Author Archives: Chris Golde

NETWORKING IN THREE DIRECTIONS | UP-ACROSS-DOWN

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.

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PHD PATHWAYS | FIVE CONFERENCE TAKE-AWAYS

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.

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WHY YOU SHOULD NETWORK | SEVEN MYTHS DISPELLED

“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

YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE | PLURALISTIC IGNORANCE

You are the only person in your graduate program who doesn’t understand how things work.

That might be what you observe. That might be how you feel. But it isn’t true.

Academic culture is riddled with those who bluff when they don’t know something. Acting confident and competent even when you don’t feel that way can be a useful strategy on some occasions. But not all of the time. It is also important to share your questions and confess your doubts.  Continue reading

GRAD SCHOOL IS HARD | YOU CAN DO IT

Grad school is hard. That’s a fact. This is one of the most difficult challenges you will ever attempt, especially if you are in a PhD program.

Many grad students find themselves assailed by doubt and plagued by feelings of anxiety.

“I am not sure that I can do this.”

“Everyone else knows what is going on, except for me.”

“Everyone is smarter than me.”

These are a few of the thoughts and feelings that many grad students have. And they don’t just live in your head, ideas that you can address rationally. No, these beliefs are lodged deep in your heart, your gut, your soul. They just seem true.  But they are not.

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