Friday, September 28, 2012

"Tell your story": Blogging & social media strategy for academics

There is nothing that gets me more excited than empowering creative thinkers to spread good ideas. The complex global challenges of our time necessitate new ways to harness academic innovation and connect critical thinkers with public audiences - and technology offers new opportunities for digital storytelling. Luckily for me, I happen to work at a university where I am continually surrounded by incredible talent.

I always enjoyed working in advertising and marketing and the decision to pursue a PhD in Australian history was not an easy one. But here I am, 6 months into my PhD, and I am constantly surprised at how my previous career impacts upon my thinking and practice. Indeed, I can hardly call it my previous career at all - such is the way that it informs my approach to scholarship every single day.

This year, I have been thinking a lot about communication strategies to help academics articulate their research to communities that matter and I was thrilled to be able to present some of these ideas to a group of UWA postgraduate students this week. You can view the presentation on slideshare. It was a fantastic experience - we had some thought-provoking conversations and I think I learned just as much as the students did. I'd love your thoughts on the pilot session!

A few additional resources (added on 1 October, 2012):
  1. Fantastic video: Noam Chomsky on "concision" (From "Chomsky and the Media", 1992).
  2. Ideas have value. They are not 'free'. We spoke a little about the ways in which technology has acted to devalue creative outputs. If you're interested in different perspectives on "freeconomics" check out this Wired Magazine article by Chris Anderson 'Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business'. You can also check out Anderson's book Free: The Future of a Radical Price.
  3. UWA does have a social media policy and you can read it here. You can also read UWA's web policy (draft) here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Employable PhD: How to prepare for your future career before you submit

Postgraduate students are intellectual entrepreneurs: creative, highly motivated freethinkers who are expert at solving problems. So, why is it that they often feel least prepared to enter the workforce?

I'm really excited to be speaking at short seminar series, presented by the wonderful University of Western Australia Postgraduate Students Association - "The Employable PhD".

The aim of the seminars? To explore strategies that can help postgraduate students prepare for their post-PhD career before they submit their thesis.

We’re all aware it’s getting more challenging to secure academic roles. What other options are available and how can students better prepare for these opportunities?

The seminar series will feature business coach & educator, Arjun Murthy, and topics include: how to identify key strengths, market academic skill-sets to non-academic employers, navigate hidden job markets, network effectively and optimise your online presence.

Here's an overview of the three sessions...

Tuesday, 25 September - “Know thy self": Identify your strengths and skills

The essential first step in career management is to understand the strengths and  skills that you can offer employers. This seminar will be presented by coach and trainer Arjun Murthy, who will assist you to better understand your personality preferences and transferable skills.
+ RSVP on Facebook

Wednesday, 26 September - "Tell your story" Promoting yourself and your research online

With more and more employers using Google to screen job candidates, establishing a strong online presence is now one of the most powerful ways to gain a competitive advantage in job markets. This interactive session, presented by myself, will address common concerns that prevent academics from promoting their research online and outline how to develop a communications strategy that will allow you to tell your story to a global audience, build a community around your research, and become an influencer in your discipline area.

Please bring an ipad or laptop to this session if you can as we will take a tour of the interwebs at some point. However,  if I see you on Facebook I will cut off your hands. Kidding*!

+ RSVP on Facebook

Thursday, 27 September - “Don’t just sit there!”: Strategies to proactively seek out career opportunities

Discover a toolbox of strategies to help you seek out opportunities in your chosen job market - or even create new ones. Arjun Murthy and myself will explore career management and goal setting, tips for effective networking, and how to identify hidden job markets.
+ RSVP on Facebook

I'm looking forward to sharing the results and will report back in a few weeks!

*I'm not really kidding.