55 episodes

The podcast for academic womxn who want to write and publish more while rejecting the culture of overwork in academia.

Cathy Mazak, PhD, helps you create the career (and life) you want by centering your writing. Kick guilt and overwhelm to the curb and amplify your voice to make a real impact on your field--without breaking down or burning out.

Academic Womxn Amplified Cathy Mazak, PhD

    • Self-Improvement
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

The podcast for academic womxn who want to write and publish more while rejecting the culture of overwork in academia.

Cathy Mazak, PhD, helps you create the career (and life) you want by centering your writing. Kick guilt and overwhelm to the curb and amplify your voice to make a real impact on your field--without breaking down or burning out.

    Dangerous Versus Scary Career Moves

    Dangerous Versus Scary Career Moves

    Making a change in your academic career can be scary, but is it dangerous? On this episode I’m helping you recognize when deciding not to make a change might be the danger.
     
    I’m an avid podcast listener. I recently heard a story on the How I Built This podcast about an investment banker whose doctor told her that if something didn’t change, she was going to have a stroke, or a heart attack. Staying in that job, for her, was exceedingly dangerous. This got me thinking about our careers in academia, and dangerous versus scary career moves.
     
    Making a change, speaking up, or creating new boundaries in your career can feel scary. At times, these things might even feel like they are dangerous. Will I lose my job? What if my income changes? What about my identity as ‘an academic’? But I am here to tell you, that staying in a toxic, frustrating or overwhelming situation just because it is scary to leave or create change is where the true danger lies. 
     
    “So although it’s scary to leave, it’s not actually dangerous to leave; it’s dangerous to stay.”
     
    If you’re feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or anxious in your career, here are 3 questions to ask yourself to begin to assess what your next steps should be, even if it feels scary to take them.
    1. What specifically is making me feel this way? You might feel general malaise or anxiety, but the first step is to get very specific about what is making you feel that way. Write it down, make a list. See if you can zero in on the thing (or things) that is making you feel the way you do.
    2. Can I change this thing? Take stock of what you’re in control of, and what increased influence you might have if you are willing to step up or speak out. It might feel scary to do these things, but it could be dangerous to your health to stay quiet. 
     
    “You deserve [for] your career to be great, not just good enough.”
     
    3. What Have I Created and What Am I Creating Now? I’ve talked about this idea before, and I’ll continue to: you and your work are separate from your institution. You are making contributions to your field that are uniquely yours. Take stock of those things, spell them out. Is your current situation helping you to bring that to fruition, or is it stifling?
     
    Once you have the answers to these questions down in black and white, take some time to reflect. Remember that staying in a situation where you feel undue pressure, stress or expectations that don’t align with your personal mission can become an actual danger. Make a plan, even if that involves taking steps that seem scary at first. 
     
    Looking to find more time in your busy schedule to write? I’ve got you covered. Grab my free resource 10 Ways to Make Time to Write.  
    Still Time to Apply for Elevate! Our 6-month intensive program for post-tenure women who are ready to up-level their careers on their own terms is only running once in 2021. 
    You’ll get:
    6 key workshops to help you create and enact your personal plan 6 one-on-one calls, plus group coaching A fantastic, supportive community of like-minded womxn But, don't miss your chance to get our 2020 bonuses!
     
     If you sign up NOW, you also get:
    2 extra one-on-one calls to be used right away in 2020 Early entrance into our Amplify and Elevate community for support, workshops and planning sessions, and people who ‘get it’ An invitation to our virtual retreat happening in January 2021  
    Don’t wait, start the application process now to get the most out of your membership!
     
    Connect with me: Facebook Group
    Facebook Page
    This episode was first published at cathymazak.com/episode52.

