Resources for developing your post-academic career

All resources are presented in alphabetical order.


Black Hole Focus: How Intelligent People Can Create a Powerful Purpose for Their Lives, by Isaiah Hankel.

Black Hole Focus is a handbook for intelligent people looking for step-by-step guidance in creating a focus so powerful it will transform lives. Through personal (and sometimes embarrassing) stories, Dr. Isaiah Hankel breaks down the primary driver behind the actions of successful people: focus.

A Jobseeker’s Diary: Unlocking Employment Secrets, by Fawzi Abou-Chahine.

Are you highly educated, inexperienced, and underemployed? Want to know how to market your PhD and postgrad skills? A Jobseeker’s Diary chronicles the journey doing just that. Distilling the author’s hard-won lessons, tips and experiences into one handy guide, this engaging and practical career guide will help you confidently step out of academia and into your next dream job. Packed with up-to-date advice, highlighted Key Points, and vital guidance on protecting your mental health, this book covers everything from identifying where to look for a job and how to sell yourself, to acing your interview and negotiating the best offer. This essential resource will give you all the confidence and tools you need to land the perfect role for you.

Leaving Academia: A Practical Guide, by Christopher L Caterine.

An indispensable guide for grad students and academics who want to find fulfilling careers outside higher education.

An estimated ninety-three percent of graduate students in the humanities and social sciences won’t get a tenure-track job, yet many still assume that a tenured professorship is the only successful outcome for a PhD. With the academic job market in such crisis, Leaving Academia helps grad students and academics in any scholarly field find satisfying careers beyond higher education. Short and pragmatic, the book offers invaluable advice to visiting and adjunct instructors ready to seek new opportunities, to scholars caught in “tenure-trap” jobs, to grad students interested in nonacademic work, and to committed academics who want to support their students and contingent colleagues more effectively.

"So What Are You Going to Do with That?": Finding Careers Outside Academia, by Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius.

“So What Are You Going to Do with That?” covers topics ranging from career counseling to interview etiquette to translating skills learned in the academy into terms an employer can understand and appreciate. Packed with examples and stories from real people who have successfully made this daunting—but potentially rewarding— transition, and written with a deep understanding of both the joys and difficulties of the academic life, this fully revised and up-to-date edition will be indispensable for any graduate student or professor who has ever glanced at her CV, flipped through the want ads, and wondered, “What if?”

Succeeding Outside the Academy: Career Paths beyond the Humanities, Social Sciences and STEM, edited by Joseph Fruscione and Kelly J Baker.

Not every PhD becomes a professor. Some never want to, but others discover—too late and ill-prepared to look elsewhere—that there’s precious little room in today's ivory tower, and what's there might not be a good fit. For those leaving academia, or wanting out, or finding themselves adrift, this book offers hope, advice, and a bracing look at how others facing the same quandary have made careers outside of the academy work.

The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D Into a Job, by Karen Kelsky.

The definitive career guide for grad students, adjuncts, post-docs and anyone else eager to get tenure or turn their Ph.D. into their ideal job. Karen Kelsky has made it her mission to help readers join the select few who get the most out of their Ph.D. As a former tenured professor and department head who oversaw numerous academic job searches, she knows from experience exactly what gets an academic applicant a job. And as the creator of the popular and widely respected advice site The Professor is In, she has helped countless Ph.D.'s turn themselves into stronger applicants and land their dream careers.

What Is out There for Me? The Landscape of Post-PhD Career Tracks, by Natalia Bielczyk.

The purpose of this book is to give you an overview of what you are capable (and might not even think of!) after completing a PhD, and a vista of directions you might consider to develop a happy, fulfilling professional life. It explores not only the scope of high-level employment in which PhDs usually excel, but also provides broad descriptions of the tribes that have formed in the job market and their characteristic behaviors.

Additional books to help you transition your career can be found on the From PhD to Life's Recommended Reading list.


Papa PhD PodcastDo you wonder what career you can aim for with a graduate degree? Do you fear you’ll be unemployable as a PhD or after a postdoc? If these are questions you ask yourself, Papa PhD will help you dispel them by bringing you the career journeys and insights of MSc and PhD graduates around the world on job searching, skills development, networking, entrepreneurship, mental health, and more. In French and English.

PhD Career StoriesPhD Career Stories is a podcast where PhDs share stories, successes and failures of their career development after completing their doctorate. Here everyone can participate and share their journey and experience so that we can learn and grow with each other. Together, we can inspire you to take the next step in your career development.

Science LivesScience Lives provides information about lesser-known careers that rely on a science education and scientific way of thinking. Scientists working in these fields tell us about their jobs and the personal journeys that led to them. Science Lives strives to be both informative and inspirational, providing reassurance to those unsure of what their next steps are and where they will lead.

The Recovering Academic PodcastWhat happens when you leave academia? How do you handle the transition? What do you do next? Our goal at The Recovering Academic Podcast is to answer those questions. We are all at different stages, so each of us offers a unique perspective on integrating with the world outside of the ivory tower.

15 minutes to develop your research career – An occasional podcast from Vitae. Episode 2 explores the career paths of PhDs and is definitely worth listening to for advice and inspiration.


Beyond the Professoriate – Beyond the Professoriate’s mission is to empower PhDs to build impactful careers and engaged lives, wherever smart people are needed. To do this, we provide career education and professional development to graduate students and PhDs in humanities, social sciences and STEM disciplines.

Beyond the Tenure Track – Beyond the Tenure Track aims to create pathways to opportunity beyond the professoriate for graduate students and PhDs. They accomplish this through leadership skills training, professional identity building, and mentorship connections.

Discover PhDs – Wondering what it’s like to do a PhD? And how you can develop your career after you gain your PhD? This UK site features interviews from We’ve interviewed a variety of PhD students at different stages of their degree and PhD holders that have developed their careers and businesses in different directions, to help answer this for you.

From PhD To Life – Free on-demand training for PhDs thinking about leaving academia. Founded by Jen Polk and featuring a host of resources and blog articles to help you explore alt-ac career options.

Jobs on Toast - Jobs on Toast was established to provide resources to help PhDs successfully market themselves for careers in business, charities, industry and government. The core themes written about are: How to identify the transferable skills to include on your non-academic CV, Where to find professional jobs that match your skills and knowledge, How to present yourself in a professional way to employers, and  Where to find communities of researchers and coaches to help and support you.

Life After My PhD - This blog has 3 main parts: Ph.D. to Industry: Everything about transitioning from academia to industry and my tips on how to get an industry job – resume & cover letter templates and examples, interview tips and responses, how to pick roles that are a good fit for you, how to find jobs, all that stuff! Grad School: Tips on getting into Ph.D. programs and how to thrive once you’ve been accepted.
Health & Wellness: Random science topics that interest me.

PhDs At Work – PhDs At Work provides an online space for this shared learning and for making new connections. Learn from peers who have successfully transitioned from academia to industry, gain expert insight on how to manage your career, and connect with new colleagues.

Post-gradual: the PhD careers blog – PostGradual is the postgrad careers blog that takes PhD careers advice one tip at a time. Founded by Dr Holly Prescott.

Roostervane – So many people have done everything right; they stayed in school, applied to the jobs, worked hard, skipped the avocado toast, and they’re still lost. Broke. In debt. With degrees they can’t use and employers don’t want. Roostervane is a rescue guide for a lost generation. We’ll share all you need to know about changing your life, building success in a world where your parents’ wisdom won’t work anymore. If you’re lost, it’s your self-guided path to reinvention.