FAQs: Options for Success
1. Do you think Options for Success is appropriate for me. I am unsure as to whether or not I should leave academia. I have a secure position and I like a lot of what my job entails. That being said, I get very frustrated at the way my job has so much power over my job/life and I don’t see that system as changing.
I am a big fan of making informed decisions. Before making a decision about leaving or staying in academia, it may be best to first gather information about how your interests, goals and work environment needs have changed. Options for Success is a safe space and guided program to help you consider what your professional needs are at this stage of your life and career; to assess what you want in your work; and to create a strategy to get the job you want.
It may be just the program to help you create time and space to consider what you need next -- whether that's in your current organization, current role or a new one. The modules in Options for Success help you get career clarity and strategy without forcing you to make a decision about whether to stay or go.
2. I am getting my PhD and aiming for a 2021 defense date. Is it too early to take Options for Success?
A number of Options for Success Alumni took the program and received career coaching within 1-2 years of graduation. I believe their job placement was so successful and timely because they tapped into the program to help them determine their career direction, build their professional network, and cultivate their job skills well before they needed employment.
Starting before they absolutely needed a job gave them time to conduct job research, take advantage of campus and external career resources, gain rapport with professional contacts, participate in internships, practice-based fellowships and bootcamps, and even take breaks along the way.
Such career-boosting opportunities will surely pass you by --and the pressure really heats up-- when you wait until graduation to explore your options.
3. I'm wondering if you have any former participants like me, __________ (insert your discipline) PhDs who have gone on to non-professoriate jobs.
Program alumni have come from various disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, life sciences, engineering, education and public health. The program provides the foundations, strategies, timeline and accountability for career exploration for masters and PhDs.
It emphasizes a holistic approach to the job search, of which your discipline is just one component. Options for Success invites you have a more productive search by helping you consider your skills, experience and interest alongside an awareness of careers that people with your educational background tend to gravitate toward.
4. I wanted to know a bit more about the pace or flow of things during the course. I understand the 90 day framework. However, I wonder if we will work individually, have deadlines for assignments, or times where we meet online as a group or one-on-one with you.
Options for Success provides a hybrid learning environment for greatest flexibility without compromising accountability. Participants can access learning modules on your own time, at your own pace, while taking advantage of periodic live sessions.
Each module includes audio and video lessons and implementation worksheets. Modules are available on demand so you can complete them at any time and at your own pace. Still, we provide a suggested program completion schedule to help you stay on track.
Live Q&A sessions with Fatimah Williams, PhD and/or a Guest Expert Mentor are scheduled four times during the program period.
Accountability group challenges provide opportunities to network with fellow job seekers and receive feedback on your materials. These sessions are scheduled twice during the program period.
One-on-one sessions with Fatimah Williams, Ph.D. are not included in this program but may be purchased at special rate for program members.