30 Things to Help You Find a Job With Your BA, MA, or PhD


1. This book to help you to not be intimidated by business majors.

2. This career book.

3. This article to help you understand how to sell your liberal arts degree to employers.

4.  This basic tutorial to help you learn a bit of Excel. Not knowing Excel in the non-academic world is like not knowing how to use a word processer in academia. A little preparation goes a long way.

5. The permission to read some junky magazines, science fiction, or whatever you like. You are free of only reading literary theory and 18th century novels.

6.  This book to help you think a bit more about money, your finances, and how to earn more. Money can’t buy happiness, but poverty can’t buy you anything.

7.  The Pledge. It’s a self-help book. But the advice is brilliant. And the author has a PhD in philosophy–and then, in his thirties, made himself into a millionaire. Suspend your disbelief of personal development and read the book.

8. A record book like this. Every month, write down four practical tasks that will help you become more employable.


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career advice PhDs non academic jobs


9.  This article I wrote about 35 jobs for English majors.

10.  A career direction. It could be vague. Like working in magazines or learning about ‘business.’ But you need a direction. Go back to #9, and give it a read.

11.  The knowledge that what you studied in university doesn’t define your career path. Your skill aptitude is what defines your career path. If you suck at math, you’ll never work as a rocket scientist. But you could be a brilliant market researcher, a software sales person, a business analyst, or a celebrity publicist. People get hired for the value they provide, not for the degree they have on a wall.

12.  Your degree took forever. But learning the skills for a new job doesn’t have to take long. 6 months of intensive study can start to make you an expert in a field like sales, business, or PR.

13. The knowledge that opportunity isn’t obvious. You have to train yourself to hear it.

14.  The confidence that attitude does help you get hired. It counts. Here’s my manifesto on it.

15.  My promise that it doesn’t always stay bad like this. It will get better.

16.  Learn how to write a cover letter that doesn’t mention your degree in the first or second or third paragraph.

17.  A resume with some type of relevant, practical experience. Nothing? See #18.

18.  An internship or un-paid work period on your resume. It doesn’t matter if you feel too old to be an intern. Suck it up. Get the experience. Or volunteer at a non-profit. Or help a friend with their business. Anything that can help you get a bit of practical experience will pay dividends.

19.  Five books on your shelf that are related to practical skills. For example, HTML. Or Excel for Dummies. You will thank yourself later in a job interview when you can say yes, I could update the company blog.


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20. An online course related to something practical on your resume. Take one here.

21.  A real email address. Your education email address says–I’m a student, not a job candidate. Use Gmail.

22.  A LinkedIn profile.

23.  The recognition that your choice of majors might not have been practical and university might not have been the best investment, but it is over now.

24.  Five blogs you read that are helping you become more employable. These vary to the field you are thinking of joining. I read http://www.seomoz.org/, http://sethgodin.typepad.com/, http://www.copyblogger.com/, http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/, http://www.earlytorise.com/.

25.  The assurance that life will not be horrible and meaningless outside of academia. You will still be creative. You will still think. There are rewarding careers outside of books and leafy campus pathways.

26.  The realization that many smart people exist outside of grad school.

27.  This quote: “A year from now you will wish you started today.”

28.  This quote: “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Napoleon Hill.

29.  Take one practical step every day towards making yourself more employable. Today, it could be learning 15 minutes of Excel. These little sessions add up.

30. Just say yes. You never know where it will take you.


How to Find a Career With Your Humanities Degree in 126 Days 

If you are at a loss of what careers you can get with your BA, MA, or PhD in the humanities, then you are not alone. best career book for english majors

How to Find a Career With Your Humanities Degree in 126 Days is a 18 week challenge (126 days) where you are shown the exact steps and actions needed to get out of ‘liberal arts career limbo.’

The 126 Day challenge begins right where you are–broke, no idea of what you want to do, working a crappy job, and nothing more than a degree on your resume.

Week by week, the book offers a step-by-step program, helping you turn the big goal of finding a career into smaller, manageable daily actions.

Learn more here


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