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On the road to nowhere.
September 30, 2012 6:27 PM   Subscribe

Ka-rear? What is "ka-rear"? I graduated with a BA in 2006. I'm 28 and 30 is on the horizon. I'm still on the ground floor, which also seems to be the only floor.

The jobs I've had are not promoting jobs. The range of my responsibilities never changes. I did a similar job at 24 and at 26. I've never had a raise (I work for a public university, duh). My skills are not easily transferable, except, maybe, to another job of the same kind. And this job is a better fit for 21-year-olds, to the point of making me feel old and vulnerable. Stereotypical AskMe advice sez that one's 20s are a wash, but things start falling into place if you stick to it and work hard. But in real life there are no guarantees. Things aren't falling into place. If anything, I feel that they are stagnating.

I feel awkward in the company of my school's alums. At my age, they've had a promotion or two. They have direction and purpose, and big responsibilities, and autonomy. They are paid accordingly. They discuss big projects and talk about them with passion. I live near DC. DC-area alums live here because they care deeply about the work they do.

I like my job, but it's not a glamorous one, and it's not the start of a career. I don't have professional colleagues, what I do is not a "field." I provide a service and try to do it well, but it's a basic service and I am expendable. I have few career-related topics to talk about with alumni peers and they quickly lose interest in me. Sometimes I get condescending or patronizing treatment.

I feel that my peers are leaving me behind. I have no five-year plan. I want to put one together, but I don't know what should be part of it. I prefer gradual changes to drastic changes, but I'm not sure that gradual changes will help in my situation. I doubt that my prospects can be improved by setting goals like "attend ### trainings" or "join XYZ professional organizations." My line of work doesn't reward steps like these. And I've had a dickens of a time brainstorming drastic changes: I'm afraid of them. A professional mentor would definitely help, but I don't have one and don't know where to find one. The career center at my alma mater stops offering services two years out, and the career center at the school where I work has only provided extremely generic advice.

Whither now?
posted by Nomyte to Work & Money (25 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can empathize with you based all this, but it's hard to make constructive suggestions without knowing more about what you're doing, what your qualifications and interests are like, etc.
posted by jon1270 at 6:39 PM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


I looked at your question history. Sounds like you're doing better than many, including myself, so I wouldn't worry too much about what others are up to.

I used to work in the applied research department of a community college in Ontario.

Research Assistants were always temporary as they were attached to projects which are by definition temporary. As far as I could tell, there was no career path from RA to more permanent positions within the same organization.

It was a good way to get very lucrative, permanent jobs in private industry. I hate to say it, but if your job is one contract after another, you might want to think about jumping ship.

If your job is currently a permanent position, it's time to take advantage of that free tuition (you do get free tuition, right?) to get yourself a Masters.
posted by Yowser at 6:48 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reading through this, the only question you have is effectively, "what do I do now?"

Universities are weird places: you have professors and administrators, and then you have "support staff." You are now realizing that you're "support staff."

My suggestion is to find out what people with your job and background do outside of academia, and then get a job at a company where your job is the primary service that the company provides: ie, you're not a member of the "support staff" but you are part of the value-generating chain of the company (eg, if you worked in IT, the answer would be to join a company that provides IT services to clients, not work for a law firm where you're the "IT guy").

I feel awkward in the company of my school's alums. At my age, they've had a promotion or two.

Well, you see what they did and how they got a career. So you obviously have seen the process in action.
posted by deanc at 6:54 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't worry too much about what others are up to.

I believe that I should keep track of what they are up to in order to network with them effectively.

If your job is currently a permanent position, it's time to take advantage of that free tuition (you do get free tuition, right?) to get yourself a Masters.

I've absent-mindedly taken 50 credits of math and stats via tuition remission over the past three years. I have not identified a professional master's program here that interests me. I thought it may have been the professional applied stats program, but I lost faith in its quality after two semesters. I am definitely applying to doctoral programs in math, but the program here at my home institution is very competitive and my admission is nowhere close to guaranteed.

You are now realizing that you're "support staff." My suggestion is to find out what people with your job and background do outside of academia…

I understand well that I am not faculty and that there is no direct promotion track for my position. I'm casting about for "foot in the door" opportunities. Observing my coworkers has not yielded many ideas. Many get federal clearances and work for government contractors. I tried to get a clearance for two years and failed. The rest have gone (or tried to go) to graduate school to work on doctorates.

