MODULE 1 – Self-Assessments and Career Exploration


To utilize self-assessment resources designed for PhDs to explore career families!

Individual Activities

  1. Complete the ImaginePhD self-assessments for skills, interests, and values and/or the MLA Career Exploration Activity Packet:  Skills Self-Assessment
  2. Choose 3-5 career families that you would like to explore. Consider the job functions (for example, writer), as well as industries (for example, tech) that you are potentially interested in. To learn about PhD career paths for humanists and social scientists, start with these resources (all free to Yale students):
    1. ImaginePhD
    2. VersatilePhD
    3. GSAS Alumni Spotlights
    4. Firsthand (previously Vault) Career Guides
  3. Look at some sample job descriptions for these careers on sites like LinkedIn or The MLA Career Exploration Activity Packet:  Skills Self-Assessment  has useful tips and worksheets to use for analyzing job descriptions. Consider:
    1. What responsibilities do they have? What skills do they require? Which skills require technical knowledge, and which skills are transferable across careers?
    2. What about these jobs do you like? Dislike?

Group Activities

  1. Discuss the results of your assessments:
    1. What career families did you match with based on your self-assessment? Were you familiar with these careers?
    2. What career family/roles did you choose to further explore? Why?
    3. Share what you learned from exploring careers you matched with.
    4. What kind of experience(s) & skill(s) are employers looking for in the positions you searched?
  2. Brainstorm a list of transferable skills that are applicable to your career family and examples where you practiced or demonstrated these skills. How are you developing these skills during the course of your PhD work? Use this resource(courtesy of the MLA) as a guide.
  3. How can you further work on these skills? Are there other resources here at Yale you can utilize to gain this experience? To get you started, check out the lists below of opportunities open to grad students.  Do you have any advice or experience with these opportunities (or others) that you can share with the group?
    1. Public Humanities at Yale – opportunities and internships
    2. Fellowships for GSAS students
    3. Campus organizations offering career-related resources
    4. LinkedIn Learning (free to Yale students)

Optional Activities

Test a career or job function by doing an online job simulation or exercise.  See:

NOTE:   If your group is interested in job simulations, you may choose to add an additional week to your curriculum and use your group meeting to do parts of the exercise together, discuss your work and/or give peer feedback.