Career Development Program for Postdocs Non-Tenure-Track
Quo vadis postdoc?
As a non-tenure track assistant professor at WU, you are aware from the start of your employment that you will be facing a career change after six years. The everyday demands of research and teaching, however, can make it hard to find time to make plans for your future career after you leave WU. This can lead to anxiety and missed opportunities, especially as your contract period draws to a close.
This is where the WU Career Development program comes in: We are here to help you envision your (academic) career after WU and to support you in implementing your plans in a timely manner.
Our Career Development Program is aimed at all WU post-docs in non-tenure track positions. In most cases, you are eligible for the program starting in your third post-doc year.
What can the program do for you?
Individual career paths and challenges in the higher education sector vary widely. To make sure that our support will be helpful to you in your specific situation, we will work together with you to create an individual, flexible program tailored to your needs, with coaching and training sessions and other consulting services.
The program’s objective is that after completion, you should have a clearer idea of your own career goals and visions, taking your personal preferences, talents, and possibilities into consideration. You will also have the opportunity to sharpen your professional job application skills and will leave the program with a clearly structured, personal action plan for the time after WU.
What to expect
As a post-doc with a temporary contract, you will be contacted by the Personnel Development and Planning Office with an invitation to the next Starting Workshop about 2 years into your employment at WU. These are usually held once a year in the fall and are intended to provide you with as much information as possible about the Career Development Program and introduce you to the coaches and instructors responsible for the program’s contents. If you are interested in participating, you will be invited to a personal interview with a Personnel Development representative to talk about your individual needs and decide which program phases and modules would be most useful for you, and when.
Available Career Development modules at a glance
When you meet with the Personnel Development representative, you will put together your own, individual career development package including one, more, or all of the following modules:
One-on-one career consulting is the ideal setting for determining the status quo, compiling your individual skills profile, defining your professional goals, and creating your own personal action plan. An external coach will support you in reflecting on your professional goals and expressing them clearly. With your coach, you will analyze your skills and the existing conditions, comparing them to your defined goals and the conditions in the professional field you plan to enter. The resulting action plan includes a schedule when you should take which steps outlined in your plan, indicates which skills you need to acquire or sharpen, and points out the particular issues you need to be aware of in your chosen field.
Additional application coaching sessions can be booked individually if you are currently in the process of applying for a specific position in Austria or abroad.
In order to create as comprehensive and well-rounded a profile as possible, the determination of the status quo is based not only on career coaching (reflection on self-perception), but also on a career talk with your own supervisor or another expert of your choice (reflection on how one is perceived by others). The career talks are intended to provide you with balanced feedback on your own strengths, learning areas, and career opportunities.
Peer groups are intended to provide support during the final stages of your academic qualification phase at WU and to help you implement your individual action plan. In these groups, peers in the same situation, experienced role models (i.e. WU professors), and external experts (if desired) are a valuable source of background information, constructive feedback, and helpful advice.
In preparation for future job hunting, participants can take this two-part workshop on the job application skills and expertise required in an academic context. The first part of the workshop "Portfolio-Erstellung & Unterlagencheck" held by Mirjam Müller focuses on how recruiting and selection procedures work and on preparing a professional application portfolio. The second part "Fit für Vortrag & Verhandlung" held by Ute Riedler prepares you for job interviews, hearings, and candidate lectures. Further workshops and information events are also available, e.g. in cooperation with WU’s Faculty Recruiting Office. Individual coaching sessions can be booked as needed when applying for specific positions.
Here you can find an overview of our already scheduled workshops.
How can I participate?
I. If you are a non-tenure track assistant professor at WU, you will be sent a written invitation to participate in the Career Development program around two years after commencement of your employment. After you reply indicating your interest in the program, you will be invited to the start-off workshop, which is usually held each fall.
II. The start-off workshop will provide you with some general information about the program, what it’s all about and how it’s organized, and an overview of available coaches. You’ll have the opportunity to review which of the modules could be most interesting and useful for you. Peer groups made up of 5-8 of your postdoc colleagues will also be put together at this time.
III. The final details of your individual Career Development program will then be discussed at a personal meeting between you and a representative from the Personnel Development Office. At this meeting, we will go over all the possibilities and individual offers the program provides and discuss your individual situation, so that we can put together a custom-tailored Career Development package that’s right for you.
IV. The rest of your individual Career Development program is mainly self-organized. Depending on your selected module or modules, this may include:
One-on-one career consulting (6-8 60-minute sessions)
Career talks with one or more individuals working in your academic field
Job application seminars
Peer group meetings to help you systematically implement your action plan
V. You will be issued a confirmation of successful participation after completion of the program. To receive your confirmation, you only need to complete a brief quality control survey once during the program and once after completing the program.
What do you have to do for the program?
The program begins with the start-off workshop and an initial personal meeting with a representative from the Personnel Development Office, and concludes with a final evaluation, also with your PD representative, who will be your contact throughout the entire process. As a participant in the Career Development program, you make a commitment to implement the measures agreed upon in the initial meeting within the time frame specified. It is possible, however, to add additional modules or discard planned measures in agreement with the Personnel Development Office.
Like for other continuing education programs offered by the Personnel Development Office, you will be billed a deductible of € 20 for each seminar day or individual training session. You can either pay this yourself, or talk to your supervisor to find out if your academic unit will take over the costs.