Well, you see what they did and how they got a career.

They graduated in other majors, pursued professional degrees (law, medicine, public policy), and pursued other career paths.
posted by Nomyte at 7:11 PM on September 30, 2012


I prefer gradual changes to drastic changes, but I'm not sure that gradual changes will help in my situation.

I can't speak to the other issues raised here not knowing you, your specific support position, or the like, but every time I've moved up the ladder, it's been a drastic, scary change (i.e. moving from the classroom into consultancy, working on projects where I have to teach myself as I go, etc.).

I think the first thing is for you to decide what career you want, other than it being something that allows for promotion; it's not clear from this question. Have you tried informational interviews with folks in career fields that interest you--not with patronizing people, but with those who inclined to be nicer?
posted by smirkette at 7:17 PM on September 30, 2012


So, other than the drastic change aspect, why aren't you considering a professional degree? Based on the admittedly biased sample of my peers, the only ones on a career track are nurses (and other allied health workers), physicians, librarians, teachers, engineers, etc. Everyone else, regardless of whether they have a bachelor's degree or not, makes $12/hour and has never seen a raise or promotion. The economic crisis, as far as I can tell, swept away the bottom three or four rungs of the traditional career ladder--and it looks like the only way up the one you're on now is a PhD, which, since you haven't mentioned it here, I assume you've reconsidered.
posted by pullayup at 7:28 PM on September 30, 2012


You know what you don't want - now you have to work out what you do want - what are your interests? You can't move on until you have a ballpark idea of what you're interested in.
posted by heyjude at 7:31 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I apologize for the muddled writing and highlight my questions:
  1. How to identify professional mentors who can help me explore my situation. Faculty mentors have in the past simply raised their eyebrows about the fact that I'm not getting a PhD yet.
  2. Hand in hand with the above, how can I put together a "five-year plan" that's more than just "spend five years to earn a PhD."
  3. How can I productively network with alumni contacts (at alumni functions, etc.) as my career trajectory starts to depart from theirs.
I am considering an advanced degree (in applied math), but I'm not sure that can be my only strategy. Discussing the idea with alumni from quantitative disciplines makes me less than hopeful.
posted by Nomyte at 7:36 PM on September 30, 2012


I keep forgetting how DC is its own world. Particularly in "research", life can be rough in the DC area if you don't have a clearance, and otherwise you're a lawyer or work in politics.

That said, there's still a lot of work to be done in social science research and think tanks and policy. People who have careers in "public policy" didn't get degrees in "public policy" (well, maybe a master's). They got degrees in something that was the nexus of understanding government and quantitative analysis (eg, political science), and found an entry level job and worked from there. Or people got jobs in consulting, which is basically "analysis and solution design for hire."

I'm going to echo the point made that one of your issues is that you lack a developed social circle, so you don't really know that many people outside your immediate milieu, and thus haven't met a lot of people who are doing lots of different jobs and haven't seen your friends develop careers over time. To a degree, this is why educated immigrants without social capital go straight into careers with a clear track like medicine or law or engineering: that path is clear and doesn't require you to schmooze and doesn't require "inside knowledge" of what the lucrative but less obvious careers are.

It might be helpful to look at surveys of people from your alma mater to see what jobs people from your department got after graduating and what they're doing 5 to 10 years down the line. I found it pretty interesting to go to my 15 year college reunion and see what paths people had taken in their jobs, and it's knowledge I wish I had had when I graduated. There must be some way to short circuit that process and see what people from 15 years before you are doing now.
posted by deanc at 7:38 PM on September 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've worked as support staff in various universities. In my experience, these jobs are either occupied by young people looking to kill time before graduate school (which I was), or older lifers who are just looking to make a living, often to support their families, and who are mostly satisfied with that.

I think you need to make a drastic career change (which may include a geographic change) or just accept that you've plateaued at this career. If your job is not a "field" you're going to have a hell of a time finding people to mentor you. It sounds like everyone is giving you the same answer, but you're resistant because you're afraid of change. Therapy might help you take the good advice you've already gotten.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:44 PM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, while trying to get a better feel for your work and what you're looking for, I see you have made some comments basically looking down on the recruitment process for corporate jobs, consulting, etc. And that's fine-- that's its own value system that you may choose to eschew, but if you're going to do that and stick with academia or government, then I have no idea why you didn't go into a Ph.D. program in a quantitative field right away or after just a couple of years working as laboratory support staff.

