In January 2018, Sandrine Soubes wrote a blog entitled ‘writing a chicken soup for the soul for researchers seeking job transition’ In this, she acknowledged that,
“Change can be a scary business.
Change often feels uncomfortable.
Change does not have predictable outcomes.”
Whilst this is often true, the more we can take control of a transition or at least increase our knowledge and understanding of potential outcomes and variables, the more manageable the next chapter can be.
When it comes to careers in research, it is universally acknowledged and accepted that not everyone in the post doctorate phase has aspirations to be a lecturer and that for those that do, the competition for positions is high. Whatever the individual career aspirations a researcher has, it is likely that whilst answering the research calling, they will come to the end of a time-bound, grant funded contract.
Navigating the system
Another layer to being in a large organisation on a research contract, is that time for getting to know the way all the policies and practices work and where the best information is to be found, is short!
With this in mind, our savvy and civic minded researchers have come together to create a University of Sheffield guide to ‘employment sustainability’.
The guide answers some frequently asked questions about contracts in terms of the employment journey and also signposts researchers to sources of support for ongoing development as well as positive planning for the future. This is a fabulous example of the massive contribution our researchers have to improving the culture of our organisation.
It is brilliant to see a local resources that complements other national publications, such as UCU’s ‘Researchers’ Survival Guide’
As it says above, everyone’s needs are different. Some people thrive on the unknown and find unpredictability exhilarating but if you are someone who likes to take a more structured approach to preparing for your next life adventures, Open Learn from the OU offer a free course entitled: Learning to learn: Planning for personal change that you might find interesting.