Networking for an academic career

academic_careersThis is just a quick follow-up to the second part of our academic career workshop on job search and application strategies which we ran last week with PhD students in the Humanities and Social Sciences.  The slides from the workshop are below.

Job search and application strategies Dec 2013

We talked a lot about networking, both why we do it and where, which I said I’d share here.  You said good reasons for networking included:

  • to gain practice in ‘selling’ your research, ie. telling people why it’s good and why it’s of interest to others
  • as a way of getting a critique of your research, to help improve what you do
  • to raise your profile in the academic community and with professionals who may be linked to your research area
  • as a way of exploring potential collaborations

The different ways and places you network included:

  • at School-wide or departmental events
  • at methodological or other professional network events (e.g Association for Qualitative Research, Social Research Association)
  • at your research group meetings (or wider, related research groups)
  • by going to conferences (obviously!)
  • attending local professional meetings or forums (e.g. for one student the Marine Task Force for Scotland was a relevant group to attend)
  • using social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, academia.edu – and actively engaging with people on these sites who you may meet in person in the future (making for an easier introduction)
  • by blogging about your research or commenting on other blogs in your research area

I hope that’s a helpful reminder for those of you at the workshop and some inspiration for anyone who wasn’t there.

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