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I recently applied to two high-paying roles: one in academia and one outside of academia.

I landed both of them in the SAME week.

Eventually, I chose to stay on the non-academic path.

Here’s what I learned through the process.

The power of building independent career supporting assets

Back in the day, having a YouTube channel or blog or online brand could easily be misconstrued as being “unprofessional”. Not anymore. In both cases, having a YouTube channel and a personal brand online actually added value to what I presented on my resume.

In both scenarios, these were seen as assets rather than a distraction.

Lesson: don’t be afraid to build independent/online assets that directly support your career.

The power of building a network


I was referred to the academic opportunity by a colleague. Unbeknownst to me, this colleague had RAVED about my abilities. (No pressure whatsoever😅.) It was so wonderful to go through the experience, and it was actually a hard decision to turn down the role! But interviewing in a place where someone has vouched for your abilities before you even step into the room is an experience I wish for everyone.

Lesson: build your network. It will not be built in a day. But be intentional and over time it pays off.

The power of coming prepared


Come prepared with your own questions. You are interviewing THEM as much as they are interviewing you. Listen to the answers they give. Do you see yourself working there? Do they hedge instead of giving you direct answers? What do others say about working there?

Do your research not just on the job role but on the company as well.

And the biggest lesson of all? I learned that without a doubt, landing a career you want in 2022 and beyond, is more than a degree and applying online for positions.

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