Career Rebound? Or Intentional Planning!

Jennifer Askey
5 min readAug 11, 2021

While The Great Resignation is drawing attention to the fact that we are in a moment when people want and expect more out of their professional lives, those of us who are mindful, intentional, and soul-focused career coaches have been working with clients to create this future for years.

Next Chapter Academic has the expressed goal of supporting academic professionals who feel stuck or abandoned or at the end of their ropes and are looking for a new and INSPIRING path forward. You don’t want just another job. You want, and deserve, a building block in a career and life legacy, and for increasing numbers of professionals, the traditional academic route does not lead in this direction.

If you are an adjunct or sessional instructor, getting paid course by course and connecting enough one-off contracts to get by — you’re getting by, but you’re not building a career.

If you’re in your second or third or fourth “visiting” appointment or postdoc, you aren’t building your legacy; you are contributing to someone else’s, or an institution’s legacy at the expense of your own earning potential, stability, and career arc.

Often, when this realization hits you, the natural tendency is to LEAP off of this path onto the next best thing that comes by. But your career should not be in a rebound romance situation! Instead of taking any job that comes your way, you need a plan for where you want that job to take you.

A young man wearing an orange hoodie and toque jumps off a brick wall in a parkour move.

In Next Chapter Academic, we work on your career map so that you can connect the dots between where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you are headed, so that the path you create for yourself makes sense to you, to recruiters, and to hiring committees. At the same time, we work together on your inner world, so that your thoughts and emotions, your self-talk and your internal motivation, are on board and aligned with the direction you are heading — rather than pulling you down into doom and gloom.

So, instead of taking the “pray and spray” method of applying to hundreds of jobs and crossing your fingers that someone calls you back, you create a laser-focused strategy. Next Chapter Academic coaches support you in crafting the mindset and the materials you need to land not just any job, but the career you want.

But what if this unsustainable job is the one I want? Teaching is the only job I’ve ever wanted! I’ve always wanted to be a professor!

I hear you. Every assessment I’ve ever taken indicates that I should be a professor or a writer. Being a professor — being an intellectual — was integral to how I understood my place in the world. But, critically, the job of professor or teacher is only ONE possible path to bring your particular gifts and talents and inspiration into the world. And, assessments, job boards, and your uncle Harry’s ideas about getting into plastics, because they’re the wave of the future, are not going to give you viable alternatives.

This is where working in community with a coach comes in. Individually, each of us can imagine a few alternatives to our current situation and then we run aground. That is why Next Chapter Academic includes weekly group coaching calls, a small accountability group or partner, and several sessions of one-on-one coaching. Each person in the program gets the benefits of their own experience, curiosity, and imagination, along with that of everyone else in the group and your two coaches. Together, we can create amazing things! Unique insights and opportunities, and new connections that shore up your existing network and support not only your job search but your career development as a whole!

Study after study shows that people get the next great job opportunity not because their resume was the snazziest (although having a resume that reflects your experience and is legible to your target audience is important!) but because of their connections — their network of people who know, like, and trust them and are willing to share upcoming vacancies with them, put in a good word, or provide an informational interview that gives a candidate clarity about how to present themselves in a new arena.

Job hunting and career building should NOT be solo endeavours. You need a team behind you! Not only are the connections important to your career success, but the emotional boost you get from being in a group with people who are on the same journey and approaching it with the same positive mindset multiplies your own chances of success.

Our clients tell us — and we know from having done it ourselves — that even THINKING about a significant career pivot is scary. And because it is scary, we find ourselves treading water, second guessing ourselves, and staying in the uncomfortable situation of knowing where we are is no longer a good fit but not knowing — or having the momentum — to get out of it.

We can help you get unstuck. Whether it is with researching a new industry, activating your network, introducing you to new contacts, helping you craft your story so that people outside of academia can really see and feel what you bring to their unique problems. You don’t have to do this work alone!

In Next Chapter Academic, participants get an energetic group experience, individual coaching, and a daily (short) practice of mental fitness through the Positive Intelligence (PQ) program. The mindfulness-based PQ work helps people harvest insights and turn them into inspired action. This “inner work” focuses on creating and supporting your connection to your individual life’s purpose and the growth mindset required to get unstuck, make plans, and see them through to success.

Traditional work has been, we hope, irrevocably changed due to the pandemic. Traditional jobs in academia are becoming even scarcer (if that were possible!) and people who are looking to change and grow their careers need new models for this new reality. To find the career that brings you fulfillment and the opportunity to use your best skills and best self, you need to get connected to your inner wisdom, your Truth. Working with us and using mental fitness and PQ to turn down the volume and frequency of your self-limiting inner dialog and connect with your purpose will radically transform your inner and outer reality around work and your career.

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Jennifer Askey

Academic Leadership coach working with emotional intelligence & positive psychology to help scholars and administrators flourish.