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Foundations of Career Planning Program

An image of four postdoctoral fellows, two with their backs to the camera, with the text "Foundations of Career Planning Program".

How do I get started on the job search path? How can I make my resumé/CV stand out from the rest? How do I negotiate a salary? How can I make meaningful connections with people who I’d like to work with?

Transitioning from a postdoctoral fellowship to a post-fellowship career can be daunting. In a competitive job market, it is vital to cultivate your brand and develop a strong professional portfolio in order to move into the professional workforce. However, in order to take these next steps, it is critical to have a clear vision of where you want to go and where your skills, strengths and values lie.

The Postdoctoral Fellows Office is pleased to offer Foundations of Career Planning, a program designed to introduce postdocs to the support and resources required to establish the foundations of a post-PDF career, whether in academia or in industry. Preparing for the next career move is an opportunity to clarify and even re-evaluate key aspects of career planning. The Foundations program begins with an interactive session on career exploration in which participants through self-reflection will be encouraged to discover their strengths, values and what motivates them. Once they have developed a vision of their desired career path(s), participants are introduced to tools and strategies for transitioning to the next phase of their careers, including developing a professional portfolio and navigating the interview and negotiation process. The goal of the program is to enable postdocs to identify and update their strengths, skills and values, and to encourage the development of a solid professional portfolio; this will support postdocs in identifying transferrable skills that are applicable to multiple careers in a lifetime, within or outside of the academe.

This program is designed for postdocs in the early stages of their career development journey. This journey will test your creativity and your sense of exploration as you reflect and be open to the world of possibilities.

Registration in the Foundations program is required, and all participants must be able to attend all sessions in full in order to be eligible to participate. Some pre-work will be required in advance of each session. Registration in the spring 2022 Foundations program is now open and will close on  is Sunday, March 13, 2022.

Program Sessions

Due to the ongoing situation around COVID-19, the Foundations of Career Planning Program has been transitioned to an online format for the spring 2022 run. To ensure participants are getting the most out of the program, each session has been split into two half-day workshops.

Session 1: Starting With You: Clarifying Key Characteristics and Personalizing Your Development Plan

As a Postdoctoral Fellow, you’ve made several key career decisions along the way and as you consider your next steps, it’s important to take time to pause and reflect on how your own characteristics and context fit with your future career direction. This 2-part workshop will provide an opportunity to refine your vision for the future and craft an action plan rooted in a deepened understanding of yourself.

Pre-work: Prior to Part 1, ensure you’ve completed the Skill Scan and Career Values Scale assessments.

Part 1: Clarifying Key Characteristics

Career development is a lifelong process which, as described in hope-action theory, cycles through self-reflection and self-clarity through to implementation and adaptation. Understanding how your key characteristics and contextual factors tie into your work, life, and learning goals is fundamental. This session is focused on getting to know yourself more deeply. Leave better equipped to express your unique set of skills, interests, values, and personal style, within the context of your relationships, responsibilities, and resources, identifying common themes and patterns to inform the next phase of career development (i.e., visioning, decision making, and action planning).

Learning objectives:

  • Explore the career planning and development process and how your career path may be impacted depending on where you are in your life
  • Apply conceptual frameworks for understanding yourself and your future (e.g., the Wheel, UN SDGs, Career Engagement model, Hope-Action theory)
  • Take stock of your personal characteristics (e.g., motivated and transferrable skills, interests, values, and personal style)
  • Integrate results from career assessment tools and reflective activities, identifying common themes and patterns

Part 2: Personalizing Your Development Plan

Building from Part 1, participants will shift their focus towards developing a vision for the future and making informed career decisions grounded in a deepened understanding of themselves and their contexts and the full spectrum of opportunities potentially available to them (e.g., academia vs. industry, contract vs. employee, local vs. international). This session will review the goal setting and action planning process leaving participants better equipped to personalize a development plan which aligns to their key characteristics and contexts and is responsive to shifts in work, life, and learning realities.

