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The CareerWISE Problem Solving Method Quick Review

Here is a quick-reference version of the CareerWISE Problem Solving Method. You can print this out and keep it handy.

Step 1: First Assess the Problem by

  • listing the facts
  • identifying your part
  • considering others’ perspectives
  • collecting missing information

Step 2: Then Specify the Outcome You Want by

  • selecting your priority problem
  • establishing what’s under your control
  • setting a concrete outcome

Step 3: Next, Strategize by

  • identifying potential solution strategies
  • assessing your skills
  • weighing strategies and selecting the best one
  • making a plan

Step 4: Finally, Execute and Evaluate by

  • acting on your plan
  • evaluating whether the desired outcome was achieved
  • cycling back to step 1 if needed
  • reviewing what you learned

Keep in Mind

The CareerWISE Problem-Solving Method is not a linear process. Rather, it’s a cyclical one that involves trying out similar tactics for different problems, or regrouping when a strategy does not work out as planned.

The resources presented on the CareerWISE site can be used for many more situations beyond the four Common Concerns that many women face in science and engineering PhD programs.

You have the awareness and ability to use these resilience skills to manage your current concern and those that may come up in the future. Resilience skills just take practice and determination-characteristics you already demonstrate as a graduate student. Make a commitment to yourself and your goals as you would to an important project or grant in the lab.

You can always return to the CareerWISE site for supportive resources and for a refresher on the topics that are salient to you.

Sexual Harassment: It's Not Just You
The importance of sharing stories of sexual harassment with others to gain support.

Words of Wisdom: Dr. Anderson-Rowland
The importance of finding a good advisor and making sure to get everything in writing.

Pros and Cons of an International Advisor
Experiences with an international advisor.

The Opportunity to be a Jack of All Trades
The opportunity for freedom, growth, and collaboration as a faculty member.

Lack of Women Role Models
The importance of sharing stories of sexual harassment with others and realizing that you are not alone.

It's the Little Things that Annoy You (Part 1)
The importance of picking your battles to avoid unfair labeling.

The Two-Body Problem
Challenges with being married to a fellow academician and finding faculty positions.

Becoming an Independent Voice as a Young Faculty Member
The process of establishing yourself in the same department as your spouse.


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