and a web development certification later, he began a career in software development that has grown into management. Had David not put in the work of self-discovery that culminated in an introversion epiphany, he might not have found a career that suits his personality and strengths.Books & other resources mentionedQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan CainWhere to find David’s freelance and non-work writingDavid’s Freelance PortfolioUnobtrusive Lucidity — David’s thoughts on faith, art, and cultureCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
36:28 5/18/22
Ep. 19: Amanda Kass - MA in Geography & PhD in Urban Planning & Policy Turned Public Finance Analyst
Amanda’s passion for public finance harkens back to her undergrad days. Yet before grad school, she had never intended to pursue applied public policy work. Her interest in social theory and the effects of capitalism in international aid and development led her to pursue an MA in geography. After finishing her thesis on post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in Haiti, she landed a job researching Illinois’ public pension systems.Soon, she was neck deep in public finance questions reminiscent of her scholarship. Reveling in that work led Amanda to reconsider her future career. And when she discovered that University of Illinois at Chicago’s PhD in urban planning and policy program included faculty with geography and public finance experience, she found her doctoral calling. Now her work at UIC’s Government Finance Research Center continues the thread of helping people understand where their money goes—and how it’s being used. Had Amanda not been open to a job in applied policy, she might never have found industry work she loves. Note: Apologies in advance to listeners without strong Illinois or Chicago ties. We delve into the weeds a bit — just a bit — of Land of Lincoln and Windy City taxes and finances. But to the locals: Enjoy! Resources mentionedAmanda and Daniel Kay Hertz’s TIF ExplainerHow I Built This podcastWhere to find Amanda and the Government Finance Research CenterAmandaKass.blogAmanda on TwitterUIC’s Government Finance Research CenterCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
42:10 5/11/22
Ep. 18: Anthony Shenoda - PhD in Social Anthropology Turned UX Researcher
Anthony had every intention to work as a professional anthropologist. But after finishing his PhD and teaching for a few years, that desire changed. His decision to leave higher ed led to a different higher calling: joining the priesthood of the Coptic Church. Once again, Anthony thought he’d found meaningful work he couldn’t imagine leaving. But three years after his ordination, serving in the Coptic Church turned out not to be a long-term calling. After two previous career “certainties,” Anthony doesn’t approach UX research the way he did academia or the priesthood. Now, work is work. UX doesn’t have to bring meaning and fulfillment into his life. He’s, quite happily, found other ways to achieve that.Book mentionedThread of Blood: Colonialism, Revolution, and Gender on Mexico's Northern Frontier by Ana María AlonsoCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
46:00 5/4/22
Ep. 17: Mathew Brundage - PhD in History Turned Academic Test Developer
Job “ins” come in mysterious ways. For Mathew, it was teaching English in Shenzhen between his master’s and doctorate in history. Seven years later, that teaching abroad stint qualified him for a contract role writing ESL tests. And then, as Mathew puts it, the stars aligned. A full-time test developer in the history department left the company. Within three weeks of that colleague’s departure, Mathew landed a full-time test development role in his academic discipline.Of course, the ESL experience is a fraction of the story.If it weren’t for networking and stating his intentions to work outside of academia, Mathew never would have received the tip about the ESL test development gig. And it’s anyone’s guess how things would have panned out had he not been willing to relocate when his partner, now husband, landed a new job.A circuitous route can, indeed, be the path to enjoyable work. Books & other resources mentionedAlison Green’s Ask a Manager blogCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
40:15 4/27/22
Ep. 16: Jen Crichlow - MA in Arts Administration Turned Software Startup Leader
For Jen Crichlow, art and technology are inseparable.Her involvement at arts festivals of all stripes revealed the digital divide that affects everything from event management to the preservation of culture. So she enrolled in grad school to explore how tech inequity disproportionately affects underrepresented and marginalized arts communities and movements. Now as an executive at SAVVI AI, she’s making machine learning accessible to companies and nonprofits that don’t have legions of data scientists and software developers at their disposal. And Jen gets to work with artists every day as she and her SAVVI colleagues are building something that doesn't exist. While she might have debated that classification ten years ago, her answer today is unequivocal: “Yes, it’s art. It's absolutely novel. It's creative.”Resources mentionedAsk a Manager The Nap Ministry Where to find Jen and SAVVI AIJen on LinkedInSAVVIAI.comSAVVI on LinkedIn and TwitterCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
