Nick Feamster and Alex Gray CS 7001. People Skills. Personal Promotion. The Market. Think of yourself as a kind of mini-startup company that is selling research technique, results, etc. yourself (reputation, problem solving ability) Your goal: high-quality buyers. Finding a Buyer’s Market.
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Nick Feamster and Alex GrayCS 7001 People Skills
The Market • Think of yourself as a kind of mini-startup company that is selling • research technique, results, etc. • yourself (reputation, problem solving ability) • Your goal: high-quality buyers
Finding a Buyer’s Market • “Hot topics” will change • The buyer’s market is not about research area • …rather, it’s about putting yourself in some kind of niche • Ultimately, if you are looking for a job, you may have to place yourself in a certain niche…versatility helps
Develop a Brand • People want to assign labels to everything, or put you in a “bucket” • It’s better if you choose that bucket for them • What problems, people, etc. are your “customers”? • Previous lecture: Sound bytes/memes • Someone outside of your area should be able to succinctly summarize your value
Business Model • Effectively, this is what we’ve been talking about in previous lectures • What is your “product”, why will people buy it, why/how is it sustainable, etc.?
Advertising • Think of having an advertising “budget” • Currency: Time • Many possible media for advertising • Talks (in particular, job talks) • Web site • Popular press • Awards • Schmoozing at conferences
Web Page: Your Advertisement • How people find you • They may also use it to form their first impression of you • Often, they come looking for something and find other things about you • Things to include • Recent developments • Papers and talks • Photo and contact information • Pointers to project pages
Staying Marketable • People are forgetful • Need consistent (though not necessarily continual) reminders of your work • Reminders are not personal annoyances, but rather accomplishments and results • Papers • Results • …
Know Your Goals • Why do you need to network? • Getting a job • Meeting collaborators • Enhancing your social or work life • Knowing what you want to accomplish will help you figure out who to talk to (and budget your time accordingly)
Identify Relevant People • What does “relevant” mean? • Typically, in research, this means that you share a common interest, etc. • Chance of forming a connection for research, career, etc. • How do you find them? • Other well-connected people • Bibliographies, etc. • Name dropping • The best people of your own generation
Approaching People: Writing • Maintain a persona • Others know you by a combination of your publicly visible activities (writing, talks, email correspondence, etc.) • Your papers can be a valuable representative for your persona • In some cases, your work may precede you • …very different from ordinary social settings!
Approaching People: In-Person • Study some aspect of the person’s research • Ask questions for which you are generally interested in the answer • Approach them with an intelligent question • Avoid negativity and gossip
Exchanging Paper Drafts • Providing or receiving feedback about a paper is a good way to form a connection • By exchanging feedback, you may converge to a new idea to work on • Form another connection (perhaps eventually helpful) • Phrase criticism constructively
Following Up • Keep your network “warm” • Once you have identified a few key people, keep them up to speed • Send them your recent papers • Meet them at conferences and pring them up to speed • Stay low-key • Exchange favors our of courtesy and respect • Don’t have colleagues fill social voids
Email • Think of email as • The front page of the newspaper • …searchable • …highly distribut-able • You should assume that your email will be forwarded • Email shrouds subtleties, like tone it also has brings out a lot of tendencies
Email Tendencies • Knee-jerk reactions • Treating people like machines • Getting overwhelmed • Having your time wasted…
You and your our advisor • Ideally, your advisor: • Feeds you with funding • Feeds you with good problems to work on • Guides you along the way to a good solution • Teaches you all the unwritten skills of research, explicitly or implicitly, including writing, speaking, reviewing, grant-writing, etc • Promotes you, internally and externally, for fellowships, jobs, committees, etc
You and your our advisor • This is the closest of all your interpersonal relationships • Look for compatibility in: • Ideas: ambition level, vagueness level, goals • Management style: independence, hands-on vs. hands-off, structured vs. unstructured • Personality: humor, life perspective, etc
You and your advisor • Your advisor is: • Overloaded • Ultimately an intellectual, and excited by ideas • Your advisor is happy if: • You save him or her time • You don’t create last-minute emergencies • You understand the high-level goals, and come up with things he/she didn’t think of • You learn on your own, and teach him/her • You don’t give up instantly
Working well in a team • Clear division of labor • No duplication of same parts of the task/project • Accountability • Clear coverage of all parts of the task/project • Clear leadership (if large or remote) • Regular/tight communication