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Having a Career and a Life. Finding Balance. Kristin Yvonne Rozier NASA Langley Research Center & Rice Univ. Chandra Krintz Associate Professor, Univ. of California Santa Barbara CRA-W Cohort Workshop March 13-14, 2008. Thanks to Kathleen Fisher for helping to improve these slides.

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finding balance

Having a Career and a Life

Finding Balance

Kristin Yvonne Rozier

NASA Langley Research Center & Rice Univ.

Chandra Krintz

Associate Professor, Univ. of California Santa Barbara

CRA-W Cohort Workshop

March 13-14, 2008

Thanks to Kathleen Fisher for helping to improve these slides

some of the things i do
Some of the things I do
  • Advise a group of 5-10 BS, MS, and PhD students
    • Research: Full system performance adaptation
  • Teach 1 course per quarter (3 courses per year)
  • Write many, many grant proposals
  • Committees in department
    • Lead on CS undergraduate curriculum revamp
  • Committees in community (conferences)
    • SIGPLAN Executive Committee Vice Chair!
  • Outreach, mentoring (CRA-W Cohort!)

High-End

Systems

Low-End

Systems

some of the things i do1
Some of the things I do
  • Outreach to Girls Inc. (thanks to tenure!!)
    • Teaching 6-10 year olds how to program using a game controller
      • Microsoft Research Boku (XBox game that runs on a PC)
    • And helping non-profits in my community w/ computers
    • Getting students involved -- feel good about themselves and gain perspective on what their degree (in CS or CE) means
stress similarities grad students
Stress Similarities: Grad Students
  • Different each year
    • Y1: getting comfortable, class/tests, TAing
      • Topic search, advisor search
    • Y2-4: In the thick of it
    • Y5+: last mile
      • Paper deadlines
      • Identifying letter writers
      • Writing the thesis
      • Applying for jobs
  • Finding an advisor
  • Comprehensive exams
  • Paper deadlines
  • Encountering rejection
  • Going to conferences
  • Internships
  • Finding a thesis topic
  • Figuring out what comes next
stress similarities post phd academic
Stress Similarities - Post-PhD, Academic
  • Different each year
    • Y1: getting comfortable, teaching real classes
    • Y2-3: attracting students, seeking funding
    • Every year
      • Paper/proposal deadlines + acceptances/rejections
      • Departmental and research community service
      • Identifying viable research projects
      • Attracting / working with students
      • Travel
      • Improving teaching quality
      • Multi-tasking / effective context switching
    • Y5: last mile before tenure
      • Identifying letter writers, giving talks
stress similarities post phd research lab
Stress Similarities - Post-PhD, Research Lab
  • Different each year
    • Y1: getting comfortable, finding a research project
    • Y2-3: figuring out how to do good research and positively impact the sponsoring company
    • Every year
      • Paper deadlines + acceptances/rejections
      • Organizational and research community service
      • Identifying viable new research projects
      • Attracting / working with students and colleagues
      • Travel
    • Y3+: advancing in company/lab
  • Coping with company downturns: layoffs, equipment shortages, lack of travel funds, etc.
observations
Observations
  • Demands come in waves
    • Too many at once cause stress
    • Size and number matters
  • Many of us are very goal-oriented
  • We all have insecurities
  • We humans cannot maintain an insane pace continuously (time management)
    • Not sustainable
    • Leads to burnout / poor productivity
    • Will wear you out
  • There is always moreto do
  • Family obligations and relationships
managing waves of demands
Managing Waves of Demands
  • A continuous, incremental process
    • You must work at it; there is no free lunch!
    • Make changes incrementally
  • Riding the waves
    • Prioritize demands
    • Work hard during high-demand periods
    • Take a break, re-energize during low-demand
    • Recognize/work on the transition between the two
managing goals and expectations
Managing Goals and Expectations
  • Set by yourself or others
    • Note when they are self-inflicted!
  • Understand completely what is required given a goal
    • Know why you want to achieve it
    • Evaluate your progress
    • Talk about it with your mentor(s) and others
  • Learn how to enjoy the process
    • Focus on the present
    • Appreciate your achievements before moving on
  • Work to ensure that goals are achievable
managing insecurities
Managing Insecurities
  • Being insecure contributes

