Graduate and postdoctoral training provides a natural platform to develop and practice professional skills. Professional skills such as analytical reasoning and problem-solving, communication, leadership, teamwork, professional conduct, and project and organizational management are highly transferable to any job sector. Employers within and outside academia rank transferable skills as top competencies when making a job offer. Our mission is to help our trainees utilize guided assessment tools to evaluate their skills, strengths, and values and to consult with our team to identify gaps and opportunities to hone specific skills. We believe it is important to revisit such assessments at least once a year as you grow and develop new skills.
Skills Assessment Tools for Professional Success
- Individual Development Plan (IDP): a free tool to help align your skills, interests, and values with career options.
- GallUp Strengths Finder: We suggest checking out Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): an online assessment to help you identify what motivates you and how you interact with the world around you.
- Born for This by Chris Guillebeau
- Finding Your Ikigai: The Key to Workplace Happiness
- Via Institute on Character
- One-on-One Appointment
Additional University of Michigan Resources:
- PhD Transferable Skills – Michigan State University Graduate School
- “A Toolkit of Transferable Skills for Postdocs” by Phil Dee, Science Magazine
- “A Cool Trick: How to Spin 1 Resume Bullet 5 Different Ways” – The Muse
- “Anatomy of a Job Ad” by Julia McAnallen, Inside Higher Ed