One of the little-known features of many university Careers Services is the support they offer to university staff members. What support might be available to you and how do you access this resource?
Well, it might depend on what your current role is. For Early-Career Researchers/Academics there may well be specialist support offered to you by specific Careers Advisers. The information available may include dedicated sections of the Careers website, appointments with Careers Advisers to discuss how to develop your academic career, advice on progression, and support for applications and interviews – both for academic and non-academic roles. It is important to remember that this support is offered alongside the advice and guidance that should be provided by your department and your academic advisers.
For other staff members it might depend on the university you are employed at. Some universities offer confidential and impartial careers support to all staff members and you are welcome to make a guidance appointment to discuss your own careers queries in the same way a student can. Other universities do limit this advice and support to their students. Of course there are other sources of help with your career progression – your universities Human Resources function may also be a valuable support and many universities HR teams offer ongoing career development resources to staff. These may be through mentoring schemes, lunchtime workshops, IT training and possibly taking part in the academic provision they provide, among others. It is worthwhile exploring these opportunities and seeing what might be appropriate for you at your own stage in your career.
If you are a graduate yourself and would like to discuss your career, it might be worth approaching the institution of which you were a student. Many universities offer life-long support to their alumni and, in many cases, this can be accessed through several different methods: in person; via a telephone call; or through online e-guidance. If you have only recently graduated, you may be able to access the Careers Service of a university closer to where you live through the AGCAS (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) Mutual Aid Scheme. This scheme offers graduates of any university the opportunity to access career support at a more local institution, sometimes just for a year after graduating, sometimes for life.
Don’t forget that you can also access university career advice online. University careers websites are a very valuable resource and they ordinarily feature comprehensive advice sections and graduate vacancy listings that may be relevant to staff members as well as current students and graduates.
Careers Services are there to offer advice, support and guidance, so, if you are entitled to support, make the most of the dedicated and professional teams whose job it is to help you!