View Full Version : Highly qualified but no skills


Fuzzy12
05-26-17, 07:09 PM
Somehow over the years I've managed to accumulate a few degrees and somehow I've done that without learning any skills whatsoever. Well that's not true.I did learn a lot abd I have got skills but they are so specific (and disjointed) to what I needed for my research that they aren't really transferable.

So once again I need to look for a job and once again I've got no idea where to look. When I look at person specifications I never fit the bill. Not even close. Not even academia. I'm so ashamed that in x years I didn't manage to get a lectureship. I used to blame it on the funding cuts and then on my uni being very sought after and competitive but it's not that. It's really just that I don't have what it takes. A4 last in academia k know exactly what it takes. Outside of academia I'm clueless. I just know that I dpnt have skills that employers are looking for.

I need a job but I'm unemployable.

peripatetic
05-26-17, 07:47 PM
i was a lecturer and i have no skills that translate into anything outside doing that.

i don't know what i could offer of use, but i feel you, for sure. i got denied tenure and burned out, basically, after losing my **** too many times and too many hospitalisations and blah blah blah.

it's hard to transition out of academia because, contrary to what people think, it prepares you for nothing if you aren't good at the "department maintenance" crap that most profs hate. i sucked at that so it's not like i developed management skills or anything.

userguide
06-05-17, 09:25 AM
Are you guys for real ?

6 people seem to agree...

Isn't being a uni lecturer a bunch of great skills ? I mean, do you just come in and read a book aloud and go out ?

This is so weird

Fuzzy12
06-05-17, 10:32 AM
Are you guys for real ?

6 people seem to agree...

Isn't being a uni lecturer a bunch of great skills ? I mean, do you just come in and read a book aloud and go out ?

This is so weird

:lol:

I actually had a lecturer like that when I was studying. She'd read out from the textbook and tell us which were the important bits to underline.:lol:

You do need skills to be in academia but as a post doc the skills you need are very specific to your particular research. I did a lot of teaching as well and you are right it involves a lot more than just reading from a book, a lot more than just spitting out knowledge but outside academia who would appreciate that I was a fairly good instructor? (Even if I say so Myself)

My current, or rather previous, role I can do well because I have the skills for that but these skills dont necessarily transfer well into jobs outside academia. They don't even transfer well into other jobs in academia because they will need a very specific but different skill set. T here are also universal skills that you need, mainly soft skills, like being very self motivated and able to work without structure or direction, being able to independently work to deadlines, being good and proactive at networking, publishing your work, etc, that I lack.

It's like ... imagine you are interested in the dresses worn by the wives of Henry VIII. You read up and learn everything about that, you learn how to draw each dress and you are able to discuss, teach and add more knowledge to the subject eg how the choice of dress style influenced how Henry VIII did away with them.

You are an expert in that field but outside that narrow field tell me what job can you do? What skills can you offer a company that's got nothing to do with Henry VIII (and how many companies are there that do? ?)

sarahsweets
06-05-17, 10:36 AM
Are you guys for real ?

6 people seem to agree...

Isn't being a uni lecturer a bunch of great skills ? I mean, do you just come in and read a book aloud and go out ?

This is so weird

If it were that easy why would an advanced degree be needed?

peripatetic
06-05-17, 10:48 AM
Are you guys for real ?

6 people seem to agree...

Isn't being a uni lecturer a bunch of great skills ? I mean, do you just come in and read a book aloud and go out ?

This is so weird

no, i don't just read a book aloud and go out.

i can speak at length, at great length, on certain subjects. i can write quite well in a specific fashion on certain subjects. i can grade, reasonably well. and i can do text exegesis.

i am not good with making meetings. i'm not great with subjects outside those i'm extremely well versed in. i'm not what you'd call a "people person" and i am not good at managing people outside of guiding students prepping for ATC exams or writing for their doctorates. i'm not great at editing, though i can spot conceptual flaws and holes in arguments.

these skills don't translate well to the world outside of academia.

dvdnvwls
06-05-17, 01:47 PM
Fuzzy:

One skill you have obviously not developed is the skill of identifying your current skills. :)

You're dismissing a lot of what you have as "not really a skill", when in fact you have many.