    • 32 min
    Career Development for Womxn: An Interview with Carol Parker Walsh

    Career Development for Womxn: An Interview with Carol Parker Walsh

    Career coach Dr. Carol Parker Walsh joins us to share her path into and through academia, and to dig into something we are both passionate about: career development for women. Carol helps women figure out their next career steps, in order to make their lives and careers more individual and joyful. She shares about big moments in her own life that helped her realize she was on the wrong path, and gives us three great questions to ask ourselves to reflect on our careers.
    Key points discussed: Dr. Carol’s career trajectory, including changing her mind from pre-med, practicing law for 10 years, and returning to academia [3:30] Hitting mile markers in life and career that make you pause and think about things [6:30] Being funneled along a career path further and further up the administrative track [8:00] How a life-altering car crash and the death of her father made her pull up and realize she was on the wrong path [10:30] Walking away [12:00] Pivot moments, fear around leaving academia, the idea of the Ivory Tower, and sunk costs [13:30] Calls from others telling her she was ruining her life, and how they ended up emboldening her [14:30] Dr. Carol’s 3 questions to ask yourself when working through change [20:30] Women in the patriarchal culture of academia; using your power to change institutions and situations [26:00] Cultivating a hopeful outlook that builds on your past experiences, rather than a depressed or fearful one that discounts them [34:00] Dr. Carol’s masterclass program to help women work through big questions in career development and next steps [39:30] Key Quotes: “I fell back in love with school.” -Carol Parker Walsh
    “It wasn’t a direct path.” -Carol Parker Walsh
    “The ultimate struggle we face in our society is having the permission and courage to be who we’re meant to be.” -Carol Parker Walsh
    “Is this the trajectory I want to be on?” -Carol Parker Walsh
    “I’ve accomplished so much, now what do I want to do with it?” -Carol Parker Walsh
    “You have permission to have a joyful and fulfilling career; that’s what you deserve, that’s what the world deserves from you.” -Cathy Mazak
     
    Connect with Dr. Carol Parker Walsh Website
    Masterclass: Unplug from the Career Matrix
    Elevate: Up-level Your Post-Tenure Career  
    Applications are open now! Our 6-month intensive program for post tenure women who are ready to up-level their careers on their own terms is only running one time in 2021: February-July.
     
    Here’s what you get through this program:
    6 key workshops to help you create and enact your personal plan 6 one-on-one calls, plus group coaching A fantastic, supportive community of like-minded womxn  
     If you sign up NOW, you also get:
    2 extra one-on-one calls to be used right away in 2020 Early entrance into our Amplify and Elevate community for support, workshops and planning sessions, and people who ‘get it’ An invitation to our virtual retreat happening in January 2021  
    Don’t wait, start the application process now to get the most out of your membership!
     
    Connect with me: Website
    Facebook Group
    Facebook Page
    This episode was first published at cathymazak.com/episode51.

    • 46 min
    You Are Not the Container

    You Are Not the Container

    Your career, your body of scholarly work, is independent of any ‘container’ through which you do that work, like a university or institution. Have you ever thought about this idea? It’s important!
     
    We often look at our career paths in terms of a certain ‘container’. We make choices based on things like which grad school has a reputation that will position us well in our fields, which institutions provide pre-tenure opportunities, etc. Much of the conversation about career paths gets steered toward what the ‘container’ wants: how do I get tenure here? Or full? If you pause to reflect, you might realize you are contorting yourself and your work to fit the needs of your current container. 
     
    I want to flip the script and encourage you to look at your career differently. I’m going to give you some examples to help you see that you are not the container. You do not have to accept the container you’re in, and doing so is not the only way in which to advance your work. There are several ways to make change for yourself and your work:
     
    Work to effect change for yourself inside the container you’re in Change containers  Create your own container  
    Sarah Dobson’s Story On the podcast this past summer we ran a series of interviews highlighting the unique paths that womxn take to and through academia. One guest, Sarah Dobson, is a perfect example of how the work can be done through all kinds of different containers. (If you haven’t heard her episode, I encourage you to go back and take a listen, it’s fantastic!)
     
    Sarah has continued to put her work into the world through a variety of containers: academic institutions, public health nonprofits, and now her own business, doing grant consulting to help others in the field get funding. She continues to influence and add to the body of work in her field of public health through all these different kinds of containers. 
      An Amplify Client’s Story A client in our Amplify pre-tenure program is another great example. She was running an entire graduate program by herself: doing all the admitting, advising and managing for all the students in the program. Her university made no allowances in pay or time to balance this, and she was nearing burn out. 
     
    After coaching and support inside the group, she decided to go on the market. She got a better job, with higher pay and fewer responsibilities. She felt more appreciated and avoided total burnout. She stayed in academia, but changed her container to one that fit better. 
     
    “You don’t have to settle.” 
      My Stories Early in my career, I discovered that part of the job I had been hired to do was not working out at all like I had intended. (High level integration of technology into the educational English learning setting ended up being more like low level IT support.) This was not ok with me, and I couldn’t imagine living out my career this way. I negotiated with my department, and was able to change that part of my job. I always looked for ways to mold my job to the ways I wanted to experience it, by finding research and grant releases for example.
     
    “Can I change this? Can I make this better?”
     
    Later in my career, big changes in my institution itself turned it into a place that was not fun to work at anymore. I did some self reflection, working through a process we now use in our Elevate program, to find my zone of genius. I asked myself what I really loved in my work, and how I wanted to put my work into the world. The final result was this business I am running now to coach other academic womxn. I created my own container, and continue to joyfully put my work into the world! 
     
