The post-academic job search: finding opportunities outside the university and building applications

Academia Raetica

General information and fee

  • Dates and times:

    • The course is postponed to 2023!

  • Lecturer: Dr. Djahane Banoo and Dr. Martin Gutmann

  • Language: English (German is possible for group work and individual feedback)

  • Target audience: doctoral students and postdocs

  • Course fee for participants from Academia Raetica member or partner institutions: CHF 150

  • External participants: CHF 250

  • Max. number participants: 12 (min. number participants 8)

  • Our terms and conditions

  • Course Coordinator: Daniela Heinen,, phone 081 410 60 84

  • Credit points: This training requires 14 hours of attendance plus 16 hours for preparation and homework. Please check with your supervisor at your university, if the course counts towards ECTS.

  • Course certificate: You will receive a certificate of attendance, if you attend the entire course.

Course outline and learning outcomes

This course is for doctoral students and postdocs interested in transitioning into a non-university career. It reviews the current employment situation and provides participants with the practical tools to develop a rewarding career, whether in the private or public sector.

During the workshop, participants will gain an understanding of how to approach the job market (where doctorate holders work, the paths they take in their careers, their interaction with employers), and how to prepare for and succeed in a post-academic career.

Over the course of three ‘learning units,’ participants will learn how to identity and effectively communicate their unique skills (both hard skills and soft skills) as well as their motivations and interests. They will be introduced to what options are out there for their unique skill set, and they will be encouraged to ‘think outside the box’ and actively design unique career opportunities for themselves. Participants will also get vital inputs on how hiring works outside of universities and how to effectively network (including using LinkedIn). Moreover, they will learn how to write a non-academic CV and cover letter, and how to prepare for and succeed in job interviews and negotiations. Participants will receive personalised feedback from their peers as well as from the trainers.

The course is comprised of a mix of hands-on exercises, group discussions, and short lectures.

Content and schedule

Day 1, October 27 (online): Mindset

  • Contemplating the challenges of leaving academia

  • Understanding the non-academic world

  • Finding your purpose

  • Identifying transferable skills

Day 2, October 28 (online): Discovering opportunities and applying for jobs

  • Finding job opportunities

  • Networking and social media (LinkedIn)

  • The non-academic job search

  • How to prepare your application material (CV and cover letter)

Day 3, November 8 (Davos): Getting a job

  • Workshopping your job materials (with feedback)

  • Interviewing

  • Negotiating

  • Success stories


Participants are instructed to complete short (30- 90 min) assignments before and between the sessions. Detailed instructions and clear explanations ensure effective and efficient group experiences.

About the Trainers

Dr. Djahane Banoo is the founder of Align Coaching. She specializes in helping students and academic professionals maximize their learning and achieve success. She draws on insights from Design Thinking, Positive Psychology and Sociology in her work as a coach and trainer. In addition to her coaching practice, Djahane is the Managing Director of the Graduate School for Environment, Society and Global Change at the University of Freiburg, Germany. To learn more about Djahane, please visit her website:

Dr. Martin Gutmann is a partner at Align Coaching and a lecturer in leadership, communication and negotiation at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and at ETH Zurich. He works extensively with individuals and organisations on talent and leadership development, including various federal departments of the Swiss government and financial services organizations, such as Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance. In addition to his Ph.D. in history from Syracuse University (USA), he holds an Executive MBA from ie Business School (Spain).

Registration deadline is Wednesday, October 6.

Image by G. Altmann / Pixabay

Um unsere Website für Sie optimal zu gestalten und fortlaufend verbessern zu können, verwenden wir Cookies. Durch die weitere Nutzung der Website stimmen Sie der Verwendung von Cookies zu. Weitere Informationen zu Cookies erhalten Sie in unserer Datenschutzerklärung.