Learning objectives:

  • Explore diverse career opportunities and workforce realties of the highly educated
  • Craft a vision for the future tied to self-reflection activities
  • Engage in a goal setting and action planning process
  • Acknowledge the importance of adaptability and hope within the career development process

FACILITATOR

Dr. Roberta Borgen

Dr. Roberta Borgen

Dr. Roberta Borgen (Neault), CCC, GCDF-i, CCDP, is an award-winning leader in the career development sector, in Canada and internationally. She is a published author and international speaker on topics related to career management. Roberta's academic career has involved contract work at 10 universities across Canada, the US, and Asia and including serving as the Associate Dean of a university in New Brunswick while running her BC-based consulting company. Her extensive experience supporting graduate students, postdocs, managers, executive leaders, and professionals brings unique perspective to crafting professional work search documents. At UBC, Roberta currently serves as an Online Education Faculty Mentor, Adjunct Faculty within the Masters of Counselling Psychology Program, and Interim Director of the Psychological Services and Counselling Training Centre (PSCTC).

Session #2: Self-Branding and Compiling Professional Work Search Documents

Compiling professional work search documents is an essential step in your career journey; however, effectively communicating your expertise and value to potential employers, whether for academic or industry positions, can be a difficult task, even for the most seasoned writers. Participants will leave this two-part session equipped to identify relevant positions, analyze job advertisements, and customize a wide variety of work search documents with clear, concise, and consistent messaging, style, and tone.

This interactive session mixes small group activities with content delivery to provide participants with practical, hands-on experience in creating work-search documents. Participants are asked to come prepared with their current resume and/or CV, bios, profiles, or any other work-search documents they would like to refer to. Please also bring or bookmark at least one specific job description or posting of interest.

Pre-work:

Part 1: Compiling Your CV for Academic Positions

Your Academic CV is a key part of many job and grant applications and, as your academic “life story,” is a vital tool for researchers at any stage of their academic career. Over time, your CV will continue to grow in length and complexity; however, subtle organizational and design elements can support readability.

This webinar will discuss the essential considerations for your CV, review the Canadian Common CV (CCV) system, and touch on the basics of writing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) statements and teaching philosophies. Participants should leave this session feeling better equipped to build and maintain their CVs.

Learning objectives:

Part 2: Crafting Compelling Resumes for Non-Academic Industry Positions

Your resume is one of the most important tools in your job search. It is used by employers to assess your fit both for a specific position and for the overall organization, and unlike an academic CV, the expectation is that your professional resume will be customized for the industry, employer, and specific position for which you are applying. Compelling, targeted resumes quickly and concisely express your value and expertise; generic resumes get lost in the shuffle.

This webinar will dive into how to craft compelling resumes and associated work-search documents (e.g., cover letters, profiles/bios) for industry positions. Participants will leave equipped to effectively communicate their “elevator pitch” and to prepare an industry-ready resume format, customized for a specific position or sector.

Learning objectives:

  • Explore the full spectrum of employment possibilities within “industry” (e.g., part-time, full-time, or contract work; research laboratories; government; corporate)
  • Critically analyze qualifications for positions of interest using job posting criteria (e.g., years of experience, skills/competencies)
  • Practice crafting and customizing your resume and other support documents (e.g., cover letter, profile/bio), communicating your relevant accomplishments, and applying key content, structure, and design considerations

FACILITATORS

Dr. Roberta Borgen

Dr. Roberta Borgen

Dr. Roberta Borgen (Neault), CCC, GCDF-i, CCDP, is an award-winning leader in the career development sector, in Canada and internationally. She is a published author and international speaker on topics related to career management. Roberta's academic career has involved contract work at 10 universities across Canada, the US, and Asia and including serving as the Associate Dean of a university in New Brunswick while running her BC-based consulting company. Her extensive experience supporting graduate students, postdocs, managers, executive leaders, and professionals brings unique perspective to crafting professional work search documents. At UBC, Roberta currently serves as an Online Education Faculty Mentor, Adjunct Faculty within the Masters of Counselling Psychology Program, and Interim Director of the Psychological Services and Counselling Training Centre (PSCTC).

Dr. Deirdre Pickerell

Dr. Deirdre Pickerell

Dr. Deirdre Pickerell is a nationally recognized, award-winning, industry thought-leader with close to 30 years’ experience as a career development specialist, human resource professional, and adult educator. She brings a strong history of strategic and collaborative leadership, ensuring individuals, and the organizations that employ them, have the tools, resources, and skills that allow them to thrive. Deirdre served as the Dean of Academics and Dean of Student Success at Yorkville University and is currently Program Director with the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF).

