New Research Staff Careers Consultant at the IAD

Hello, everyone! My name is Darcey Gillie, and I am delighted to return to the University of Edinburgh as one of our two Careers Consultants for Research Staff.

My own career can best be described as ‘portfolio’ (a collection of roles that interest and fulfil me) based on a career model called ‘planned happenstance’ – making best used of curiosity, chance, and networks to find or even create career opportunities.  Most of us spend a majority of our waking hours at work, so I believe we owe it to ourselves to ensure that those hours are as satisfying and fulfilling as they can be – whatever that means to an individual.  My working life has encompassed jobs in fishing, agriculture, construction, the retail sector, hospitality, secondary education, and academia.  It’s supporting people in the development of their own careers and making progress towards their life goals which I have enjoyed the most.

After managing travel bookshops in Boston and Cambridge (Massachusetts), I took some of my own advice and travelled to the UK to do a PhD in the environmental archaeology of Bronze Age Scotland at the University of Edinburgh (only a slight deviation from my BA in Near Eastern Studies and Anthropology). Still following passions rather than a plan, after obtaining my PhD, I became a research fellow in the Institute for Name-Studies at the University of Nottingham, working on digital onomastics projects. Keen to study more, I acquired a PG Dip in Secondary Education and taught high school Geography (in Gaelic and English).

After a periodic re-evaluation of values, lifestyle preferences and goals, I finally found my career for life – as a careers consultant in HE – and specifically here at the University of Edinburgh. I went back to university (yet again), to obtain a PG Dip in Careers Education Information and Guidance in Higher Education from the University of Warwick.  Consequently, my guidance practice is underpinned by vocational and cognitive psychology, career theory, pedagogy, coaching and other subject areas to ensure the highest quality support for you.

As for many people, COVID presented an opportunity for evaluation (again), and after several satisfying and enjoyable (honestly!) decades in HE, I decide to leave regular employment to launch my own careers consultancy, The Career Doctor Online.  My venture is a success, but when I saw the opportunity to support the careers of research staff here at Edinburgh – I just couldn’t resist. I am delighted to be back – and as part of the IAD team which does such dedicated and innovative work to support researchers at every stage of their career journey, across every dimension of the researcher experience.

I will be working with Eleanor Hennige to provide 1:1 careers guidance appointments, facilitate careers workshops, develop our online resources, as well as expand our work with employers.

Really looking forward to meeting you and supporting your careers in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.  Le gach deagh dhùrachd/Best wishes, Darcey.

IAD Career Support (1:1’s, workshops and resources)

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