Emails Help Members “Shape Up” Their Career Goals

By Leah Poffenberger

The APS Careers team has been hard at work, supplying students and early career members with resources aimed at exploring options and opportunities for physics careers. Following a successful and extremely popular Summer Webinar Series, two new webinar series are running this fall, titled “Success in Industry Careers” and “Physics Career Exploration.” In addition to webinars, APS Careers is launching the Shape Up email series—a brand-new tool to help early career members meet their goals.

The Shape Up email series, which launched at the end of October, allows members to opt in for a guided six- to eight-week “challenge” designed to help with achieving career goals. Participants will receive a weekly email with a short task to complete, breaking up big career goals into small, surmountable steps. Currently, there are five topics to choose from: Boost My Grad School Application, Shape Up My Career Exploration, Shape Up My Job Search, Shape Up for the Interview Process, and Shape Up My Professional Image.

“We have so many great career resources, but a lot of people might not know they exist. Shape Up came about to give people better access to these resources,” says Midhat Farooq, APS Careers Program Manager. “Our goal in APS Careers is to help guide students and early career physicists through their career journey. Shape Up is a way of accomplishing this by tailoring each series topic to meet a specific audience goal.”

This summer, the Career Shape Up email series underwent a soft-launch alongside the Summer Webinar Series, featuring three topics: Boost My Grad School Application, Shape Up My Career Exploration, and Shape Up My Job Search.

“We decided on these specific topics based on conversations with students and early career members, and a survey conducted by Farah Dawood, APS Chapters Program Manager, that was conducted to guide the Chapters program as well as the Summer Webinar Series,” says Farooq. “Additionally, some of the topics that are being launched, including ideas for future topics, came directly from feedback given by attendees of the Summer Webinar series—people told us what webinars they want to see, which gave us a better idea of our audience’s career goals.”

While the soft-launch was aimed at undergraduate students applying to graduate school or seeking advice on career trajectory, the official Shape Up content will be broader, including the two new topics—interview and negotiation skills, and professional image—that appeal to members further along in their careers as well as undergraduates. Anyone can sign up for multiple Shape Up emails if they’d like, though APS Careers recommends doing one challenge at a time.

“As a Shape Up recipient, you can choose your career goal and based on that goal we will send you five to six emails that will be regular challenges or tasks: did you continue searching for grad schools this week, have you worked on your resume recently, have you applied to more jobs this week?” says Farooq. “It’s a month to a month and a half commitment—the idea is to have a short-term challenge that’s both helpful and also easy to complete, like a seven-day health challenge.”

With its wealth of resources for job seekers, APS Careers is employing the Shape Up emails to get the relevant and timely information to those looking to meet specific goals.

“APS Careers is focusing on audience needs—right now we have a lot of career resources, and we’re working to get these to our different audiences,” says Farooq. “This is what we’re doing for webinars as well—we have launched a new series on Physics Career Exploration and one on Success in Industry Careers, both aiming to meet specific needs of our attendees.”

To opt-in to Career Shape Up e-mails, visit the Shape Up page. Other career resources, as well as past and current webinar series can be accessed at the Careers website.

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondents: Sophia Chen, Alaina G. Levine
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik

November 2020 (Volume 29, Number 10)

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Articles in this Issue
2020 Nobel Prize in Physics
New Research Resource Group Brings Physics Expertise to the Coronavirus Pandemic
APS Launches a New Chapters Pilot Program
APS to Consider Police Conduct in Choice of Meeting Locations
Jami Valentine Miller Inspires the Next Generation
STEP UP Social Hours
The APS Topical Group on Magnetism and its Applications
Small-Scale Robots Benefit Environmental and Medical Research
This Month in Physics History
Office of Government Affairs
FYI: Science Policy News from AIP
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