Life after a PhD: how do I find an academic mentor?

An academic is unsure about what to do next and thinks she’d benefit from having a mentor or coach. What advice would you give to help her find the right professional guidance?

Dear HE careers clinic,

During my PhD, I held a variety of jobs from teaching to project management. I’m now an academic development and postgraduate coordinator but both these contracts are about to expire and I’m thinking about my future.

I have never had problems finding a job but I have struggled to find actual employment. By this I mean that the jobs I get tend to be temporary, with no career progression, while employment is something more long-term.

I think my biggest problem is that I am not sure if I want to stay in academia or leave the ivory tower. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and know that I am very good at it, but I also enjoy project management and troubleshooting and wonder if maybe my dilemma comes from having too many options and being interested in too many things?

How do I work out what to do next? I have been advised to look for a mentor after it was suggested that I am under-applying myself. Could you help with tips on how to find what the right next step is? Should I get a mentor and if so, how do I go about finding a one?

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