Fraud. Fake. Phony.
Despite being one of only a few people admitted to grad school in a highly competitive process. Despite many academic and professional successes. Despite exceeding the expectations of grad school.
Charlatan. Sham. Incompetent.
A surprising number of graduate students, particularly women, feel like they are undeserving of the successes they have had. They fear being discovered as the impostors that they believe that they are. (Wrongly.)
Loser. Idiot. Deceiver.
There is a name for these feelings: The Impostor Phenomenon or Impostor Syndrome. This particularly affects high achieving women. The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce these feelings. You can feel as accomplished as you really are.
Feelings are the last to change. Start by changing your thoughts and behaviors.
Building your professional network requires active effort. There are 4 steps as you move from meeting people to creating enduring connections. Remember them as the Four I‘s.
Initiate & Inquire
(I know that is really five.)
You are the center of your web of connection. The people you are connected to form your professional network. Your connections reach out in all directions.
The members of your network are the people you know who share your professional interests. These are two-way connections. You give to members of your network and they give to you. At the same time, you are a node in their network.
You build connections in three directions:
- You network UP to those who are more powerful and important than you are.
- You network ACROSS with your peers.
- You network DOWN to those who are coming after you.
The PhD Pathways career conference at Stanford University, held on Friday, January 29, 2016, offered a wealth of information, advice and inspiration.
Nearly 300 PhDs and postdocs attended a day-long conference. It included a dozen panels of PhDs working in non-faculty careers, workshops on career skills, and a keynote address by Peter Fiske, author of Put Your Science to Work.
Here are my five top take-aways from the conference.
“Networking” is a term that has a bad reputation in academia. It implies self-absorbed scheming.
I am talking about something different. Networking is intentionally building your professional network for success as a grad student and as a professional. Networking is an important tool for academic success. It is part of your professional tool kit.
You already have a professional network. It comprises the people you know who share your professional interests. These are two-way connections. You give to members of your network and they give to you. Continue reading