Having a job is an essential part of our adult life, and it is definitely something we need in order to survive. It is something we depend on. If we think about it, most of us will spend most of our productive life working, so looking for a job or staying at a job that we are unhappy about might not be the smartest idea.
Today we’re continuing on the topic of networking…last time, we talked about how to say hello...now, we’re going to talk about what to say AFTER you say hello. Like always, there is a right way and a wrong way to start off a conversation…the wrong way is to launch into a sales pitch about yourself without taking a breath…the other wrong way is to say, “Hi I’m George, are you guys hiring? Do you know anyone who is hiring? Okthanksbye”…you guys think I’m kidding - but I’ve actually overheard that last one.
I recently gave a talk at a luncheon hosted by my research institute. In the days since, I’ve had a few experiences that have brought me to this blog. I’d like to talk about how to engage an audience, whether it’s an actual audience, or an interviewer, or new colleagues at a networking event. From my perspective, there are a few rules of engagement, in no particular order:
Years ago, during my grad school interviews, the late Seymour Benzer told me that I would be forced to decide in grad school whether I would “run with the herd,” or instead become one of the few scientists who would be comfortable operating more independently. That succinct statement encompassed all of his advice to me—a clear yet puzzling challenge. I have reflected on this comment during and beyond grad school.
It’s that time again, my contract is ending and I am back on the job market. I’m fairly optimistic this time, despite the fact that this is my third job hunt in as many years. I’ve developed a lot professionally, and built a stronger network. I am also able to learn from my past mistakes, and one of the things I have done to help myself this time is employ a career coach.
Finding a good job in today’s economy is a challenge, especially when it comes to specialized research. Many PhDs are forced to take jobs they don’t really want, or ones that don’t benefit their career paths. It doesn’t have to be this way. Your dream job is out there, and there are things you can do to give yourself a better chance of landing it.
Finishing a PhD has been one of the most exciting and fulfilling goals I have achieved so far. However, the path was far from easy. I believe most of my peers will agree with me when I say that towards the end of our training, the path becomes not only highly demanding, but incredibly stressful. In contrast to the beginning, when we feel excited and full of hope, towards the end the feeling is quite different.
Last week, I accepted a new job that I am very excited about. Of course, anytime you can wrap up a job hunt is deeply gratifying, but this time in particular, I am thrilled with the outcome. I am taking a role as an eLearning Specialist at Tableau Software. That’s a job title I’ve never heard of as a grad student, with a company I’ve never imagined would hire someone like me.
Ever wonder why you never hear about postdoc job opportunities at military research institutes? One reason is that adequate job advertising is severely lacking or completely absent for most military research postdoc positions. As a result, most prospective postdocs have no idea where to go, or what they need to do to get one of these jobs. I’ll tell you what you need to know and how to start looking for these positions.
How many of you shiver when you hear “networking”? Or do you jump for joy? If you are in the latter category, then congratulations and you can stop reading. However, if you are from the first category, here are some tips that might be able to help you to overcome the crippling anxiety. You won’t necessarily fall in love with networking, but at least it should get you past some of the jitters. If you ever turned down a chance for networking then later on regret it, then please read on. 1. Stop the self-defeating inner voice: