High school is hard. Starting uni is hard. Being a student and working is hard. Some people can do it. Some people can barely juggle it. Some of us know exactly what we want to do and where we want to go in our careers and in life. But a lot of us have no idea and are only at uni because it was “better than doing nothing”, or because people have certain expectations of us. Wherever we are in life, we are all in the same boat, but it's important to remember to live.
I just turned 21 a few weeks ago. In the couple of weeks leading up to it, I kept forgetting it was coming up, seriously just went right over my head. I can’t tell if it was my subconscious trying to block out the fact that I’m getting older, that its time to be an adult, be more responsible, that soon my parents will kick me out. Or that life is so fleeting, passing by so, so quickly like how dare she!... Seriously what’s the deal?! I’ve realized recently that I haven’t been making the most of my life. A lot of you may feel the same way, so what can we do to feel like we're actually living? Writing it down in this blog has actually helped me to self reflect, to realise that I actually have done a lot and have a lot going for myself. Hope this inspires you as a reader.
The final week of summer is upon us. Although I’ll be missing the glory of summer days, it’s quite exciting that the university campus will be welcoming eager young minds into its halls again. It’s the start of a new academic year, we have new leadership with a new Vice-Chancellor at the helm, and there’s the promise of new beginnings which gives hope. There’s also Mad March and then looking forward to cooling nights, indulgent pasta, and winter.
It’s still about two years until I complete my thesis and (hopefully) finish, but with everything that’s happening with the health and economic crisis, it won’t hurt to start preparing for the future right now. Grow Your Career Week was helpful in getting myself thinking about the future. I attended three of the offerings during GYCW. One was on developing your personal brand, the other one was how to leverage LinkedIn, and the third one was showing up at the Hub to get a photo taken from my LinkedIn profile. (I thought it was about time. The current photo I have on there, although also professionally taken, was from nearly ten years ago, pre-baby!) The sessions I virtually attended were effective in helping me reflect on the skills I have already mastered, but also made me think about the areas I needed to develop. Of course, I needed to have thought about the ideal career, but then also the kind of job I wanted if I couldn’t get the dream career (yet). One of the key insights I had was on the significance of networking, especially in the current circumstances, even for researchers. I like metaphors so I thought pass on what I’ve learned by using a marketing perspective: you – your qualifications, skills, and experiences as the investment or the product, and them, the buyers, representing the visibility concept, your researcher profile, social media, peer groups, mentor/sponsor relationships, and so on.