Your career is a journey, the kind of journey where the final destination is less important than the things you did along the way.
In my experience, there are a lot of ways to have an academic career. While you may start out with one destination in mind, sometimes the road you intended to take is blocked and you have to find a different route. You may get part-way down your path and realize that it wasn’t what you expected. Or, you’ll discover that this path is much more rewarding than you thought it would be, opening up new opportunities you never could have imagined.
Wayfinding is a rich metaphor for this process of career planning precisely because it allows for the sense that you may modify your route (or even your destination) as you go along. This is big picture planning that provides the map and guidebook for the next stage of your journey.
Signs that Wayfinding might help:
- A career transition is on the horizon: a new job, a promotion, a leadership role, retirement. You’d benefit from some help planning the route to and through that transition.
- You have successfully secured a job, a promotion, a leadership role, or a grant and would benefit from some help to figure out how to adjust your work practices to really succeed at this new level.
- You are having trouble juggling your myriad work and non-work responsibilities. You would benefit from some help setting priorities.
- You feel like you’ve lost your way. You may be succeeding by some measures but you feel like the path you are no is not quite right in some way.
- You want or need to increase your research activity in some way (more or different publications, more funding, more impact). You’d benefit from help figuring out how to do that.
- You are frustrated that the things you find important don’t seem to be valued and/or that the things that are valued aren’t that important to you. This makes priority setting and motivation difficult.
- You want to make good use of an upcoming sabbatical/study leave, a research grant, or other resource that has become available.
How does it work?
The Wayfinding process involves a big picture look at the direction you want to go, identifying the possible routes and landmarks, and then taking a closer look at where you are now and how you will begin the journey. I act as your guide. We do this using multiple tools.
You are a writer, which means that you use writing to articulate ideas and make them coherent. We start with writing. I will send you a series of personalized questions (sent by email) for reflection and journalling. You send me your written answers to these questions. Then we talk on the phone for about an hour or so. I use your answers to the homework questions as a starting point to explore the possibilities, help you narrow down some options, deal with any urgent issues, and so on.
After the call, I will follow up by email with a summary of the key points from our conversation and some further questions or activities to help you go a bit deeper.
Wayfinding includes a one-year Foundations membership in the Academic Writing Studio. This is an online membership site where I share resources and host an online forum. The resources in the Studio may be helpful to you as you set out on the journey we’ve mapped out. I will give you specific recommendations as part of the process. You can decide how much you want to engage with other members of the community there. You will be added to the community when you register for Wayfinding, and will receive a series of email messages introducing you to the Studio. You can save these for later if you like.
You will come away with:
- A sense of purpose and an understanding of how your day to day activities contribute to that purpose.
- A big picture view of the direction you want to be moving in, which you can use as a basis for making decisions about priorities and boundaries.
- A clear sense of the specific steps that you will take next, the part of the path right in front of you.
- Perspective on any pressing issues and strategies to get unstuck.
- An overview of who might be able to support you with particular parts of this journey in a variety of ways. Prompts and suggestions for identifying other sources of support. Strategies for approaching some of those people.
A Wayfinding session costs $750 CDN + applicable taxes. I require clients to pay in advance. When you submit the form, you will be taken to PayPal to do that. (You don’t need a PayPal account. You can use your credit card.)
I will get in touch with you within 2 working days with information about how to book the phone appointment. I’ll send you the homework. We’ll talk.
If you are already a member of the Academic Writing Studio, please log-in and use the form inside the Studio.