Moving into "real life" after you finish school can be a shock, whether its undergraduate, graduate, or professional school. Of course, it does depend on what you study. Many people get a taste of what their postgraduate life is going to be like during school, especially if their field is more hands-on than others. But the reality of finally being on your own can still be tough to take. If you feel like you're entering the adult world for the first time, without the bubble of student life to protect you, you should think about how to prepare yourself for new experiences. Being totally independent can be scary, but it's worth it - probably.
If you feel like your current career plans are not really going anywhere for you, you might be tempted to take a new approach and to find a career that is more in line with your personality. And if you’re the kind of person that likes other people and enjoys communicating with them, you should find a career that can play to that particular strength. There are many of them out there so you won’t be left short of options. Here are some great career paths to consider you’re a real people person.
There's a difference between having people-facing skills and being a people person. And often in academia, the mix is weighted more towards people working hard to develop interpersonal skills, but not jumping up and down to do people-facing work. So if you're considering alternatives to academia, don't pass up these positions.
Cumulative final exams, licensing exams, masters comprehensive exams, doctoral qualifying exams - all are BIG! And effective study strategies focus on consolidating large amounts of information into tenable concepts that can be applied to whatever question thrown at you. Instead of getting bogged down in the details, painting the big picture is where you want to start.
Materials in this photo: Arc Discbound Notebook (Letter Size, Poly Cover) | Office by Martha Stewart Discbound Dividers (5-tab, also available in 8-tab) | Planner by Blue Sky, no longer available | Printable Graph Paper
In this post, I'll walk you through some strategies that will help you make this process as painless as it could be. Be forewarned, these are not your typical lecture-quiz-exam study methods, so they'll feel foreign and uncomfortable. But practice makes perfect, and after about a week long learning curve you'll look forward to study sessions and feel efficient and knowledgeable.
A 2011 article titled "Quit Being So Nice" opens with this quote:
Men are taught to be right.
Women are taught to be nice.
Search Google for "best powerpoint templates" and you'll get a number of modern designs for sales pitch decks, portfolios, business plans, and CV/resume presentations (like these).
Not sure what a CV/resume presentation is? If you're asked to give a presentation as part of a job interview, you might start with some introduction slides. CV/resume presentations put your CV/resume into a presentation format.
Infographics have become popular in almost every field, but in more traditional areas, like science and academia, I believe there's a bit of a line to draw.
You may notice I have an infographic on my About page as well as on my LinkedIn. Personal websites and the media feature of LinkedIn are great spots for some well designed graphics. Just make sure they are informative, and look good when display-cropped on LinkedIn.
While PowerPoint is still the go-to for slide presentations (sorry, Prezi, you tried but you just don't cut it in science), Powerpoint presentations have come far since 2003 clipart and animations.
There are what I'd say are the Golden Rules of PowerPoint. You'll find these repeated over and over again in articles.
I'll summarize them here so we all start in the same place:
For a great read, check out "How to Give a Dynamic Scientific Presentation" from Elsevier.
I'm going to expand on these with a few tips that will take your PowerPoint presentation from good to great.
Today I'm sharing an ELITE list of the best e-books I've come across in the past few years. I say elite because they are good. Not only do I download them, but I read them too!
As the blog title says these are all free.
I've written about how to prep for conferences (twice) and I've talked about it with many of you! But now I'm here at AHA Scientific Sessions 2017 - the biggest conference I've attended - and I have a whole new list of tips on tap for you. Before I do that (look for it in a few days), I want to talk about a topic that's come up gain and again in Early Career Programming events and in conversation with my colleagues.
That topic is: how do you establish independence early in your career?
Background photo from 'Icelandic Roads' by Vadim Sherbakov at Creative Market
Last week I read that you should never ask someone to be your mentor. Why? Because if you're downright asking, you haven't cultivated enough of a relationship to let it subtly slide into the "mentor zone".
Finding a mentor can be one of the more nebulous concepts in career development, and certainly the most frustrating. It's like dating...choosing a boss...a parent...? Nope, not quite any of those. Hence the nebulous.
I'm a firm believer that you need to figure out what you want, and take the steps to get there. With that said, I recognize that being direct and putting yourself out there is a difficult thing to do, no matter how confident or outgoing you are.
So what now?
In Finding Your Groove, I talked about reflecting on your working style, your schedule, etc. to knit your routine in such a way that it takes advantage of your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses.
Just like there are some tasks I do better in a busy coffee shop than quiet at my desk, there are some tasks that need some background noise. Enter: Netflix (Hulu, AmazonPrime, HBO, Starz...you pick).
So here's a not so serious post where I list some of my go-to shows. Scan the list and hopefully you find one you haven't seen yet, or maybe one you forgot about!
What are your favorite shows or movies to watch while doing work?
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