Thursday, 11 December 2014

Pilgrimage for a job - Networking (The Farkas Lecture)

The pilgrimage has begun my friends and if you missed the introductory plan, access here to learn more about it. 

I am now basically enjoying reading all those interesting articles from people who are known to be experts in the job seeking area. In life I follow no Gurus, but I am one of those who respects a lot those who've accomplished their golden seat with their own hard work, sweat and tears. These are the people that can really express how tough the walk can be, how serious the talk should get.

If you remember well, I am on the introductory part of my pilgrimage. The part where I learn first to then apply at a later stage. This time I read an article by Dora Farkas posted in the website. The article provided a lot of good behavioral conducts that can enhance one perspectives. Most of them I have already been applying from an early stage, other parts I have only recently invested on. The good news is that I was fully aware of the importance of it all and had made it part of my system. This is a good indicator that I am hopefully going in the right direction.

In the article entitled "How to write a PhD thesis and get a job at the same time", Dr. Farkas mentions the ideas I hereby transcribe. All these ideas she also develops in her own business program that it's not my place to assess. Let's then look at what I summarised as essential for me, that she offers us and might represent a good dipping compass for job seekers.

Things Happen Slow, Then Fast, So Start Networking Now - Networking is indispensable if you want a job. The key is you have to start networking while you’re finishing your thesis, not after you finish it. Especially because You will learn what marketable skills employers are looking for. “Employers are just as desperate to get the right person for an open position, as candidates are to get a job.”

Networking Is A Two-Way Street. You need to be willing to offer help to your professional contacts as well, if you are not the right candidate for their company, they might ask you if you would be willing to put them in contact with someone with the right background. Many PhD students struggle with getting interviews simply because they cannot articulate through their resumes and cover letters the value that they would bring to a company... it takes 6-12 months to find a PhD level position (even longer if you have no professional network).

10 Strategies To Put Your Thesis And Career On The Fast Track:

1. Have a crystal clear vision of the purpose of your thesis.

2. Network as much as possible. you can show genuine interest in what others are doing without looking like you are desperate for a job.

3. Follow up with key professionals. There will be a few people who are easy to talk to and their backgrounds are similar to yours. Keep in touch with these.

4. Take people out for coffee.

5. Connect with alumni.

6. Write out your 1, 3, 5 year plan starting now. Update your plan regularly.

7. Evaluate which parts of research you enjoy doing on a daily basis. If you enjoy lab work, apply for jobs where you will be working at the bench. If you like writing, apply for positions where writing will be one of your primary responsibilities.

8. Look for external collaborations. Expand your network in any way you can.

9. Engage in LinkedIn group discussions. Contributing to discussions which will improve your credibility as an “expert” in your field.

10. See graduate school challenges as growth opportunities. Your boss in industry might be a more difficult person than your thesis advisor, and they might even have higher expectations from you. View this experience as a chance to learn how to communicate with your future bosses.

 Image kindly taken from

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