When you reflect on your years in high school, chances are there was at least one teacher who made an impact, someone who cared about your work and you as a person.
When you were a graduate student, you may have found a brilliant academic advisor who helped you shape your research, improve your writing and tailor your applications for academic posts.
But once you are out in the wild world of academia, you are often on your own. Unless you are in a faculty with a great sense of camaraderie and an ethic of supporting each other, you are now the only one with a red pen to correct your grammar and writing style. Without a devoted academic advisor, now there’s no one with a steaming cup of tea to push you to refine your thesis statement or walk you through the publishing process.
One option, as with many things in life, is to seek outside help.
Borrowing from the practice of having specialist coaches for high-performance athletes, an academic coach can step in. A coach is somebody with experience and a desire to nurture and mentor someone else. They typically assist someone younger – in age or experience – who has aspirations to improve and/or excel. It can be a long-term process or a once-off consultation, but its central purpose is to hone in on certain skills and develop a personalised plan of action. Academic coaches carry a similar toolbox for crafting long-term goals, developing tactics for boosting motivation, and refining the skills required for achieving success.
“The coaching was very motivating, we were taught about our own strengths.” – Lina Vollmer, GESIS
How might coaching apply in the space of higher education? Consider two of the primary aspects of a career in academia:
- Teaching, and all the administrative tasks that come with it.
- Publishing, including research, writing and dissemination.
Executive coaching can help with the first. This practice has been quite popular in the corporate world and Fortune 500 companies. Some coaches are now tailoring their services to those in higher education, focusing primarily on helping with managerial tasks, political dilemmas and personnel disagreements. Having access to an executive coach can be particularly helpful to those who need a confidential space to talk through some of these challenges and find solutions.
Verlag Barbara Budrich offers Academic Coaching
Academic coaching for writing and publishing caters to the second priority. In this case, a series of one-on-one sessions along with a set of group meetings can help you improve your writing, target the right journals for publication, and keep you motivated. At Verlag Barbara Budrich publishers and authors can sign up for personalised coaching or join a writing club, or both.
“It is always great to see how young academics can develop their own author’s voice, when they realise there are skills to be picked up and work to be put in. But, in the end, it is not rocket science or witchcraft.” – Barbara Budrich
The coaching programme, for example, helps authors develop not only a publication strategy but also their writing voice. Participating in the coaching programme helps clear your path by determining which journals you should target, whether you should consider open access, who might be a suitable publisher for your book, and what you should look for in a publishing agreement.
If it’s been ages since someone picked apart your writing and showed you ways to improve or get out of a rut, coaching for publishing can help you write beautifully.
Academics have personal lives and multiple demands outside of work, so the Verlag Barbara Budrich coaches also help you think through your work-life balance and offer advice on time management in everyday academic life.
The Writing Club
If a one-on-one structure is not right for you, but a regular feedback and support system from peers and advisors seems more appropriate, you should consider the Budrich Writing Club.
As part of the Barbara Budrich set of training options, membership in the Writing Club provides various services and encouragement.
Members meet online monthly in small groups to discuss the writing process. These meetings are facilitated by Barbara Budrich or one of her trainers. During the rest of the time, you have unlimited access to your trainer by email or via one-on-one discussions by appointment.
Each month you will also have the opportunity to submit one of your texts to get feedback from Barbara Budrich or her team.
On top of this specific guidance, you can participate in the monthly series of “Publishing Insights”, a webinar offering insider knowledge from the world of scientific publishing. Joining the Writing Club also gives you access to a library of materials, handouts, video recordings, checklists and white papers in the members’ area.
To improve your writing and get a publication under your belt while reducing anxiety over the process and outcomes means you need to find optimal ways of organising your work. You might consider signing up for a series of coaching sessions to help you do just that.
Click 👉 here to find out more about the various coaching and writing workshops we have in store over the next while.
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