    For more examples of how academic womxn use different containers to do their work, check out the interviews from the summer session of the podcast, episodes 34 through 43. 
    Elevate  App

    • 28 min
    5 Myths About Your Post Tenure Career

    5 Myths About Your Post Tenure Career

    Are you wondering what your career will be like once you reach that ultimate milestone of tenure? I’m busting 5 myths about the post tenure experience to give you a realistic picture.
     
    Getting tenure is a goal that most academics have had throughout their entire careers. If you are in the pre-tenure process right now, you may be believing one or more of these 5 myths about what it will be like if and when you are granted tenure. I’m busting these myths to give you a clearer picture of the post tenure life, so you can make the best decisions going forward. 
     
    Myth #1: Your Workload Will Decrease If you were not able to say no, speak up, and avoid creep during your pre-tenure process, it’s not going to be any different once you are tenured. You might find that you’re expected to take on new responsibilities, your admin duties increase, you have more meetings, etc. You can help alleviate this issue by starting to practice saying no, setting up boundaries, and speaking up right now.  
     
    “If you haven’t been flexing your ‘say no’ muscle pre-tenure, you are going to have to radically change and develop that muscle post-tenure.” 
      Myth #2: You Can Finally Focus on Your Own Work You might think that once you get tenure, all the other things that have been pushed onto your plate will magically fall away. Alas, no. It’s a process; you will have to get focused and make sure that you put time and energy into self-directed projects that are important for your career. It won’t happen on it’s own, and if you spent your pre-tenure time keeping quiet and taking whatever extra work was given to you, it may take a little longer to pare down. 
     
    “You have to...be proactive about focusing on your own work.”
     
    Myth #3: You’ll Actually Get Paid What You Deserve This one hurts. Sadly, most tenure awards come with only a small pay bump. Many women I talk to tell me that they have been working so hard for so long, and even after tenure they still struggle. If your pay increase at tenure was underwhelming, do a little reflection to see if you want to move in a new direction. Here are some things to consider:
    Do you want to move into a more administrative position that typically comes with higher pay? Can you look for external funding? Do you want to move from faculty to researcher, or make another move? Is it time to switch institutions?   Myth #4: What Got You to Tenure Will Get You to Full Every stage you go through in your academic career needs to see you grow. Your systems, processes and practices need to change and develop to support each new stage of your life and career. The things you did to succeed as a grad student probably don’t work now. The way you approached your work before you had a family likely doesn’t serve you once you do. We need to grow and adapt at each new stage to find what works.
      Myth #5: Your Next Steps Will Be Clear This giant (overly-hyped) milestone of tenure has likely been a goal you have been striving toward your entire academic life. Once you finally achieve it, it can feel a little disorienting. What now? The bad news, and the good news, is that you have to figure it out. You may move on to getting full, you may decide to do something completely different. The steps will not be clear, but the world is your oyster at this point. Envision your ideal circumstances, and work toward them. 
     
    “Your next steps aren’t clear. It’s your job to dream them.”
     
    Elevate is Open for Enrollment for a Limited Time! Our Elevate program is for post-tenure people who are ready to up-level their careers. Over a six month period we will help you create and implement a personalized plan to reach your career goals, using workshops, one-on-one and group coaching, and supportive community. 
    We start in February, but join now and receive:
    2 extra coaching calls

    • 27 min
    Your Top 5 Questions About Academic Publishing Answered

    Your Top 5 Questions About Academic Publishing Answered

    We get a lot of questions about academic publishing in our 14,000 member Facebook group. On this podcast I’m sharing answers to the top 5 questions we see.
     
    Writing and publishing in academia is paramount. In our Facebook group we get lots of questions about academic publishing, so I’m breaking down answers to the 5 questions we see the most. Let’s jump right in.
     
    Question #1: How do I respond to reviewer comments if I don't agree with them? First off, I want to say that peer review is important! It teaches you to be a better article writer and helps you hone your craft. That said, many of us have been in the position of receiving feedback that we do not agree with. Maybe the suggestions made are simply impossible to bring about (changes to vital research, for example), or maybe you just disagree on an epistemological level. What then? 
    First make sure you’ve taken a good look at the feedback. Is it possible there is a kernel of helpfulness there? Realize that this may indicate the journal in question is not a good fit for you. Remember that YOU are the owner and decision maker for this piece. You do not have to make the changes!  Consider making a table with each feedback note on the left, and how you will address (or not address) the item on the right. If you’re not making a change, explain why but keep it short. You may find the editor is fine with it. If not, then you get to choose your next steps.   Question #2: How do I find a journal to publish my article in? When choosing a publication to send work out to, it helps to consider where you look for your own references, and who you want your audience to be.
    Look at the reference lists of some of the articles you love and rely on in your own work. If you find some of the same publications appearing in these lists, they might be a good fit for you too. Go online and read descriptions and scope for journals you’re considering. Who is on the review boards? Are they people you already read or cite frequently? That’s a good sign. Think about your audience. Who do you want reading your work?    Question #3: Should I go for a top tier or mid tier journal? Top tier journals tend to be prestigious and well known, while mid tier journals are less known by a wider audience and tend to be more niched. There is some truth to the general wisdom suggesting you ‘submit higher and resubmit lower’, but you definitely don’t want to end up not publishing at all because you are holding out for higher tier. I encourage you to consider these 3 questions before you submit:
     