to being out of balance

  • Seek out a good mentor (may/may not be your advisor)
  • Don\'t set yourself up to fail
  • Be proud of and celebrate your accomplishments
    • Don’t belittle achievements -- just because it was you who achieved them
    • Keep a “good file” of positive feedback
  • Realize that we all (you, me, him, her, us, them) have insecurities
    • Think them through, talk them over with those you trust
chandra s insecurities
Chandra’s Insecurities
  • I am an imposter!
    • How did I get here? I know nothing. I’ll never have another research idea.
    • Manifestation: OK, just work more/harder...
  • I care deeply about what others think of me
    • I have panic attacks before entering areas where lots of people are (for fear I’m going to mess up in some way)
    • I take things very personally
      • Rejection, not being included, the success of others
    • Manifestation: OK, just work more/harder...
time management did you see janie s session yesterday
Time ManagementDid you see Janie\'s session yesterday?
  • There\'s always more to do
    • Learn how to estimate accurately the time required
      • Don\'t take on too much or feel pressured to say yes
        • Worse to take on something and only contribute minimally or do an average/poor/late job at it than to say no
    • Renegotiate unmanageable commitments
      • Be honest with those you are working with
      • Identify a solution that works for all
    • Taking on a new task can be an opportunity to let go of an old one.
    • Work with people who are good at getting things done.
    • Identify your guiding principles
chandra s guiding principles
Chandra’s Guiding Principles
  • Time for Rich and Zoe, larger family (sister, brother)
  • Do great research and share it with others
    • Through publication and communication
    • Through service in my community
    • For the support ($$), success, and options for my students
  • Work on interesting and high impact research problems
    • Programming language implementations
  • Make a difference in students’ lives
    • At any level, age
    • Let them know that what they are doing (working on their education) is exceptional
    • Teaching/Curriculum
  • Have time to be healthy
be organized
Be Organized
  • Keep a calendar that you always have with you
    • Electronic (back it up) or paper
    • Keep it up to date
      • Meetings as well as work things (email, paper reading, writing, coding, seminars, etc)
    • Schedule in both work and play
    • Block out time for only research
    • Know when you work efficiently: Don’t squander that time!
  • Avoid churn: pick a task and do it.
  • When “on a roll”, keep the momentum. Conversely, if something is a grind, don’t push too hard.
  • Handle email efficiently.
  • Keep a research/idea book or wiki.
finding balance1
Finding Balance
  • Most importantly -- take care of you!
    • Figure out what makes you happy/unhappy
    • Look up every once in a while to take stock
  • Apply money to the problem if possible
  • Exercise!
  • Eat well
  • Sleep enough
    • Identify your optimal number of hours
  • Help and receive help from others
  • Don\'t isolate yourself
    • Seek out family, friends, others
  • Have a life as well as work
  • Set realistic goals to achieving balance
finding balance non work chandra
Finding Balance (non-work): Chandra
  • Sleep (8+hrs, yes, 8)
  • Exercise
  • Seeking out colleagues and making time to be social
    • Just going for coffee or lunch
  • Outreach to the community
    • Girls Inc., local high schools, DAWG, soup kitchens
    • Help with technology (simple things), sharing how fun computer science can be!, walking dogs
  • Listening to music (from my past)
  • Driving my car / going on roadtrips
  • Golf
  • Zoe
something i found recently
Something I found recently…

Cookie

Bjorn

Cole

Bjorn

  • How to find balance: Work Like A DOG!

from Martha Beck\'s article in

Oprah Magazine Mar08

something i found recently1
Something I found recently…
  • How to find balance: Work Like A DOG!

from Martha Beck\'s article in

Oprah Magazine Mar08

ideas for questions
Ideas for Questions
  • Balance as a graduate student
  • Balance and the tenure process or high-tech industry
  • Dual-career couple
    • Working at it
    • Finding jobs that are equally satisfying
  • Managing relationships
  • Having children
  • Deciding on your future and considering balance
  • Other time management questions
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