At Oxford we’ve been using ‘Career Lounges’ for a year now. These are informal democratic group discussions on career themes that aim to give access to ‘communities of interest’, role-models and promote self-efficacy. We were inspired by their use at UC Berkeley and Stanford (where they’re called ‘career meetups‘).
For more information, my contribution on the same topic to our recent AGCAS conference is also available online. You can download the PowerPoint I gave about them. As this was a workshop session, I might advise against sitting through the whole podcast: as we worked in pairs and small groups and tried out a career lounge in the room, there was much discussion that the mic didn’t manage to pick up. I also forgot the mic was at the lectern, and merrily wandered in and out of pickup range.
We’re recording a career lounge or two here at Oxford for our website, and I’ll make sure to circulate that when it’s up online. I’ve had a fair few conversations with colleagues around the UK who are considering trying these out, so do share any comment/question/findings below – it’d be great to have an informal democratic group discussion. (See what I did there?)