So quite possibly the reason you don't have a career is because you really don't want one and/or are sort of living on inertia. I might also add that one of the challenges in a career rather than a support-staff-type position is that I get projects dumped on me that I don't know how to solve, and no one else knows how to solve them either (that's why I ended up with them). So during my pursuit of the project, I ask a lot of questions about how to solve the problem, and people give me suggestions and guidance along the lines of, "How about X? Did you try Y? Maybe you should do Z." And it helps to pursue every angle to overcome the challenges to make things possible. Your style, as it appears in AskMe, seems to be to ask for suggestions, and then shoot down every possible approach and alternative explaining why you can't do it. That kind of mindset is going to be a huge stumbling block to developing a career.
posted by deanc at 8:14 PM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Currently, you're not really doing anything vastly differently from what you've been doing for a while now and the response from people around you is that you're not really doing anything and you're pissed that you're not moving forward, but in order to move forward you have to do something.

So - whether doing the advanced degree in applied math is the right or wrong thing to do is irrelevant. The point is that it's something. It will then lead to new ideas and other things, which may or may not be the right thing for you to do.

Do your advanced degree, learn a language, travel OS, move to a new city, whatever - do something that brings something to your life, gives you skills you can work with outside of your current job, and gives you things to talk about with other people.

You just need to start acting, develop that momentum, and it will take you all kinds of places (including being able to establish very productive professional relationships with people).
posted by heyjude at 8:44 PM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


How to identify professional mentors who can help me explore my situation. Faculty mentors have in the past simply raised their eyebrows about the fact that I'm not getting a PhD yet.

It would help to decide on a career "project." (See below.) Then you could look for mentors who have some specific experience to tap.

Hand in hand with the above, how can I put together a "five-year plan" that's more than just "spend five years to earn a PhD."

When I started grad school (in the humanities), I got advice from a dissertating grad student who said that once you identify "your project," you can organize your grad school activities around it. In that context, "your project" was a line of inquiry or research interest that would eventually develop into conference talks, a dissertation topic, publications, etc. When I started to think seriously about leaving the academic track, I realized that I needed a new project that was not my dissertation research, but a non-academic career project. In this sense a "project" is not necessarily something specific that you want to do or build; it's an area of endeavor that piques your interest and that you want to find ways of getting into.

My career project became, roughly, digital humanities. It was a field that intrigued me, and I wanted to be involved with it, though not as an academic. I took every part-time job that came my way that might be related to the field (some library metadata work, a little web programming); I read up on related topics (e.g. usability testing); and I spent a lot of time investigating possible careers in the field (for a while, academic librarianship looked like the most promising path, and I may yet return to that idea later). Before long—much faster than I expected, actually—I landed a job that's heavily involved in digital humanities projects. I'm very happy with this job and plan to stick with it for a while; I've already been promoted to a position with a lot of responsibility.

I'm telling you my own story because when I was at more-or-less your stage a few years ago, still trying to figure out what to do with my life, I learned a lot from listening to other people's stories, even if their careers had gone in directions I had no interest in. Which leads me to . . .

How can I productively network with alumni contacts (at alumni functions, etc.) as my career trajectory starts to depart from theirs.

At this stage, worry less about "networking" in the sense of getting direct help in your own career. Keep an ear out for what you can learn from other people. Ask them about their stories. You may not learn very much from people who followed well-defined professional paths (e.g. go to law school, pass the bar, work at the firm where you were a summer associate in law school). But when you meet somebody who's doing something that they enjoy, ask them how they got into it. Even if you don't want to follow in their footsteps, see if you can generalize any lessons.

