Since I’ve been here I’ve had the opportunity to meet and connect with so many different people. It can be a little overwhelming at first, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing but it’s definitely worth the effort.
Through training sessions and tweeting I’ve met up with some great people with fantastic experiences and created links to so many other disciplines. I’ve even been on a ‘tweetup’ (a tweeters meet-up) and yesterday I went to the research centre christmas dinner.
Both events were primarily organised as ‘social’ events but in reality if you get lots of researchers together they can’t help but discuss their own work and ask about yours. This is genuine interest being shown, and an eagerness to share relevant information with you.
I think it’s in these discussions where the greatest value of networking lies. In the same way it’s the coffee breaks at conferences that make the conferences (sometimes) worth going to.
As somone who can be a little shy I’m very encouraged by my experiences and am grateful to the good advice freely given by people I respect. My advice to anyone else in a similar situation would be to make the effort to meet with people, be open to new experiences and see what happens.
One of the most reassuring things several successful researchers and lecturers told me was ‘if you know what it is, it isn’t reasearch’ and it’s perfectly normal to be confused. Phew!
In other news, my slanket arrived and is wonderful. The cheapest colour was brown so when I’m wearing it at my desk I do feel slightly like I’m playing a monk in a historical drama. I don’t care. It’s toasty.
Slanket and heater and thermals combo in the cold cold lab