Money Matters

2018-10-02T02:29:26+00:00November 17th, 2015|

Academics have a really interesting relationship with money. Many of us came up in graduate programs that have a strong social consciousness ethos and a healthy skepticism toward hyper-capitalism. My social science and humanities PhDs totally understand what I’m saying here. As a career coach, I work regularly with PhDs in science and engineering fields, too. While there’s not the same skepticism about money and earning above average salaries, those PhDs, like their social science and humanities counterparts, are often uniformed about the value of the dollar on their daily lives. This fraught relationship with money and lack of financial literacy has real consequences on your current and future life and livelihood. So as uncomfortable as it may be, it’s time to talk about money. I mostly see this tension around money at two points in my career coaching work with PhDs: [...]

How to Work Toward Hard-to-Reach Career and Life Goals

2018-10-02T02:29:26+00:00November 3rd, 2015|

Yesterday I ran into an acquaintance from a church I used to attend. We met years ago while he was studying for a doctorate of Music Arts, and I was working on my doctorate in Anthropology. I remembered the sheer joy and poise with which he had once played the organ and directed the choir. I was happy to hear that he had successfully completed his program and earned "the D.” "Woohoo!” I said to him. “Do your students call you ‘doctor’?” Usually an upbeat and jovial person, his response was terse. “Do you think they call me “doctor” at Wal-Mart?” he shot back. “I’m tired Fatimah. I wonder if I should have done my program. Now that I’m teaching high school, I keep thinking I should have done a doctorate in education. At least then I could be a school principal.” [...]

How to Proceed When You’re Afraid of Your Dreams

2018-10-02T02:29:26+00:00October 20th, 2015|

It’s a scary thing for someone to ask you want you want, and even more frightening to give yourself permission to acknowledge what you want. No one wants to be vulnerable and have their dreams or goals go unrealized. And a cynical person, or realist, resists the question because it somehow suggests that you can have exactly what you want. I’m here to tell you something important: you can. But there are a few things you need to do to get from thinking about what you want to achieving what you want. 1. Accept and acknowledge what you want. Don’t allow your doubts and fears to deter you from wanting it. We don’t do this because we don’t want to be vulnerable. Instead, we think about all the “what if’s” associated with our accomplishing our goal. What if I don’t get the [...]

My Journey Beyond the Tenure Track

2018-10-02T02:29:27+00:00October 6th, 2015|

People often ask me how I came to be an entrepreneur of professional development and a career coach for academics. Given that I have a PhD in Cultural Anthropology, I “should” be a professor or at least working in international development somewhere. Well, like any life/career story this one has some twists and turns, so sit tight and grab a cup of tea because this is the story behind the story. If you want the official (read: “professional”) bio, click here. The Nagging Question I had been on the academic job market for about two years when I began to question whether or not academia was for me. I really liked the people I met at the campus where I’d received a nationally awarded postdoc offer. The location was great – I have family that lives about an hour away—the location was [...]

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