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Michael Gralla returns for a Tips & Tricks on Career Building, to shed light on what else is important to work on despite your scientific skills. In episode 26 you can hear what motivates him and why he is currently pausing his PhD for is own human capital company.
My three tips: 1) Become an expert in a discipline unrelated to your PhD project. 2) Get out! 3) Be brave.
Hi, this is Michael Gralla speaking.
I was asked to talk you through three tips to boost your career. My three tips:
- Become an expert in a discipline unrelated to your PhD project.
- Get out!
- Be brave.
1) So, what do I mean when I say you should become an expert in a discipline unrelated to your PhD project? You’re already in a good position: you have a PhD position, you already gained some transferable skills. According to the World Economic Forum (they are) among the top ten skills needed in 2020, like complex problem solving and critical thinking, which you all have. But alone at Karolinska Institute [in Stockholm, Sweden], 300 PhDs defend their thesis every year, which means 300 PhDs entering the job market, not to mention postdocs or master students. You have an advantage, you’re an expert in your field – in cancer, neuroscience, whatever it is. The other 300 students are also experts in something and it will be a huge advantage if you can not only show that you’re an expert in a method or in a field, but also showed commitment and you engaged yourself in other courses, studies, seminars to show that you have gained knowledge and expertise beyond your project.
2) Get out of your comfort zone. Meet people, network, organise things. People are very happy to help and meet PhD students and talk about all kinds of things. You need to figure out what you want to do, what you’re good at, what motivates and energises you. And then have a plan. Plan your career. Use your PhD time to organise the time after.
3) Be brave. Do things that nobody has done before or do things that have done before – but do them your style. From everything you do, you will learn something. Do something every day or month that scares you. Impossible is only like an opinion, it’s basically nothing. In other words, you can achieve anything. It’s not about strength or knowledge, it’s about willpower. Explore things. There are a lot of opportunities. Most of the jobs in five years don’t exist right now. It’s asked to explore them, to find ways to be innovative.
To sum up, become an expert plus, create a network, a brand around yourself and be brave to explore to be innovative. Those are my three tips. Enjoy!