41:07 4/20/22
Ep. 15: Thanks for Tuning in to Season One
All good things must come to … a short break.After a little R&R (rest and recordings), we’ll return with our sophomore season. In the meantime, here’s hoping you’ve learned as much from these conversations as we have. See you back here this spring!Don’t be a stranger in between seasonsSign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to find out first when Season Two drops.Check out our BookShop.org store for all the books mentioned during Season One.Send your questions, thoughts on the show, and guest suggestions to jesse@theworkseminar.com. Check out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Support the show
03:25 2/9/22
Ep. 14: Finding a Job Outside Your Field of Study w/ Exec. & Career Coach Paul Erdahl
Paul is an executive and career coach, licensed psychologist, former human resources leader, and friend of the podcast who’s generously agreed to guide us through his steps for making a career change. Paul shares his approach for:Finding your values and interests beyond your academic discipline through self-discovery questions he poses to clientsCrafting your “work story” and framing how your skills and talents can apply outside your academic and work experienceBuilding and tapping into your network (and yes, you have to network, but it's not as bad as it sounds) Navigating interviewers who question a lack of “relevant work experience” Learning the skills a new job demands Yes, it’s infinitely easier to update your resume and indiscriminately apply to jobs. But slow, steady, and strategic is the better bet according to the experts, our guest included.   Books & other resources mentionedThe 20-Minute Networking Meeting by Marcia Ballinger and Nathan PerezUnique Ability by Catherine Nomura, Julia Waller, Shannon WallerFree career aptitude and personality assessments guideA primer on learning agilityWhere to find Paul and Global Talent StrategiesGlobalTalentStrategies.com Paul on LinkedInCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
65:35 2/2/22
Ep. 13: All Things Money After Grad School w/ Financial Planner David Fortosis
This (inaugural!) bonus episode features certified financial planner David Fortosis, owner of ClearCounsel Advisors, walking us through all things money after grad school. Specifically, David dives into the current economy’s likely effect on student loan interest rates, personal budgeting, weighing employment options with varying student debt obligations, income-based repayment plans, public service loan forgiveness, earning extra cash on the side—you name it, we cover it. Whatever your financial literacy level or money situation, we hope you’ll find Dave’s words of wisdom applicable.***And now, the standard disclaimer: Nothing in this episode should be taken as personalized financial advice. Please consult a certified financial planner or other trusted advisor for such guidance.***Books & other resources mentionedSo Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal NewportDavid’s monthly budget planner (Excel file)SmartAsset.com's paycheck calculatorUS Dept. of Education’s Student Aid InformationStudentLoanHero.com“Graduate Programs Have Become a Cash Cow for Struggling Colleges. What Does That Mean for Students?” by Jon Marcus (PBS.org)Where to find Dave and ClearCounsel AdvisorsClearCounselAdvisors.comEmail: David @ ClearCounselAdvisors.comCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
40:04 1/26/22
Ep. 12: Elizabeth Southerland - MA & ABD in Philosophy Turned IT Executive
It all started with a six-month break from her doctoral program. Elizabeth planned to earn a little money at the first viable job she landed. That extended into a full year of employment. And that begat a nine-year stint in pharma and her exit from academia. Since then, Elizabeth’s been an IT executive across varied industries. Nearly everywhere she’s worked, she’s acted as the go-to person for translating complex issues into clear plans—and assembling teams that make things happen. The connection between philosophy and IT may seem opaque. But from Elizabeth’s vantage point, her business acumen ties back to the teaching, writing, and critical thinking she engaged in at grad school. And who would have guessed all that Wittgenstein would help her view people and work through a refreshingly pragmatic lens? *Please excuse a few minor background audio blips and outdoors sounds in this episode. What Elizabeth has to say is well worth enduring the occasional bird chirping or snap, crackle, and pop.*Check out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
