I design and run events on various topics at the intersection of academic life, academic writing, and welfare and mental health. Here are a few outlines to give you a sense of what I can cover.
How to work (and live) well
Working habits tend to accrete in haphazard ways, many of which serve neither us or our work very well. This session invites you to turn a critical eye on your own routines and introduces you to ways of optimising them. Optional elements include:
- Reflection on the multiple roles your life involves and how these give rise to goals that matter to you.
- Joining the dots between daily and weekly levels of tasks and projects, your goals and roles for your current degree or position and beyond.
- Exploration of the distinction between urgency and importance and what that means for how you spend your time.
- Investigation of how long basic tasks (everyday and academic) actually take, and strategies for getting better at predicting and planning.
- Inquiry into feelings of academic failure and how to overcome them.
- Simple physical stretches to remind you that your brain is part of your body.
Is your web presence working for you?
This workshop deals with the global strategy and practical details of enhancing your online presence. Topics that can be covered include:
- an overview of the major forms of online content (websites, webpages, profiles, blogs, podcasts — plus a little on social media)
- the challenges and opportunities involves in balancing an academic with a non-academic online profile, or creating a hybrid
- what happens when you Google yourself, and how to change it
- the importance of generating valuable content, and the practicalities of monetising it
- the necessity of patience when it comes to building up an online audience
- the benefits of keeping things simple on the tech side
- the potential for crafting and maintaining a tailored web presence to help clarify for yourself what you’re doing and why
The emphasis is on professional pathways that open out from academia to alt-ac, portfolio, and other careers involving freelance elements, but the material may also be useful for other academic and post-academic routes.
Overcoming a sense of academic failure
This is the most context-dependent of the options I offer. It can be framed as large half-day event involving small-group work connecting established academics with students and early-career researchers, as an intimate workshop for a close-knit cohort, or anything in between.
Topics that may be addressed include:
- Why failure matters (in academia)
- The differences between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ failure
- The feeling of failure, and what to do with it
- Putting failure in perspective
- Impostor syndrome, anxiety, and perfectionism
- Failure, you, and other people
- Shared and individual actions to make a difference
- How you’ll know when you’ve succeeded in making a difference!
The session draws on a podcast series and workbook I created after the first academic failure event I ran (find out more here), including honest testimony from academics at all career stages. I also create unthreatening contexts for participants to share their own experiences, and use generic case studies to help uncover common themes in responses to failure.
My standard fee is £300 for a half-day session, including all preparation and materials, and adjustable pro rata, but prices are negotiable. Please get in touch with me via the contact form if you’re interested in running a workshop along the lines of any of these three, or would like to talk through an idea for a different kind of event, in a university setting or otherwise. I’d love to hear from you.