News: Career ready
Despite the fact that having to put myself ‘out there’ scares me, I’ve attended quite a few networking events. I know that as daunting as it might be to try to initiate conversations with a roomful of strangers, I ultimately make connections with admirable people who’ve been wonderful mentors through the years. Here are some of the key tips I’ve learned over the years which I remember for each networking event:
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.
If I just try a little bit harder THEN I’ll succeed. If I improve myself and my performance, I’ll do better. This is what I tell myself a lot of the time, and it’s a nice thing to think. It’s a shame that it’s not always true.