Networking & Using An Elevator Pitch
The key to finding your next job, whether it is in industry or academia is networking!
- Strategies for networking
- How to introduce yourself
- How to do informational interviews
- How to follow up with people
- Strategies for a good elevator pitch
- Talk Nerdy to Me by Melissa Marshall [Ted Talk] How to communicate your science to a general audience
- How to Build Your Network: A Compendium of Tips by Science Careers
- Five example emails that make following up with people easy! [The Muse]
- ACE Method: Cold Emails and Hot Coffee Guidebook (pdf) [Designed by Albert Chen, University of Michigan] (“10 hrs in 1 month to get high yield career information and build your network from zero)
- How to do the networking dance [Adage Of Ania]
Congratulations, you’re now part way through your scientific training and at this point you likely have an idea on the direction you want to take your career. Whether you want to follow an Academic path or going into Industry, it’s always a great idea to assess your strengths and weaknesses as well as your interests and try to determine if your chosen career path meshes well with your personality.
Below are several tools that you can use to help you learn about your personality and interests. Each tool will help you determine
“It’s so incredible to finally be understood.”
Take this Personality Test and get a ‘freakishly accurate’ description of who you are and why you do things the way you do.
- Takes less than 12 minutes.
- Answer honestly, even if you don’t like the answer.
- Try not to leave any “neutral” answers.
This free DISC personality test lets you determine your DISC type and personality profile quickly. Find out how the DISC factors, Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance predict your behavior towards others and the everyday things you do.
This online DISC assessment is designed to test personality by calculating your personal DISC profile based on your everyday typical behavior. Simply fill out the inventory like you would with other online personality tests. It’s quick and without any obligations. Every year millions of people take DISC personality tests!
Using a Decision Matrix
A decision-making matrix is a great tool to compare alternative paths using criteria that are most important to you. This decision-making method is credited to Benjamin Franklin, who called it “Moral or Prudential Algebra” in personal letters in 1772. I adapted his method to decision-making about career paths or job options. Download a copy here.
- You have already engaged in sufficient career exploration that you know what factors are important to you in a career or job.
- You have narrowed your options to a small number of possible choices.
- She wants to work in the health care field.
- She desires to earn $75K/year if she works full-time.
- She would like a high status job. She compares all health care jobs against what she perceives as the most prestigious role in a hospital: physician. (Note how subjective this factor is…that happens sometimes with decision-making but since Mary is trying to optimize her happiness, it is OK that we are using Mary’s subjective rating about how much status a profession has.)
- Because she has limited savings and she is concerned about student loans, she does not want to be training for more than five years.
- She wants to be fairly confident that when she completes training, she will be able to land a job, so she wants there to be high demand for the career she chooses.
- She wants the flexibility of working part-time if she decides to do so.
There are a myriad of careers open to PhD scientists – making a decision as to what your next career move will, be can be daunting and scary! One strategy is to be as informed as possible and see how your personality, interests and priorities fit with your job opportunities.
- My IDP assessment – this can help identify your strengths and priorities (free, but registration required)
- How to identify skills you may need and bridge the gap
- How to go about doing informational interviews (see resources below)
– From start to finish: a guide to informational interviewing (NatureJobs Blog)
– Networking and Informational Interviewing (pdf) (Tufts University)
– Five example emails that make following up with people easy! (The Muse)
– How to work out what you want to be when you grow up (Adage of Ania)
While doing great research is critical to progress in your scientific career, learning how to manage your interactions with your peers, PI, collaborators and others will also help build your network and your reputation and in the longterm, may be more important in your career advancement.
- Conflict resolution: how would you resolve certain situations?
What is conflict resolution?
Conflict, arguments, and change are natural parts of our lives, as well as the lives of every agency, organization, and nation.
Conflict resolution is a way for two or more parties to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement among them. The disagreement may be personal, financial, political, or emotional.
When a dispute arises, often the best course of action is negotiation to resolve the disagreement.
The goals of negotiation are:
- To produce a solution that all parties can agree to
- To work as quickly as possible to find this solution
- To improve, not hurt, the relationship between the groups in conflict
How to best “lead” people
- Leading People When They Know More Than You Do
- How to Show Leadership Even When You’re Not the Boss
- How to Get a Job in a Leadership Role
How to set boundaries with your time when you are training someone
The key to time management is to 1. Prioritize what needs to be done, 2. Allocate yourself the right amount of time and 3. Reduce distractions and procrastination.
Suggested Discussion Topics:
- Strategies to prioritize what needs to be done
- Strategies on allocating time
- Pomodoro Method where you break down goals into tasks and then split your time into intervals with regular breaks.
- How to stay organized and on top of pressing demands
- Using technology to help get you organized: Create digital to-do lists and calendar items.
- Academic Scientists at Work: Where’d My Day Go? (Science Careers)
- iLearn CTSI Developing and Managing your Research Career (DMRC) Series: Time Management Tools and Strategies (you will need to register with your Tufts Login!)
- 8 Secrets Smart People Know About Time Management (Forbes Magazine)
- How to Manage Time with 10 Tips that Work (Entrepreneur)
- Hacking Time Management for the Bench Scientist (Insider Higher Ed)
- Time Management Chapter (HHMI: Making the Right Moves, A Practical Guide to Scientifıc Management for Postdocs and New Faculty).