Tools for Building a Career With Purpose

This page is a compilation of just about everything that has helped, or would have helped me on my way. These are the resources I love for turning your degree into a career, a business, a blog, or anything else you might want to do with it!

Career Tools For Advanced Degrees


The Professor Is In

Career site with great resources for both academic and non-academic jobs.

From PhD to Life

Great website for PhD careers and coaching services.


Cool networking site for PhDs to meet people in industry.

The Versatile PhD

Tons of great career directories for PhD programs + other resources


The Professor Is In, Karen Kelsky *

Work Your Career, Loleen Berdahl & Jonathan Malloy *

Advanced Degree Career Placement/Recruiting

Advanced Degree Incubators/

Tandem Launch

Montreal-based start-up foundry for PhD research.

Conception X

UK-based incubator program for PhDs.

Founder Institute

Not specific to advanced degrees, but one of the best-known incubators in the world.

General Career Resources


What Color Is Your Parachute, Richard Bolles *

Resources for Entrepreneurs


Smart Passive Income

Great site dedicated to creating online businesses


Website dedicated to all things business.

Amy Porterfield

Amazing resource for creating online businesses.

Seth’s Blog

From the mind of Seth Godin, a marketing wizard and lovely human being.


How I Built This

Hosted by Guy Raz, this podcast has interviews with the best-known founders in the world. I can’t get enough of it!

Thought Leadership

Programs and Software


I built Roostervane on Bluehost, and I love them. Their customer support is fantastic and they’ve always been great to work with. I totally recommend them for starting a blog or website!


Roostervane is currently hosted on Kinsta. It’s fantastic and fast, but also a little more pricey.

Skillshare *

This blog only exists because of Skillshare. I learned SEO, Web Design, and more on there, while Carolyne (who designed the Roostervane logo) used it to become a graphic designer. It’s amazing for would-be creatives.


I’ve tried different email software over time. I really believe this is the best and it’s really easy to use.


Roostervane is built on Elementor. It’s a fantastic drag and drop page builder that works with WordPress and makes it really easy to create beautiful pages.

Links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. These links pay me a commission if you choose to purchase from them, at no extra cost to you. This supports the work we do here at Roostervane. I (Chris) only recommend things I have used and benefited from.


Books I Love

Self-education is one of the best things I’ve ever done! I’ve learned way more by teaching myself than from any degree I’ve ever done. Yup…

Read More »

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to become a PhD entrepreneur. I spent the last year working for a pretty decent paycheck for the government, and all of a sudden I have benefits and a pension. But working for the man has a few shortcomings, and I want to start my own thing.

I’ve been reading business books for years, and I’ve recently started my own consulting firm. (See this post on how PhDs can do consulting.)

So if you’re nurturing an entrepreneurial dream, let me recommend a few resources to you that have been oh so helpful for me.


The Undercover Economist, Tim Harford

I first read this when I decided I wanted to learn about money. I googled “the top money books” and stumbled across this little number. Tim Harford’s book is brilliant, making principles of economics and business so simple and obvious you’ll come away feeling like you did a degree in it. It’s easy to read and you won’t be able to put it down.

Everything Is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo

This book is not specifically about business, but it is about an attitude that everyone who graduates with a useless degree should have. Everything is figureoutable. Read this if you’re feeling lost and stuck, and it will inspire you to keep moving.

The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss & Achieving Financial Freedom, Carrie Wilkerson

I don’t know how this book ended up on my shelf. But there it was staring at me one day when I had nothing else to read. And it’s fantastic! It’s a great source of both inspiration and practical advice–and has some good overviews of specific business models you can build on the cheap. This one is particularly applicable if you’re a parent–because Carrie’s whole drive was to be home more. And to be honest, so is mine!

The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau

This is a great book on starting a business from your living room with no money, and I think it should be a must-read for a lot of PhDs. Chris tells the stories of dozens of entrepreneurs who started with almost no money and built a micro-business up to prosperity–some to seven figures!–and gives you a road map for how to do it.

Zero to One, Peter Thiel

This one stared at me at the library for months, and to be honest I avoided it because of Thiel’s, ahem, slightly controversial political opinions. When I finally checked it out and took it home, I found it to be one of the most compelling explanation of startups and how they add value that I’ve ever read. Whatever your opinion of Thiel as an individual, you can still learn a lot about building the future from this book.


I listen to podcasts all day every day–when I find a good one I binge listen. So here are some podcasts that I think a PhD entrepreneur might find useful.


Boss Mom is exactly what it sounds like, but don’t be turned off if you’re not a parent. This podcast is chock-full of amazing content for anyone wanting to be an entrepreneur of any kind. I think this is the trick to podcasts. Even if you don’t completely align with the official subject matter, you can scroll the list of episodes and find amazing advice FOR FREE. And if you are a parent, this is the place to learn how to kick ass and master the entrepreneur/parenting juggle.

Smart Passive Income

I’ve been listening to this podcast for years. It started as a guide to building an internet business, but it’s full of amazing advice for PhDs who want to build anything from a side-hustle to an empire. You’ll hear from a ton of people building their own things. And if you want to build a business online, there’s nowhere better to learn!

The EntreLeadership Podcast

I’ve discovered this one pretty recently, but it’s got lots of great interviews with business leaders and I always take away something great! Some of the biggest names in leadership and business from Simon Sinek to Carly Fiorina appear on this podcast. You’re going to love it!


Kalika Yap interviews top entrepreneurs in a show that’s pitched as being for female entrepreneurs. But there’s something here for every aspiring entrepreneur. Check it out!

(I had trouble finding this one on Stitcher–the episodes are all here.)


I can get a job, I just don’t want one! This podcast is a manifesto on building a life of personal freedom from wherever you’re at. Brian Clark walks the talk too, having done a law degree and practiced as a lawyer before quitting to follow his digital passions (A story that will likely resonate with a PhD entrepreneur). Read more about him here.






So there they are…

If you are an aspiring PhD entrepreneur, these are just a few of my favorite resources for learning about starting your own business. There will be more to come in the weeks ahead as I look to build out a whole business/consulting section of Roostervane for those PhDs who want to build their own thing, either full-time or on the side.