It is important to understand the many skills and qualities required to be an academic because simply stated, having a good PhD is not enough to secure the job and to succeed. As you read this section, note both your strengths to highlight to future employers and areas for improvement. Starting off in an academic career provides many opportunities but also challenges. The aim of this multidisciplinary workshop is to provide an opportunity to develop strategies and seek opportunities to strive and thrive in an academic career.
Everyone knows that networking is important and yet it can be very daunting. Walking into a room full of strangers and being social, approaching an eminent researcher at a conference, or initiating a correspondence with someone you have never met may feel awkward and uncomfortable. Yet, this is probably one of the most essential and useful skills to have as an academic. If you ask any academic about their lifestyle they all will say all consuming endeavor can take up one’s whole year.
Having to juggle research, teaching and administration will pull you in different directions. If you want to succeed in your academic career and also want to have time for family, friends and personal interests. It is very important to be organized and highly disciplined. If you shrink at the mere hint of a criticism of your work, then academia may not be right for you. Papers submitted to journals get rejected, proposals for funding come back full of critical comments, editors insist on rewriting and reworking the material before publication, etc. Presentation skills are essential both for teaching and for presenting at conferences.
It is no longer acceptable to mumble through a conference paper, but rather you need to present your work in a confident manner, making strong eye contact and articulating with a strong voice. Everyone can improve their presentation skills with some good training and with practice. Furthermore, most academics are required to lecture and many are assessed on the quality of their teaching and on their own students’ feedback.
Leadership and Management in Academic Career:
From the earliest stages of your academic career you will need to manage your own project and start to develop as a leader in your research field. As you progress in an academic career, you will be responsible for supervising the PhDs of new researchers, and possibly research groups depending on your discipline. These leadership roles are easier to tackle if you develop good project management skills early in your career and learn to take the lead at the earliest opportunity. Take up opportunities for project management training while you are completing your PhD. Offer to supervise undergraduate or master projects while you are undertaking a PhD or are a member of research or teaching staff, and get teaching or demonstrating experience. Seek out opportunities from best dissertation writing services in UK to use your initiative and take the lead, even if you are working on someone else’s project.