News: Career ready

The final straight

Runners running toward the finish line

So my third year is complete. It seems its time to look back and reflect on what I have achieved and find areas for improvement as I head into fourth year - the final straight.

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Of networking over chocolate

Chocolate penguins

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:

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The trouble with 'dreaming big'

As kids, we’re told to dream big. We’re told that if we put our minds to it, we can achieve anything. But has the emphasis on achieving our dreams helped us, or hindered us?

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HDRs and grow your career week

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.

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Applying for jobs

I am approaching the end of my studies, and so have started applying for jobs. 

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Realising success can be fickle

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.

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Job interviews

I hate job interviews even more than I hate job applications. 

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A sense of possibility

Sometimes I wonder if all I need in life is a sense of possibility. Sometimes I enjoy looking forward to things more than I enjoy the things themselves. 

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Becoming a 'young professional'

I've always looked at 'young professionals' with some awe.

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An uncertain future

Once I finish my placement at the end of next month, I'll be finished with my studies. I have no idea what I'm going to do next. 

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