Set the framework for a good career development dialogue

As a manager, you have a special role to play in helping employees become more aware of their career choices and opportunities, both at the university and outside it. During career development dialogues, the employee’s wishes for their career and working life should be discussed and aligned with the opportunities you as a manager see for them.

The manager's role in career development (video in Danish) Henrik Philipp Kroer from AU HR, Development and Work environment

Regardless of whether you are managing researchers or technical and administrative staff, Aarhus University would like you to help employees become more career conscious.

As a workplace, Aarhus University has therefore decided to focus on career development for all employees. From 2023, all researchers in temporary positions will be invited to a career development dialogue. 

This page contains additional information and help on how to get started.

Career clarification for researchers in temporary positions

A large proportion of researchers who are currently at the early stages of their academic career, will end up spending their careers outside academia. Not all PhD Fellows or postdoc appointments result in a permanent academic position. Instead, they’re usually a springboard to other exciting career paths. However, these career paths can be more difficult to spot and switching paths can be challenging, which is why AU must provide additional support to PhDs and postdocs.

Career development dialogues can be a powerful tool in this context. The dialogues can help employees make informed decisions about their working life.

Career development dialogue

If an employee is a researcher in a temporary position, then they are typically at the beginning of their career and it can be difficult for them to see the opportunities and limitations of their future career path. Both inside or outside the university.

Aarhus University cannot necessarily provide employees with the exact career that they are dreaming of, but we would like to help them find the right path. In other words, we would like to help them identify the opportunities and limitations of their desired career trajectory.

What has Aarhus University decided?

Beginning in 2023, all researchers in temporary positions will be offered a career development dialogue during their first year of employment as well as prior to any employment contract extensions or offers of permanent employment. A framework for the other employee groups will follow in due course.

Who is responsible for convening the career development dialogue?

As a manager, it isyour responsibility to invite the employee to the dialogue. Contact your department management team if you are in doubt about whether you are the dialogue facilitator. Just as with SDD dialogues, the roles in the dialogues are determined locally.

If your local management team does not have a framework in place, you are welcome to contact AU HR to set up a workshop. Learn more about workshops for management teams.

How do you set the framework for the dialogue?

  1. Before the dialogue, it is a good idea to check the statistics for positions in your unit. This will ensure that you are up-to-date on the opportunities and limitations of the job structure.
  2. Use our guides for career development dialogues. The classic guide provides a framework for before, during and after the dialogue. You can also choose to use the visual guide that provides a more relaxed framework for the dialogue. Choose the guide that best suits you and the employee.

What happens after the dialogue?

It is the employee’s responsibility to summarise the agreements reached during the dialogue. However, make yourself available to help them with this, or do it together at the end of meeting.
You can read more about your further contributions under the section ”What can you do as a manager?

Want to find out more?

If you have any questions about the career development initiative and your role in it, you are welcome to contact: Henrik Philipp Kroer, tel. (+45) 26282361 or Rikke Steen Andersen, tel. (+45) 93522781

AU Career PhD & JR

AU Career PhD & JR offers a wide range of career services for researchers in temporary positions. The services are available to researchers from all five faculties. Services include career guidance, career planning tools and a job application toolkit, career counselling and help to explore your career options.

The Kitchen

You don't have to be a born entrepreneur to get help from The Kitchen. Every employee at AU can use The Kitchen for advice and guidance on how to start their own business. The Kitchen can help AU employees at any stage. You are welcome to visit The Kitchen if you’re merely interested in seeing whether it could be a way to go or if you already have a company and want competent advice on how to develop it.

Read more about The Kitchen and what they can provide here:

Junior Researcher Association

As a researcher in a temporary position, you can become a member of the Junior Researcher Association. As a member, you will receive newsletters and be invited to participate in association activities, including various courses.

Career clarification for researchers in permanent positions

Content under development...

Career clarification for technical and administrative staff

Content under development...