Career Design and Development for Researchers

The Career Design and Development workshop series aims to open the space for creative thinking and equip you with insights and tools for developing – with confidence – your career. We will combine individual and small group activities to stimulate thinking, explore new areas and practice new ways of self-expression on work-related topics. Amongst other tools relevant to researchers, the course applies Stanford’s ‘design-thinking’ approach to integrating your life aspirations with your career thinking; see for an introduction to this material.

The process relies on your participation in all three workshops, delivered online this coming term and spaced by several weeks to allow experimentation and reflective exercises. In signing up for this workshop, you are also committing to workshops 2 (17th February) and 3 (10th March), all sessions running from 10:30-12:30.

Course content:

The first workshop focuses on learning from your professional experiences to date, and exploring relevant intersections between your skills, values, sources of joy and what the world will pay you for. It then explores the role of narrative in making sense of our own career journeys and in talking about them with others.

In the second workshop we will deepen the focus on ways to construct a working life to suit you and on identifying any assumptions that may be restricting your thinking. You will be supported to be more creative in your thinking than traditional career planning allows, and to consider a variety of options that emerge. We will also take a fresh look at ‘networking’ as something that can be rewarding and comfortable (even fun!) for all.

The final workshop builds on learning from the first two, and your exploratory activities between these, to give you a ‘road map’ for your next steps. You will reflect on potential career routes with input from your peers and the facilitators, spot opportunities for developing your professional network and for gaining practical experience towards these goals, before working together to find solutions to any dilemmas and fill information gaps.

To maximise your learning, registered participants will be sent a couple of pre-course exercises. Each workshop has a follow-on set of tasks (reading, development exercises and other scoping activities): some of these are individual tasks and others will be done in small online groups.

Course objectives:

Learn how a design approach can be used to develop and progress a personal career plan
Use visual methods to explore career options for the coming five years
Understand the generative potential of networking
Feel confident to consider, and try out, different career directions (within or beyond academia)
Learn strategies for narrowing down your options and making decisions
Define personal action points for developing your career, plus indicators for evaluating your learning.

This course will be delivered online. Booking closes on 22 January.

All current Oxford DPhil students and research staff welcome. This workshop is not open to undergraduates. Please register via CareerConnect, then make sure you diarise and attend all three workshops. We will send joining instructions to all registered participants before the first workshop.