Leaving the Ivory Tower: Managing the Emotional Side of Career Change
A large part of how we define ourselves and how others define us is based on what we do for a living - our professional identity. But what happens when we are no longer a [fill in the blank]? How do we deal with the loss of self, the loss of professional status, the loss of affiliation with an elite group that we've been aligned with as long as we can remember?
The overall loss of identity that we feel when we decide to leave academia is comparable to healing after the loss of a loved one or after the breakup of a long-term, and possibly dysfunctional, relationship. Letting go can be difficult, but we have to let go and give ourselves permission to grieve before reaching a point where we are ready to commit to making a career change.
In this informative session, participants will learn about the emotional obstacles that can keep us stuck in an academic career path that is no longer fulfilling. Participants will also learn how former postdocs and graduate students found the courage to follow a more rewarding career path.
Dara Wilson-Grant, Associate Director of the UNC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, will discuss:
- Strategies for letting go and moving on to form, and eventually embrace, a new professional identity.
- Resources that can help you navigate through the transition phase and into a more rewarding career.