Also, you may be surprised at the diversity of stuff people know about. As you develop a sense of your own "project," run it by the people you meet. "I'm thinking about getting into . . ." or "I'm interested in . . .". Nine times out of ten, maybe they'll have nothing to add, but every now and then you'll meet somebody who can tell you something about the field or hook you up with a knowledgeable friend.

p.s. Have you tried browsing job ads in areas vaguely related to either your current work or your possible future careers? It can be very informative and occasionally inspirational. Pick a keyword representing something you know about, or are interested in, and plug it into USAJOBS or Monster, for example. Look at the job ads that pop up. Do any of the positions pique your interest? What kind of qualifications are they looking for? How would a person gain those qualifications? (This may be a question for your mentors or networking contacts.) The point of this exercise is not to look for a job to apply for right now (though if you come across one that seems like a good match, go for it). The point of the exercise is to research how people get from point A, the bachelor's degree, to point B, the career-track job.
posted by Orinda at 9:06 PM on September 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


The jobs I've had are not promoting jobs. The range of my responsibilities never changes. I did a similar job at 24 and at 26. I've never had a raise (I work for a public university, duh). My skills are not easily transferable, except, maybe, to another job of the same kind. And this job is a better fit for 21-year-olds,

Okay, so you're in what sounds suspiciously like a dead-end job. Realizing that is the first step to moving on, so it's good that you seem to be basically unconflicted there.

Many get federal clearances and work for government contractors. I tried to get a clearance for two years and failed.

That's not how that process works. (Sometimes contractor here.) You do not "get a clearance" in advance of being in a position that requires one. First you get hired, then you get put on a project that requires a clearance, and that provides you the sponsorship necessary to actually get investigated and get one. So the fact that you haven't been able to get one is unsurprising. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

The big issue I'm seeing is that I don't really get a sense of what you want to do, either in your original question or followups.

Is your goal to get a more well-compensated job with more upward mobility? If so, my advice is to get the hell out of academia, as it's not exactly known for that. Stay there long enough to get some sort of salable masters degree (not a PhD, it'll take too long and actually makes you a more difficult hire) for free if you can, preferably with the word "applied" in the title, preferably an M.S., and in something that the university you're at is noted for. (Whether you think it's a quality program or not matters less than its external reputation, to be blunt.) Doing that, depending on the exact nature of your work experience, could set you up for a decent entry position in a contracting shop that would have some headroom, and would be in an industry where you can jump companies easily if you start to stagnate at one of them. That's the mercenary answer. Do whatever you have to do at your job to not get fired and ensure you'll get a good recommendation letter out of it, use the free tuition to get a masters, and then bail as soon as you've got it and can use it to land something better.

But that all assumes that your goal is to try and get on the path that your friends are on, which is fairly typical private-sector career-track employment. I don't know if that's the case, but if you are, it's doable.

I don't think you need a 5-year plan — I think you need a 24-month plan. 5 years is a long time to plan for in detail, and a lot can change. You should have a vision of where you want to be in five years, but don't worry that it's not terribly specific. But you should have a pretty specific idea of what you're going to do in the next year or two, and at least for the next year you should be able to break it down by month with a task or two each month, and see how you're going to get from A to B.

But before you can do that, you need to decide what your goals are. Any faculty advisor, mentor, career coach, etc. that you go to is going to ask you that as Question 1, because it influences every other piece of advice that they might give you.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:10 PM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


It sounds from this question that you want a "career" rather than just a job, but why do you want a career? And what sort of career appeals to you? This AskMe makes it sound like you want one mainly because you feel embarrassed when you compare yourself to other people your own age: they have more in the way of external "accomplishments", and you feel stagnant in comparison.

But that's not really a good reason to aim for a career, and in particular it doesn't help at all when you try to figure out what career you want. That is part of why you're stuck, I think. If you really just feel vaguely like you should have more momentum or direction -- but you have no idea what that direction should be -- then ask yourself: why do you feel that you need a direction? Plenty of people are happy with "just" jobs. I can't help but think that if you don't actually feel driven by a goal or a topic or ... something... then trying to build a career is really not going to make you happy, and not going to work besides; you'll just do what you keep doing here, which is spinning your wheels, vaguely contemplating this or that, but not actually taking action and doing something. If you just want a career just because you feel that you "should", or you're embarrassed to not be getting promotions or "on a path" -- but you have no idea what kind of path you want -- then it's natural you've had so much trouble finding one.

