User Guide

Welcome to Beyond the Professoriate Community Platform for PhD Professional Development.  

Please read the membership guidelines carefully.  By using this website, you agree to abide by this user guide and our terms of service. 

 
Membership:

BP is a professional development platform.  You have your choice of 6 or 12 month membership.  Members have access to the BP community platform, video library, and can attend live webinars, career panels, and weekly group coachin calls. Sharing your BP log-in information, downloading or recording any part of the BP website, or distributing any part of BP platform, will result in immediate termination of your membership and a permanent ban from the platform.

Your membership makes Beyond the Professoriate possible.

 
Optimal Viewing

The BP Community Platform is “responsive” which means it will adjust to fit your screen and can be viewed on mobile and tablet browsers. It is, however, best viewed on a desktop in full screen mode. Viewed smaller, or on a tablet or mobile browser, you will see a menu -- four white squares -- in the top left corner of the screen. This is where you’ll find the drop down menu and tabs.  

 

Tone

This is a professional website. Let’s keep the tone positive and focused on learning, growth, and opportunity. Leaving academia is difficult; there are psychological and emotional challenges to overcome. We invite you to discuss these on your own personal profile page and to share with your network. But remember, this is a professional website -- you’ll be connecting with people who may help you get a job. So keep that in mind when sharing your personal thoughts and feelings on this space.

 
Harassment/Offensive Language

Don’t be a jerk.  People who write racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, or-any-other-phobic,  bullying, harassing comments will be removed and banned from the website. BP team reserves the right to determine what constitutes harassing behaviour.   

Maren & Jen are big fans of the f-bomb in our own personal conversations, but let’s keep the language on the BP community platform clean and professional. It’s good practice to cultivate and practice professionalism in discourse and correspondence. Your potential employer might be on this website -- so act accordingly.  Limit the use of vulgarity and profanity even on your own personal profile page. A user who violates professional conduct will be removed from the webiste.

 
Profile

Every member who joins must create a profile. Because this is a professional website, we ask that you use your real name. You’re building a network of people to help you on your job search, so it is best that we know who the real you is! This is a safe space for you to explore your non-faculty career options, and if a member violates your privacy by publishing your participation in our platform without your consent, please report this to us immediately.   

Your profile, cover picture, and any other image you share on the BP platform should be professional -- nothing obscene, vulgar, pornographic, or offensive.   

Please fill out the “about” section to tell us about your academic background and your ideas for your next career. (It’s ok if you don’t know!). This will help people connect with you.

 
Networking

Similar to Facebook and Linkedin, you can add people to your “network” in BP. You’ll see these community member’s activities and be able to post to their profile pages.  

You control who and what can be posted to your own personal profile page. When uploading a post, choose to share with just your network or with the entire community.   If you no longer wish to have someone in your network, you can simply remove them.  You can also take the more dramatic step of blocking someone from viewing or commenting on your profile.  Please report any abusive behaviour or harassment to the BP team. 

You can add mentors, coaches, the BP team, or fellow job seekers to your network.  You can add 5 people or every person on the website, but it’s probably best to have a strategy -- what are you hoping to learn or gain from the BP community?  Who can help you achieve this goal? Connect with those people.

 
News Feed

Your newsfeed is set to show what you post and your network.  Feel free to share articles, posts, activities, thoughts, and experiences with your network.  Please make sure that things you share with “everyone” are professional and specific to academia, the job search process, or other topics that are relevant to the Beyond Prof community.

If you want to discuss personal experiences, struggles, or frustrations, we ask you to share this with you network.

 
Video Library

The video library contains recordings of professional development webinars and career panels we host during the year. Those with active membership have unlimited access to the videos. This will keep updating during the year.

 
Events

We host monthly keynote presentations on professional development topics. Members with active subscriptions have the opportunity to attend these events live. We will provide members with a code to use to register for each webinar. You must register for the event with the same email address you use for your BP membership. Passing along a code to non-members is a violation of your BP membership and your access to the website will be suspended immediately.  

Live discussion of the webinar happens within a “Group” -- the Beyond the Professoriate conference, for example, has a “group” and each presentation is it’s own “topic.”  

