My name is Jonathan Foland, and I provide graduate students and PhDs a safe, affirming, confidential space to unpack feelings, sort through ideas, develop accountability, and plan career goals. I am a CTA Certified Coach specializing in professional development for graduate students and PhDs, specifically by helping people make important decisions about their personal and professional lives.
Whether students, emerging professionals, or established experts, all of us have embarked on our own life journey. Moving toward our professional goals is full of ups and downs, whether we are thinking about leaving a graduate program, completing a degree, shifting to a faculty role, or preparing for a career off the tenure-track. Each shift we make means taking personal risks and reassessing how we understand ourselves. A relationship with a trusted coach provides affirmation, a safe space for exploring ideas, and an accountability partner.
For me, coaching is about interpersonal connection and helping others achieve harmony on their journeys. That’s why I launched Concordable, so that I can support graduate students and PhDs as they realize their potential and find harmony and balance in their personal and professional journeys.
I earned my certification as a professional life coach from Coach Training Alliance, and am a CTA Certified Coach. I also hold a Master’s in Communication Studies from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2011), and dual Bachelor’s degrees in Communication (Interpersonal) and English (both from 2009). Between 2011 and 2015, I completed coursework and qualifying exams for the PhD in Communication Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.
In 2015, I joined UNC-Chapel Hill’s University Career Services as a Graduate Peer Coach and Career Services Assistant. In this capacity I collaborated with a senior career counselor on career exploration and job search programming for graduate and professional students. This included doing outreach to graduate and professional students on campus, helping develop UCS program offerings, reviewing graduate students’ CVs and resumes, leading workshops and working groups on professional identity and job searching, and writing for UCS’s official blog, Career Corner.
Recently I made the transition from graduate student to alternative academic (alt-ac) professional. I joined UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Research Development in June 2017, supporting the staff with administrative, web, and research duties. Research development is a new and exciting field for me to work in, and it has been liberating for me to make the very career transition that I hope to help other graduate students and PhDs make. It was important for me as a coach to have firsthand experience of the transition process, and what I am learning each day will inform my coaching practice and professional ethics.
Eight years at Carolina means I built a history as an educator. Read more about my teaching experience. If you are curious about the doctoral research I conducted before my shift to professional development and career exploration, then check out more about my research and writing. Wondering what it was like for me to voluntarily withdraw from my doctoral program? You can check out my story on the blog.