I say this all because based on this and your previous questions, you seem to have occasionally considered a lot of things (e.g., a PhD in applied math or other disciplines, some sort of consulting, etc) but they appear to have fizzled out. From the perspective of this internet stranger it looks like everything has fizzled because none of them are actually motivating to you, so you never actually follow them up, or do what you would need to do to make them happen. (Either that or you're afraid of actually making a change, as some other people have guessed). If it's just that no actual career path or goal is appealing, then I would say don't go after one, and your current discontent may arise from something other than just not having a career.

If I'm misreading you and you actually do have some kind of overarching goal or focus that you want to dedicate yourself to, then that will help you figure out what the next steps should be. It would also be very helpful to us (and you, and anyone you ask for advice) if you could spell it out, along with why your current position doesn't fill those needs. It doesn't have to be precise but even something like "I know I want to be using my quantitative skills and working with people, and my current position doesn't let me do this for X reason" (or whatever) would be helpful. Being able to be more specific in this way might also improve the quality of mentorship you can find. It's hard to mentor someone when it's unclear what they are even asking for the mentorship for.
posted by forza at 9:49 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


On a basic level, I want to have better job security (or better employment prospects) and an opportunity to earn better pay.

On the level of personal fulfillment, I want to do something thatI did apply to a small handful of programs last year, but only received an offer from one. Talking to an acquaintance who is a student in that program convinced me that it wasn't right for me. This year I am applying again. I have taken steps to become a better applicant, by taking more courses. Right now I'm taking a graduate course in my first-choice program.
posted by Nomyte at 10:10 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bio science field is nothing like they told us it would be when we first started this mess.

The bio science field doesn't follow the progression of other 'majors.'

In practical terms, though, a science bachelor tops you out at $40k max these days; the pay used to be better but unless you show a ton of initiative, you'll be stuck doing the menial stuff. PhD jobs are really rare and don't pay very well for the number of years and work it takes. That's not even mentioning postdocs. I'm exploring the more commercial side of industry right now, so we'll see.

I think that getting a paid MSc would do wonders for your career. Develop skills that might be in demand. During my job search, advanced statistics seem to be really be in demand right now.

Maybe see if anyone else might be doing research on using advanced statistical analysis on studying linguistics or maybe speculative xenolinguistics?
posted by porpoise at 10:14 PM on September 30, 2012


That's the mercenary answer. Do whatever you have to do at your job to not get fired and ensure you'll get a good recommendation letter out of it, use the free tuition to get a masters, and then bail as soon as you've got it and can use it to land something better.

This is excellent advice. If you want to be employed, this will work (assuming you bring the other pieces, like ok interpersonal skills, ok work ethic, etc). If you want to be happy, though, that's a different story -- a lot of people find happiness in stable but pretty much dead-end jobs, for example, where they can leave work behind at the end of the day.

I think you are getting some great descriptions of how to move forward here; the question for you becomes whether or not you are prepared to do the things it would take to follow one of these paths.
posted by Forktine at 10:47 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


porpoise, what are you TALKING about? A B.S. doesn't top you out at $40k at all! There are a lot of folks out there making six figures without advanced degrees or "career" degrees. Some of them even have a degree in the humanities!

Given your stated interest into data analysis, some of the fields you might be interested in would be programming, consulting (as has been mentioned), or high tech. You may want to consider work for an engineering firm doing modeling, or even work specifically for a company that makes modeling software. Take the specific skills you want to use - "image analysis" or "numerical modeling" or "statistical analysis" - and plug them in to a job search database. I bet you'll find interesting things that you can start applying to right now, no MS or PhD required. (Though if you want to finish your M.S. it might be a good opportunity to do so).
posted by Lady Li at 10:56 PM on September 30, 2012


In practical terms, though, a science bachelor tops you out at $40k max these days

This is not the case in the private sector, if you are comfortable working outside your field and have good soft skills. (Perhaps if you want to actually do science; that I would believe.)

There are companies that will hire hard-science B.S. grads using the degree as nothing more than a general "they're probably not stupid and can probably be trained" seal of approval, and stick them in entry-level analyst, consultant, or QA positions, depending on the industry. It is universally soul-sucking, un-sexy corporate work, but the starting salaries are typically in the $30-40k range. And those companies typically provide reliable raises.