 
Groups

Groups are spaces to connect with PhDs who are from your discipline, or live in your geographical region. We also provide restricted groups for universities and alumni groups. Group pages have a main page for discussion, but we can also create specific topics within the group. Perhaps you’d like to connect with people working in a specific sector in a city, or start a networking group where you live.  Message Maren or Jen and we can set the topic up for you.

Topics of general interest, such as resumes, cover letters, Linkedin, transferable skills, etc, should be discussed in forums.

  • Geographical

We’ve set up groups for key cities across the United States and Canada. Is your city not listed? We are happy to add it if there is a large contingent of members from your area. Periodically, we will send out surveys to members, so if you’d like your city added, message us. We’ll add it to the survey.

  • Discipline

We have created groups for Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Education, and Other Professional Programs. You can ask questions that are specific to your discipline. If you want advice on writing resumes, networking, transferable skills, etc, we ask you to head over to the appropriate forum.  We can create sub-groups for individual disciplines if there is a need or interest.  (For example, public history might be a “Topic” under “Humanities.”

  • Events

We have created a group for the 2017-2018 webinars series, career panels, and the annual conference. Live discussion of the webinar will take place there.

  • Suggest a group!

Is your city not listed? Do you have a sub-group that you’d like to create? Message us. We will periodically put out surveys to our members. We can assess the popularity of groups and add as we go. We may suggest an existing group, or create a forum or topic, if we think that’s more appropriate. We can’t guarantee that we will create a group for every suggestion we receive.  

 * Personal experiences, stories, or frustrations, should be shared with your own personal network on your profile page.

 
Forums

Have questions about the job search process? Looking for advice on a professional development topic? Head over to the forums. Discuss resumes, Linkedin, networking, or working in a specific sector/career field, etc, in the Forums.   

Have an idea for a forum? Message Maren or Jen. We cannot guarantee that we will create a forum for every suggestion we receive.

 
Blogs

Jen, Maren, guests, coaches, mentors, and job seekers can all write blog posts on a variety of topics. Have a suggestion for a blog post you’d like to write? Message us.

Not all blog posts will be original to BP, but we do curate content for members. We want you to have access to the most up-to-date material on the job search and leaving academia.

Have an idea for a blog topic? Want to write a blog? Message us! 

 
Connecting with  Mentors

Mentors volunteer their time.  They are not compensated and are not Beyond Prof employees.  Anything mentors say/write is their view, not that of Beyond the Professoriate team,  and it is up to the job seeker to determine the appropriateness of the advice for their own circumstances.  

Mentors provide advice on how to transition into non-faculty careers.  In their profile, a mentor will list their availability to provide informational interviews, read resumes, or speak by phone.  If a mentor has not specifically said they are open to reading your resume, or if their guidance is limited to messages within the platform, please be respectful of that choice.

We advise that you send no more than 5 direct messages to any one mentor, unless she/he/they add you or join your personal network.  This will ensure that you don’t “spam” the mentor.

 
Connecting with Coaches

Coaches are professionals who provide services for pay.  Coaches may be active on forums, write blogs, and deliver keynote webinars on specific topics.  You can engage with coaches on forums and in groups, and join and add them to your network.  However, these professionals make a living providing premium services to clients, including resume writing, interview preparation, Linkedin, dissertation writing, and life coaching.  Coaches do not work for free, so do not ask them to read and comment on your resume unless you engage their services outside the BP community.   Think of how you feel when your university does not fairly compensate you for your time and expertise.

If you feel that you would benefit from one-to-one assistance, please connect with a coach directly to ask about their services. While we have vetted coaches to assure that those in our directory are the best of their profession, any work you do with a coach is between you and the coach.  The coach is not an employee of Beyond Prof and any advice they provide represents their own views. The job seeker is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the information provided for their own circumstances.  

 
Searching/ Hashtags/Hyperlinks

The website has a search feature.  We also employ the use of hashtags.  Clicking on #resumes will bring up group posts, topics, blogs, videos, and posts that discuss resumes.  We will also hyperlink content -- a keynote presentation on resumes, for example, will link to a forum on resume writing, and blog posts.  We hope this will allow you to quickly find relevant content quickly and effectively.

 
Suggestions?

Message Jen or Maren through the BP community, or email us at info@beyondprof.com  We can’t guarantee that we will be able to accommodate every suggestions or recommendation, but we’re happy to hear from you and learn how we can make BP more responsive to the needs of the members.