Careers Service

Final Years

Employability framework

Your final year

With a PhD to deliver in your final year, thinking about your career can seem like too much of a distraction.

However, without a few prioritised actions, you might end up falling into the nearest post-doctoral research or teaching post available (often a bad career move) - or worse, being unemployed.

Use this framework to target your actions and give yourself the best chance of emerging from your PhD with a promising career within reach.

  • Explore - explore your strengths (what you can offer employers); explore future careers; Pathways - Career Options for Researchers; explore sources of jobs.
  • Connect - apply for jobs; look for information (careers events, networking, mentors); develop your professional presence (academic and non-academic careers); your support network during your final year.
  • Reflect - make sense of what you've done - and get that across to employers.
  • Communicate - create a strong targeted CV; get through job interviews; applications for teaching roles during your PhD; applications for part-time jobs; get your message across; communicate to other researchers; communicate to non-academic audiences.
  • Persevere - the challenges of being part of an elite group; reflect on your triumphs - and disasters; enlist the support of others; ask for feedback; persevering with networking; overcome Imposter Syndrome.