That said, the situation changes somewhat if you are not coming right out of school. In that case, it may sadly be necessary to get a Masters in order to get hired, because a lot of firms either want fresh young graduates (who are widely perceived to be naive and will work like dogs, probably because they are and will) or want people with serious experience or education. That is not fair, but it is a buyers market and it's what I've heard from quite a few people on both sides of the equation recently.

While we can debate whether there is a glass ceiling for people without an advanced degree at higher echelons of the corporate world, there definitely isn't one at $40k.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:28 PM on September 30, 2012


How to identify professional mentors who can help me explore my situation. Faculty mentors have in the past simply raised their eyebrows about the fact that I'm not getting a PhD yet.

I think that you are getting too far ahead of where you want to go. Where would you like to go next? Is it grad school for a masters or PhD? If so, go for it and have all your activities (including mentors) related to that.

Do things like 1) join, attend, read the articles of a journal club for this other academic area, but identify areas that you want to learn about 2) read the papers of faculty at your institution or of the desired universities in this new field, 3) talk to pple in those programs...what would they recommend to improve your chances to get in or to do research, etc. 4) is there research you can do now in someone's lab (related to your new academic area). 5) if there are easy things to do outside a classroom (learn a stat program?) do that too.

But the idea here is that through the conversations with students and faculty doing what you want to do will become your collective mentor. One person is not going to have the answer; when i read your various answers and provious asks, im not sure if you have formulated what you want to know yet. So if this is a process, get different pple's perspectives to the same question.

Hand in hand with the above, how can I put together a "five-year plan" that's more than just "spend five years to earn a PhD."

Again, focus on where you immediately want to go next and if it is grad school, wait until you get there and do a year or two of research to decide what is next.

The one thing that i will add, though,is if you want to also write and synthesize reports in a future job...doesnt you current job have publications and/or grants? Go after that. Let you PI know this is an interest. Get all the experience that you can now and in your next position getting the experience you want for futute jobs.

How can I productively network with alumni contacts (at alumni functions, etc.) as my career trajectory starts to depart from theirs.

If you are very skilled at making and keeping connections, by all means, keep and make these connections.

But if you are not, ask where you want to go next. Will alumni who went straight to law school be helpful? Or became EAs or whatever? I agree with another poster, if they struggled and have a story, it will be helpful to learn other ways to get there. But if not, they are not going the same direction. instead, use your energy and try to make connections in the direction that you want to go.

If you want to change directions 10 years from now, you still can...through organizations/societies for profession x, info interviews, whatever...but at that time you will have specific, relevent questions.
posted by Wolfster at 11:46 PM on September 30, 2012


I believe the idea of finding a career and working as an employee for a company until you retire is antiquated these days. Most companies, public and private do not want those types of workers. That doesn't mean that they do not want people to provide those services. But they would rather consult out for those services. My public work place continues to contract out for services and will most likely never reverse these positions. For example, the in-house printing shop was closed down this last year and is now fully contracted out.

The same may happen to the services you render. It may be your immediate goal to prepare to work as a contractor. And unless you want to continue as a wage slave I would suggest you learn how to operate a contracting service as your own boss. Being self employed will allow you to do more of the work you desire if you can find it. Make a plan to network with other universities that may require these contracted services. An example in the university sector is grant writing. Most universities do this in-house but there is a push for some smaller universities to contract this out, especially when the sole grant writer retires.
posted by JJ86 at 6:09 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Check your memail.
posted by PMdixon at 8:54 AM on October 1, 2012


I swear I have no affiliation with this guy for as often as I mention him, but surely browsing the more career-related posts in the archive of Cal Newport's blog Study Hacks would be worthwhile? If you find his info speaks to you he has just published a book which greatly expands on the topic of building a satisfying career. The thesis is neatly summed up by his piece in yesterday's Sunday NYT.

I like his writing because it's filled with practical, step-by-step advice and also addresses the feelings of inadequacy you are noting vis a vis your peers. Good luck!
posted by the foreground at 1:28 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


How can I productively network with alumni contacts (at alumni functions, etc.) as my career trajectory starts to depart from theirs.

You could start a volunteer project and ask your fellow alumni to help out. I find that making/doing stuff with other people makes more useful ties and can turn into new opportunities. What are your favorite open datasets? (Plug.)
posted by brainwane at 2:02 PM on October 1, 2012


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