EuropeanADHD
06-06-17, 01:54 PM
"Analytical skills".

You probably have the ability to analyse in depth. You probably don't jump to conclusions too quickly and see more than one facet of things. You probably know when you don't know something and how to find information.

Most jobs in business are what has been called "bull*it jobs". You don't need any specific knowledge to perform them apart from some basic terminology to understand what's going on and the clarity about your tasks and objectives - which however are contextual - they can differ in the same positions but different companies.

I'm in business after a PhD on "the dresses worn by the wives of Henry VIII". When working at a university I was often impressed by how intelligent my colleagues were (and feeling I was the most stupid one among them). Now my coworkers frequently have the knowledge about our field and relevant experience, but many lack advanced analytical skills and common sense. I would think that's something most academics can excel in.

Fuzzy12
06-06-17, 03:00 PM
Thanks. I do have skills (such as analytical skills) but they don't match up what I see on job descriptions and specifications.

Eg I'm quite interested in the field of x. I teach a module on x and i can Design algorithms used in x but I've never applied x and know very little about some of the vital tools you need to apply x.

It's the same with other fields.

I'd struggle to get a job in the field I did my PhD in because I lack too many practical skills.

Doesn't help that my undergrad, masters and PhD are in 3 different subjects (and my postdoc was in a 4th).:rolleyes:

dvdnvwls
06-06-17, 03:56 PM
What ways can you turn this situation (degrees in different areas) to your advantage, instead of viewing it as a problem?

I'm not saying it's not a problem, because maybe it is - but it's what you've got, so then what about it can you take advantage of?

People whose job it is to hire you, are focused on finding the right person. So you have to focus on discovering places to go where you will have the best chances of being that "right person".

Fuzzy12
06-06-17, 04:24 PM
What ways can you turn this situation (degrees in different areas) to your advantage, instead of viewing it as a problem?

I'm not saying it's not a problem, because maybe it is - but it's what you've got, so then what about it can you take advantage of?

People whose job it is to hire you, are focused on finding the right person. So you have to focus on discovering places to go where you will have the best chances of being that "right person".

Umm... yup...that's the problem.

:lol:

dvdnvwls
06-06-17, 04:28 PM
Umm... yup...that's the problem.

:lol:

OK... What do you mean?


Maybe to clarify: Not where you definitely are the right person - because there is no single right person - but where you have a better chance.

All it's about is improving your odds, not the impossible task of discovering a perfect match.

Fuzzy12
06-06-17, 04:38 PM
OK... What do you mean?


Maybe to clarify: Not where you definitely are the right person - because there is no single right person - but where you have a better chance.

All it's about is improving your odds, not the impossible task of discovering a perfect match.


The problem is discovering the places where I have the best chances of being that right person.

The problem isn't that I'm an imperfect match but that I seem to be no kind of match at all for any job.

dvdnvwls
06-06-17, 04:59 PM
How about working in reverse?

Think of a job for which you are certainly the worst match in the world. Name the job, and say why.

WheresMyMind
06-06-17, 05:00 PM
Somehow over the years I've managed to accumulate a few degrees and somehow I've done that without learning any skills whatsoever. Well that's not true.I did learn a lot abd I have got skills but they are so specific (and disjointed) to what I needed for my research that they aren't really transferable.

So once again I need to look for a job and once again I've got no idea where to look. When I look at person specifications I never fit the bill. Not even close. Not even academia. I'm so ashamed that in x years I didn't manage to get a lectureship. I used to blame it on the funding cuts and then on my uni being very sought after and competitive but it's not that. It's really just that I don't have what it takes. A4 last in academia k know exactly what it takes. Outside of academia I'm clueless. I just know that I dpnt have skills that employers are looking for.

I need a job but I'm unemployable.

What skills do you see employers wanting that you don't have? What are the degreees in?

Professional organizations are clamoring for people capable of doing training - could you morph what you are capable of into that?

My best days during my career were spent being paid highly to give technical presentations all around the world - then follow up with customers who had individual questions related to the presentation.


WMM

acdc01
06-09-17, 11:54 AM
What about being a stay at home mom? I'd love to be that minus the mom part.

Maybe substitute teach every so often just to do something different.