Session #3: The Best Candidate Wins: Interview to Job Negotiation Strategies

The Best Candidate Wins is a highly experiential workshop that will build your confidence and help you to:

  • Strategize on ways to get your foot in the door and deliver your pitch or get an interview
  • Practice pitching the value you provide to a potential “employer” in a telephone screening call and informal in-person setting;
  • Prepare for and successfully respond to questions in a simulated interview; and
  • Negotiate your compensation package once you are offered the position.

Pre-work is required for this session, and will be distributed by the PDFO in advance of the session date.

FACILITATOR

Dene Rossouw, Principal & Learning Coach, Possibil.com

Dene Rossouw

Dene is Principal and Learning Coach at team Possibil. He has facilitated hundreds of programs for various organizations in Africa and Canada and is known for his ability to demystify complexity and explain processes using transferable concepts and dynamic models.

Dene brings an eclectic background to the table: he’s been a paratrooper and preacher and is currently a learning coach and a wildlife photographer at Fotomoods.com.

Dene is the author of A Complicated Love and Credible – The Six Leadership Conversations and the co-creator of Back.Chat, the anti-bullying web app.

Each experience has provided a rich backdrop to his approach to inviting possibility and building influence through the power of authentic dialogue, persuasive writing and compelling storytelling.

    TIME COMMITMENT AND PRE-WORK REQUIREMENTS

    • Due to the interactive and cumulative nature of the Foundations program, participants are expected to attend all sessions in full. Program components include six half-day workshops .
    • In order to maximize time during each session, some pre-work will be required. The pre-work requirements include:
      • Completing the SkillScan Drive assessment (approximately 20 minutes)
        • Note: Purchase of this assessment is not required. The PDFO will provide this assessment to all confirmed participants.
      • Completing the Career Values Scale assessment (approximately 15 minutes)
        • Note: Purchase of this assessment is not required. The PDFO will provide this assessment to all confirmed participants.
      • Watching several videos and completing questionnaires (approximately 90-120 minutes),
      • Compiling a draft version of one’s personal resume, CV, and/or additional work search documents, and
    • Locating job postings of interest to be used as a reference when compiling work search documents.

    Any pre-work required for each program component will be circulated via email, and may be collected in advance of the session date.

    UPCOMING SESSIONS

    Session #1:  Starting With You: Clarifying Key Characteristics and Personalizing Your Development Plan

    • Part 1: Clarifying Key Characteristics – Tuesday, April 5, 2022 – 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    • Part 2: Personalizing Your Development Plan – Thursday, April 7, 2022 – 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Session #2: Self-Branding and Compiling Professional Work Search Documents
    Participants must attend one of these sessions and may attend both.

    • Part 1: Compiling Professional Work Search Documents for Academia – Tuesday, April 12, 2022 – 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    • Part 2: Crafting Compelling Work Search Documents for Non-Academic Industry Positions – Wednesday, April 13, 2022 – 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Session #3: The Best Candidate Wins: Interview to Job Negotiation Strategies

    • Part 1: The Best Candidate Wins – Part 1 – Thursday, April 28, 2022 – 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
    • Part 2: The Best Candidate Wins – Part 2 – Thursday, May 5, 2022 – 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

    ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

    • All participants must be available to attend all workshops in full.
    • Session #2, Self-Branding and Compiling Professional Work Search Documents, consists of two parts; participants will be required to attend at least one of the two workshops that comprise session 2 and may attend both workshops.
    • All applicants must hold a current UBC postdoctoral fellowship appointment at the time of application and for the entire duration of the Foundations program.
    • Postdocs who have repeatedly missed PDFO workshops without notice/cancellation may be considered ineligible to attend.

    Registration

    The registration deadline for the spring 2022 Foundations program is Sunday, March 13, 2022.

    Registration in the Foundations of Career Planning Program is required and is now open. Registration will close on Sunday, March 13, 2022. Registration does not guarantee a seat on the program, and those successfully registered will receive a confirmation closer to the program date.

    QUESTIONS

    Please direct any questions to the Postdoctoral Fellows Office by email at postdoctoral.fellows@ubc.ca.