Options for Success Waitlist Now Open! 

Are you ready to change your career outlook, but aren’t sure how to get started?

Are you done with piecing together scattered job search information from Google, your best friends, and quick workshops and networking events?

Would you job search benefit from accountability in a supportive community and advice from an experienced executive coach?

Join Options for Success to jumpstart your
job search or career change.

Options for Success is a professional development and job search program designed to help advanced degree holders identify viable career paths, understand the link between their skills  and the professional world, and confidently manage the transition from exploration to employment.

What to expect from Options for Success: Key Outcomes

Assess Strengths and Skills

Identify Interests 

Understand and Focus Career Options

Market Talents and Skills

Improve Job Readiness

Build and Strengthen Professional Networks

Manage the Job Search Process

Maximize Campus Resources



Career Transition Support in 6 Modules & 90 Days

Dynamic Video & Audio Lessons, Implementation Worksheets, and Community Accountability to Help You Take Consistent Action

Welcome: Make Time & Space to StartSet personal goals for taking this program. Create a schedule for module completion and content implementation. Learn how to use this program to set and accomplish career goals.


Reimagine career and life possibilities.

Determine personal and professional aspirations and goals. 


Learn about top career fields for graduate level job candidates.
Determine the industries and organizational cultures that best match your skills and interests.
Identify 2-3 viable professional careers for further exploration.


Identify transferable skills and experiences.
Identify areas of professional skills development. |
Develop a relevant, asset-based career narrative to market your academic skills to employers.

Create a professional resumé. 


Sharpen networking and interviewing skills. Learn to establish and cultivate professional relationships online and in person.


Gain exposure to new organizations and career fields.
Learn to evaluate potential career paths to find the right fit for you.
Develop a plan to gain relevant professional experience to enhance your professional network and job skills.

We’re in this together

I regularly participate in virtual professional and personal development communities. In my experience, the best programs are those that connect me with other members and to key outside resources.  

I’ve designed Options for Success Program to do the same for you. The program offers the following bonus features:

Accountability Challenges 

Participate in periodic team-based challenges to help you put your learning into practice. Swap your work with another O4S member and receive valuable candid feedback that you would not receive from your friends or employers.

Group Forum 

Join other members to chart your progress, share strategies, ask questions and encourage each other.

Mentor Office Hours

When your career exploration and job search ramps up, you will have questions. Get your questions answered in Office Hours with coach and O4S creator Fatimah Williams, Ph.D. and guest HR and industry experts.

A Few Options for Success Alumni Success Stories

“O4S helped me streamline my process for applying to particular positions”

Options for Success is a wonderful program which helped me streamline my process for applying to particular positions that fit my interests. I was able to secure a teaching position at an independent school by expanding my network and receiving encouragement from other participants.

Arika Easley-Houser, Ph.D.
History, Rutgers University
AFTER O4S: Faculty and Administrator, Rutgers Preparatory School
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“No idea how to start looking or what my value might be”

I came to Fatimah disillusioned with academia after five years in a Ph.D. program, with no idea how to start looking for other career paths. I wondered what my value might be, and was stuck not knowing how to approach an industry job search. In the first session, we covered networking - from there we worked on everything from identifying my values and strengths to how to approach an interview and how to negotiate a job offer. Fatimah’s negotiation advice netted me a $3k salary gain on top of an already comfy offer.

Hilary Pritchard
Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania
AFTER O4S: Data Scientist Comcast Corporate Headquarters
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Aisha Rousseau, Ph.D.
Tenure-track faculty, Disability and Psychoeducational Studies
AFTER O4S: Director, City & County Government, Colorado

“I knew I could find a better path, but I didn’t know how.”

I had made a decision to leave my current academic institution as a tenure-track assistant professor and had been applying to several jobs. When I reached out to Fatimah, I found myself at a crossroads about the best opportunity I should pursue that would allow me to utilize my skills and have job satisfaction. What I most appreciated about the work with Fatimah was that she understood the internal challenges of choosing to leave academia. These were things that I really had no outlet to work through as others thought it was incredulous to leave academia or they were dealing with the same apprehensions themselves. I knew I could find a better path for my life outside of academia but I wasn't sure how to navigate that.

While it was a hard decision, Fatimah helped me make an informed decision and it was one of the best decisions I could have made for my family and me. Working with the program, I felt more confident in identifying and contacting my personal and professional network. I left a toxic environment to a very satisfying and fulfilling one. I received a job offer with a pay raise.

Administrator’s Praise for Options for Success
In spring 2015, I began planning an experimental online graduate course, Feminist Futures: Diverse Intellectual Careers and Entrepreneurial Leadership for doctoral students in the interdisciplinary field of women’s and gender studies. To explore individual alternatives to traditional academic careers, I turned to Dr. Fatimah Williams. From our very first meeting, she offered outstanding advice about how to enable graduate students to think constructively about their career options and develop their capacities as well as requisite materials for successful job searches.

Working with advanced Ph.D. students at six universities in two nations, Dr. Williams did a superb job familiarizing students with diverse employment opportunities within and beyond academia; assisting them to identify professional fields of particular interest; cultivating their ability to analyze and market their talents and skills; helping them prepare materials for a particular job search; and perfecting their interview and negotiating skills.  Her knowledge and generosity of time and expertise equipped the students to undertake the challenges of professional placement. Indeed, two of the class participants secured job interviews for coveted positions while the course was still underway. All those involved with the online course have only the highest praise for Dr. Williams’s talents. We would recommend her professional guidance to all who are thinking seriously about their professional careers.

Mary Hawkesworth, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University



Fatimah Williams, Ph.D.

is the CEO & Founder of Beyond the Tenure Track, a professional development and career-planning firm that prepares graduate students, faculty, and PhDs for leadership roles and high-quality careers.

Her professional development guidance has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, Scientific American, University Affairs, and numerous podcasts.

She has been an invited speaker at leading national conferences such as the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools and the 69th Annual Meeting of the AAU’s Association of Graduation Schools. Fatimah is author of two books: Professional Pathways Planner and Be Bold: Launch Your Job Search or Career Change with Confidence.

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.