    What is the article doing for you and your career? Where you choose to submit should fall in line with your larger publishing strategy, and what work you have coming later in your pipeline. How does this article fit into the larger scheme of your research trajectory?  Who is the audience for this piece? If you have a piece that is in a niche or sub-field, a mid tier journal might be a sound choice.  
    “You’re going to get more eyes on an article...if you publish it in the journals that your niche loves and reads.”
    Question #4: How do I know if the publisher reaching out to me is predatory?  Sometimes the answers to this question can be a little murky, depending on field and media type, but let’s get a few easy indicators down first. If you get a generic email that looks like you were cut and pasted into it, or there are a lot of typos, or the wording is strange and clunky, go ahead and delete those.
     
    Depending on your field, a publisher who asks you to pay to publish in their journal could be predatory. However, do your research on this one and look to people in your field because this could just be how things are done in your particular area of study. 
     
    If someone is looking for books to publish, it’s possible they might cold email or call you, but look for k

    • 35 min
    Abundance vs. Scarcity

    Abundance vs. Scarcity

    Do you constantly feel like there is not enough time, not enough resources, not enough publications, just not enough? This isn’t a coincidence (and it isn’t the truth). In academia we’ve been conditioned into a scarcity mindset.
    An abundance mindset means you feel like there is enough of something: enough time, enough resources, plenty to go around for everyone. Scarcity mindset assumes there is never enough, and you better scramble and scratch for everything you can get. We’ve been conditioned to see our careers through a scarcity lens, but it does not have to be that way! 
    What is a Scarcity Mindset? Scarcity mindset, the feeling that there is never enough, is rampant in academia. When we never know how much is enough, it breeds feelings of never enough. 
     
    If it is unclear exactly how many publications you need for tenure, it ends up feeling like there are never enough.  When your department chair sends out the vibe that there is no money for anything and don’t even bother asking, it can seem like there is never enough money.  When we don’t have a clear academic mission statement and clear boundaries around our time, it feels like there is never enough time in the day. If you work hard and still don’t get promoted, it may feel like you are not enough.  
    “What if we stopped saying ‘there’s not enough time’ and what if we started saying ‘there is enough time; my priorities need shifting.’”
    Consequences of Scarcity Mindset for Your Writing The scarcity mindset affects your writing, your output, even the quality of your publications.
     
    When you believe there is ‘never enough’ time to write, you will feel overwhelmed and guilty about your writing. When you feel that there are ‘never enough’ publications, you may say yes to publication opportunities that don’t line up with your mission, or take on too many projects. If you can’t say no to projects, your pipeline turns into a funnel and gets clogged up and unproductive.  
    “One of the reasons that you can’t say no is because you are conditioned toward scarcity.”
    What Can We Do About It? Scarcity is a mindset, not a reality. The key to changing how we feel about abundance vs. scarcity is to stop and take a critical look at the reality of each situation. Here are some steps to take to help you change your mindset, and by consequence, your experience of your career.
     
    Recognize that scarcity mindset is based on a fear that more won’t come. If you don’t do this thing now, you might not get another chance. This is true sometimes! But in the vast majority of cases, you will have another chance. Be honest with yourself and look the fear in the eye. Realize that you will get more work done, better quality work done, if you focus in instead of taking on everything. Stay in your zone of genius, even if it means saying no to some things, and you will see much better results.  Create systems and processes that help you keep moving forward in your own direction. Establish boundaries for yourself and others to protect your time, energy, and resources. Take a close look at the cultural and institutional conditioning that you may not have even noticed before. Which areas are always well funded? Is there an underlying belief that you can only do the work within time constraints if you have lots of support at home? Always question and push back against these cultural issues that need to change in our institutions.  
    “I will write more, produce more, publish more by saying no to things.”
    Apply for Amplify The real work of pre-tenure is becoming the scholar YOU want to be! Join a cohort of like-minded womxn who are putting their writing at the center, and learning how to map their own paths to success, plus get support, resources and training from our professional team. Apply for our Amplify program today!  

    • 24 min

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Inspiring!

Smart, practical and engaging. Cathy gives realistic and simple advice for women in academia.

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