Preparing for Non-academic Careers

Are you considering a non-academic career after your postdoc?

Rest assured - the training, education, and skills that you have acquired and fine-tuned has already prepared you for several types of careers other than those found in a traditional academic environment.

The challenge that you now face is: how do you define the skills that you have developed over the past few years, and how do you transfer these skills to new contexts in non-academic employment?

Unlike academic career paths, planning for a career beyond the ivory tower necessitates a different approach to self-marketing and promotion. For example, you may want to consider some of the following tips and strategies in your career planning:

  • Making personalized business cards (and carrying them around with you, especially to networking events)
  • Seeking out and attending networking events in your field and in other fields that may interest you (i.e. science policy, the not-for-profit sector, etc.)
  • Building an online presence (personal website, LinkedIn profile, etc.)
  • Creating a Cover Letter and Resume, and having it critiqued by a career counsellor


There are several resources online that you can access in order to help get you started down this new and exciting road. For more information on transitioning to careers outside of academia, check out the following:

UTM Career Centre Services & Resources (including Resume critiques):

UTM Career Centre - "Considering careers outside academia?"

"Beyond the Professoriate"

"University Affairs" article offering advice on steps that can be taken towards securing non-academic jobs: 

Science Careers - Creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP):

McGill University resources for non-academic career planning: