To many, networking feels like an awkward activity, but it doesn’t have to be. While the word “networking” might put you off, networking can be a great way to make connections, learn about new trends, test your ideas, find new friends, and build your career. It all depends on how you go about it.
In the interactive workshop Networking for People Who Don't Do Networking at the Hive Sheung Wan, participants explored how to reframe their idea of networking so that networking can become a meaningful part of their lives. We covered how to network without feeling or acting like a jerk, how to do informational interviews (and why they’re such a vital tool), and the dos and don’ts when networking on LinkedIn.
In May 2019, I was invited to run a career workshop for The Department of Comparative Literature at The University of Hong Kong. I built a career workshop that was specifically designed for students graduating from a master’s programme, the Master of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies. The workshop was the first of its kind and part of the department’s effort to support the career development of its master’s students.
This career workshop covered essential career planning skills as well as skills that are especially useful for humanities graduates. Through individual and group exercises, students practiced how to identify and explain their transferable skills to potential employers. They also collaborated on brainstorming relevant jobs, roles and industries. Other issues covered in the workshop included the importance of networking, of researching industries, of using informational interviews, and of asking for feedback from others.
In spring 2019, I designed and ran 4 career workshops at The University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with HKU Common Core Plus.
The workshops were tailored to students and staff at the university. The workshops covered topics such as networking skills, how to use LinkedIn and other social media in your job search, and other essential career planning strategies.
Among other events, I organised and participated in Inspiring women: An intimate conversation with three female founders, a sharing session with three women entrepreneurs in Hong Kong. For this event, I invited two external speakers from the film and tech industries in Hong Kong: Bhavneet Chahal of GoSkills and Sharon Yeung of singing cicadas. The sharing session gave both students and staff an opportunity to ask questions and learn from three entrepreneurial women who run their own companies, collectives or consultancies in Hong Kong.
Events posters (click to enlarge):
In 2018, I organized two career events at the University of Oslo: Life after a PhD in the humanities: Jobs beyond the academy, and LinkedIn for PhD holders and PhD candidates.
Both events were designed to offer inspiration and career support to PhD researchers who are planning to pursue careers outside of academia. While the University of Oslo does provide career support to this group, PhD researchers could still use more career advice as far as non-academic carers are concerned. Recent studies on job satisfaction about PhD candidates in Norway confirms that there is a general desire among PhD researchers for more career support. This was the starting point of the two career events I organized.
Life after a PhD in the humanities: Jobs beyond the academy was a panel discussion on career paths beyond the academy for people with a PhD in the humanities. I invited three external speakers, all of whom were alumni of the PhD programme at The Faculty of Humanities. The three speakers talked about their career paths after completing their PhDs. They shared not only useful career advice, but also crucial industry knowledge pertaining to their respective industries (the arts, publishing and the media). The event panel discussion drew a range of audiences, including recent PhD holders and people who were pursuing their PhDs, administrative staff, career services staff, and PhD supervisors at the university.
LinkedIn for PhD holders and PhD candidates was a hands-on, interactive workshop. Participants learned how to use LinkedIn as a tool – for presenting themselves online, finding job openings, researching potential future employers, and expanding and staying in touch with their network.