43:54 1/19/22
Ep. 11: Holly Fletcher - MS in Journalism Turned Media & Communications Strategist
Holly dreamt of working in journalism and attending grad school since grade school. And live that dream she did.After earning her master’s in journalism from Columbia, she started in trade pubs, moved to reporting for her hometown The Tennessean, and then founded BirdDog. During that time, Holly’s field changed. Legacy journalism slowly and steadily abandoned deep investigation, exhaustive data analysis, and the stories readers needed to know. That’s when she made the leap to in-house communications and media strategy. It wasn’t a seamless transition. But she realized audiences still craved expert knowledge and insights. Now Holly’s able to disseminate vital healthcare news in a manner she never would have considered during grad school.Books & other resources mentionedNo Time to Spare by Ursula Le GuinClay Christensen’s worksBen Thompson’s “Stratechery” newsletterA sample of Holly’s workVanderbilt Health DNA: Discoveries in Action podcastBirdDogCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
53:41 1/12/22
Ep. 10: Caitlin McHugh - PhD in Literature Turned Higher Ed Manager
Caitlin followed the script for landing a tenure-track position to a tee. Conference attendance and panels, publication, university service—you name it, she did it. And excelled at it. But after four years of her search yielding no viable offers, she shelved teaching and explored the non-academic job market. And in the process, she considered her values and strengths through a lens she’d neglected: one independent of the academy.Now she’s discovered a new passion for leadership and higher ed management, working as an associate manager in the advising department. And Caitlin’s found a professional home that supports her in ways she never thought possible.Resources mentionedCliftonStrengths (Gallup Strengthfinders)VIA Values AssessmentsCheck out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
57:48 1/5/22
Ep. 9: Dan Coleman - MM in Orchestral Performance Turned Fine Arts Exec & Fundraiser
Dan underwent a “seismic shift” in perspective during the throes of finishing his MM in orchestral performance. After graduation, he stowed away his trumpet…and plans for a performance career.But after a few years, the musical itch resurfaced. He started playing and teaching private lessons again for fun. For work, he landed a general manager position at a small symphony.And so Dan’s shift to the fundraising and development side of the fine arts began. Since then, he’s worked for several major musical institutions, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony. Making these leaps required constant learning, acting on tough feedback, and sacrifice. Luckily for us, Dan shares his tips for picking up the skills and mindset shifts to make big changes and reach the executive level. And he doesn’t shy away from discussing his struggles with work’s and music’s role in his life.Books & other resources mentionedDesigning Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave EvansRising Strong, Daring Greatly, Dare to Lead by Brene BrownBrene Brown’s podcastsDISC, Myers Briggs, or Birkrman work/personality assessmentsLinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com)Lyrics to Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” Check out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
55:58 12/29/21
Ep. 8: Nikki McCord - Master of Public Policy Turned DEI & Board Governance Consultant
The connection between lobbying and helping organizations develop their board members and DEI programs can be easy to miss. But for Nikki, it’s a clear link. After gaining lobbying experience in grad school, at the state of Michigan under Governor (now US Secretary of Energy) Granholm, and in the nonprofit space, Nikki struck out on her own. But she soon learned that potential clients weren’t considering her services because many boards of directors failed to realize they could engage with legislation. Nikki saw the opportunity to help boards understand their opportunities—and their responsibilities. And that included impressing the need to build cultures and practices supporting historically marginalized groups. At one point, the legislation she devoted her grad school and early working years to seemed relegated to her past. But now she finds it, and the other skills she picked up in grad school, resurfacing in the most unexpected ways.Listen in to a fascinating story with practical (and priceless) advice for pushing employers—and your own business—to better support DEI.Where to find Nikki and McCord Consulting Group@McCordConsult on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and FacebookMcConsultGroup.com Check out more from The Work SeminarVisit theworkseminar.com or find @TheWorkSeminar on social media. Sign up for The Work Seminar newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox.Support the show
65:03 12/22/21