Yesterday I had lunch with the latest cohort to complete the Transitions Programme. We have been working together since January and last week had the eighth and final session of the programme. The lunch was a chance to say goodbye and good luck. Having said that, the group have valued the opportunity to work together so much that they are planning a monthly coffee and catch-up!
The Transitions Programme is part of the provision offered to Research Staff at Newcastle University who are considering career paths outside of academic research. You don’t have to know for definite that you want to leave academia to take part but it is aimed at those that are considering this as an option. The emphasis is on learning more about your skills, values, strengths and motivators, identifying how and where you can apply these and developing your ability to apply yourself within the job market.
It is not an easy option. You are expected to attend eight two hour sessions, on a fortnightly basis – that means working with the same group of eight people and a facilitator for four months. If that isn’t enough, you are also given homework to do that feeds in to the following session. It is hard work and you really need to set aside time for both the sessions and the activities that are set.
But, the feedback from those that take part has always been very positive, with real benefits being identified by the participants. The next cohort will come together at the end of September and work together until January. We will start promoting this in the summer but in the meantime, Research Staff who are considering their next steps may want to think about whether this is a programme that could suit them.
You never know – this post may even attract some comments from those that have completed the programme or know people that have!