Careers Service

1st years

Employability framework

The foundations for your career

As well as establishing yourself as a doctoral researcher, your first year is also the best time to lay the foundations for whatever career lies ahead, even if you've no idea what that might be.

Towards the end of your first year, you should spend some time reviewing what you have done so far, and what further actions you could take to support your career as a doctoral researcher.

Use this framework to assess your progress so far, and plan your actions for next year, to help ensure that you emerge from your PhD with a strong foundation for whatever career comes next:

  • Explore - explore where your strengths lie; explore possible careers; attend our event: Pathways - Career Options for Researchers.
  • Connect - who can help you through your PhD?; your support network; start to establish your academic reputation; connect to help your career beyond your PhD (mentors, developing your professional profile, careers events).
  • Reflect - make sense of what you've done and plan for next year.
  • Communicate - get your message across; communicate to other researchers; communicate to non-academic audiences; start to build your CV; applications for teaching roles during your PhD; applications for part-time jobs.
  • Persevere - the challenges of being part of an elite group; reflect on your triumphs - and disasters; enlist the support of others; ask for feedback; persevere with networking; overcome Imposter Syndrome.