These links are helpful for find out information about jobs out there in non-academic realms (which is like 90% of the world). This can seem completely overwhelming when your only source for advice is a clueless advisor. Check out these links for some grounding information, and don't forget the many sites that focus on career issues in our Resources list on the left.
Amanda Krauss @WoPro (which you might as well go read the entire archive of!) has this amusing story as she searches About.com for job advice and starts putting out her first non-academic job applications. Writes Amanda:
Real-world job hunting is something new. There are online applications and phone interviews and hiring managers and people using phrases like “corporate culture” un-ironically. What I’m looking up is usually basic stuff: how long do I wait to send an followup email? Should I call? How am I supposed to phrase this thing, anyway?! This last one isn’t too bad, at least. Years of writing thank-you notes (thanks Mom) have given me a lot of experience in putting a personal spin on a generic form.
And, a question that has plagued job-hunters since primitive times: What should I do if I don’t hear back?
Lauren @ Mama Nervosa talks about how confusing and conflicted you can feel when pursuing multiple possible careers at the same time. On a particularly bad day during her waning days of grad school, she writes:
One of the things that frustrates me about post-academic advice in terms of career searches is that often, they act as if you will immediately shift out of “tenure track or die” mode into a solid idea of what your next move should be. There’s advice for going into freelancing, or administration, or management, or whatever, and it seems like there’s a straight line from point A(cademia) to point B. Obviously, all those Point B, post-academic people had a chaotic transition from A to B, but you don’t hear those stories. You hear, “Now I have a full-time gig as an academic publisher! Now I make money and lose weight in my incredible outdoor education business!” All that advice is written from this point of stability that’s absolutely foreign to me as I muddle through the messy middle.
Curious About Salary?
If you're as clueless as we were about what pay you can get for different jobs, check out Glass Door. It aggregates salary info from job ads, so it can give you a ballpark sense of salary range for different companies or positions. You can also often find salary information for state/public sector jobs at major newspapers (e.g. The Des Moines Register has state salaries for Iowa), and most universities/schools will have salary "families" buried in their Human Resources info if you search ( try "job families" or "compensation table" or "job classification").
Be sure to check out our other articles about careers after academia!