“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”
– Galileo Galilei
New From TheCOM
TheCOM was something formed outside of my “official” career to seek and supply support for myself and the “Community” around me. Once I moved out of the “Education” phase of my career and into the “Professional,” I continued this Extra-Curricular activity to build and work with “The Community of Minds” that had become such a valuable part of my life. Now, having experienced the consistent need and the effectiveness of “The Community of Minds” approach as a solution, TheCOM is no longer Extra-Curricular but a full-time commitment. To align with this commitment, TheCOMonline.net will be going through a visible transition over the coming months. Please return to see both our progress and the benefits TheCOM Integrated Learning Consultants could have in your world.
To learn a little more about me and the background of TheCOM please read About The Founder and scroll to the bottom of this page for links to a few articles.
If you would like to learn more or would like to discuss how I might contribute to your success and the success of your Community of Minds, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your interest and your time,
Featured Post From TheCOM
One thing the events of a COVID World have taught us is the need not just to be adaptable but that we must be Ready to Adapt. Because this is true, I want to call your attention to a post written a few years back, “Diverse Skills – We Must Adapt.” COVID-19 forced us out of the real world and into a flat screen world. Here, many were ill equipped to survive, much less to Thrive. Lacking the Diversity of Skills needed (Communication, Time Management, Zoom, etc.), reality hit the unprepared hard. That reality – which was true when and before I wrote this post, is true today, and will be even more true tomorrow – is this: We Must be ready to Adapt, and to be ready, we must acquire as large a set of Diverse Skills as possible.
Here’s the post:
Diverse Skills – We Must Adapt
By Bethany Huot (written Oct. 5, 2016)
Let’s start with a quote…
“If you are in charge of graduate or postdoctoral training or in a position to influence those that are, then please help them to find ways to incorporate active learning and development of “soft skills” along the way.” – Crispin Taylor –
We have been talking and writing about “Soft Skills” at The Pub Club for quite some time now, so I decided it was time to address them specifically. What they are, why they are important and why we should and must care.
As I studied the many sources of information used to support this post and worked on writing it up, I realized that it comes across as if “Soft Skills” are a new thing. While the term “Soft Skills” may be new, the abilities they encompass – communication, time management, organization and leadership – are not. Employers from any realm, knowingly or not, have always given preference to people who wrote a good cover letter (written communication), aced the interview (oral communication), took “Leadership” roles in school or previous jobs and more. What is new is that employers now list these abilities on job postings as both preferred and required qualifications.
Other terms previously used to describe these attributes are “Professional Development Skills” or “Transferable Skills.” I am not particularly fond of any of these terms. “Soft” suggests inferiority to “Hard” or technical skills, whereas “Professional” turns the insult around. As you will see in this post, both are equally important. As stated on SkillsYouNeed.com “the hard skills are a basic minimum necessary in order to operate in that particular workplace. Whether or not you are successful in your career may depend on how you relate to other people and to work: the so-called soft skills.” There’s also this 2014 study by CareerBuilder, which concluded the “Overwhelming Majority of Companies (77%) Say Soft Skills Are Just as Important as Hard Skills.” The term “Transferable Skills” doesn’t work for me either because it implies they just happen and we just have to know how to “transfer” them. While it is true that we may have skills that are “Transferable,” and we should know how to recognize and highlight them, a deliberate attempt must be made to attain them just like with “Hard Skills.”
So, before we dive into a post focused on “Soft Skills,” I want to start off by throwing out the terms and the distinctions and coin a new phrase: “Diverse Skills.” Diverse because some come easier to one person than they do to another and vice versa. Diverse because different jobs require more strength in some skills than in others. Diverse because “Hard” or “Soft” skills by themselves are not enough, they must be integrated and used in combination for maximum success. Diverse because the more Diverse your skill set, the more Diverse the opportunities you can pursue and successfully achieve. So, while we all know what technical skills are required to get the interview, we may not be as clear on what other Diverse skills are needed to complete our toolkit. The Diverse skills that enable us to knock their socks off at the interview and excel at the job once we are hired.
Who needs them?
In a… –Read More–
Just a little support for my conclusion from SCIENCE magazine
So, Is the Pandemic Good Reason to Abandon Good Answers?
“We really need to double down on our professional development work,” says Suzanne Ortega, president of the Council of Graduate Schools at Cornell. Check out this article from Science, written on the impact of the Pandemic.
It’s no secret that early-career researchers are struggling with increased career uncertainty these days. In June and July, 61% of roughly 7700 postdocs from around the world reported feeling that the pandemic has negatively impacted their career prospects. A similar survey of more than 3000 U.S. graduate students found that roughly one in five altered their career plans after the pandemic started. “[W]e need to have a serious conversation about not finding academic jobs in the next four years,” wrote one respondent, who is now considering industry positions. “It is the elephant [in] the room.”
Amid the crisis, universities are reporting a surge of interest in career and professional development resources…
Q: What’s your advice for graduate students and postdocs who are going through a similarly challenging time now?
A: First of all, it’s OK to be stressed. It’s understandable; it’s a tough situation. But I’d also say, try to stay calm and focus on the types of things that would make you happy, as opposed to focusing too much on the career that you envisioned when you entered graduate school. Life is a series of choices—it’s not something that’s preset. For some folks, it might mean staying in their position longer than they intended; for others, it might mean exploring other paths that they might not have explored before.
It’s also important to understand that every job will have its problems and challenges. There are pluses and minuses to every job, and the grass always looks greener on the other side. The job where you work 6 hours a day, you get paid six figures, and it’s stress free–I don’t think that actually exists. There are going to be stresses and uncertainties. But the important thing is enjoying what you do.
Read full Article HERE
Posts From TheCOM
Science is Communication (Part 1) – A Time to R.O.A.R.
By Bethany Huot – July 20, 2017
This year at The Pub Club we have been focusing on one of the most important aspects of doing science – Communication! While we may view conducting experiments as the “doing” of science, without convincing others to fund our research, no experiments are possible; no science will get “done.” That experiment may be what enables us to move science forward with a breakthrough finding, but how can science be advanced without sharing our findings? Looking through this lens for a second, let’s make a list. We first must come up with an idea, which always involves seeking out and reading literature to guide us in defining important research questions. We often reach out to others in the field for their insights on our ideas. Reading work others have published is receiving communication, and talking to peers is active, two-way communication. We’ve already clarified that once you have a research question you must communicate it well in order to get funded to do the research. Now that you are funded, does the communication stop? Can you get or maintain collaborators without both verbal and written communication? Can you report your progress or brainstorm a problem in lab meeting without communicating? Can you recruit others to your lab if you don’t communicate to them the value of joining? Finally, as we have already said, can your findings advance anything if they are not clearly communicated to those who would use them? Viewed this way we realize that, in fact, Science Is Communication! (READ MORE)
Science is Communication (Part 2) – How The Story’s Told
By Bethany Huot – January 15, 2018
You may have heard the saying that how well you understand something is evidenced by how well you can explain or teach it to someone else. There are many things we think we know until we try to express them clearly and concisely to someone else! Even if we are experts on a subject, it is important to take time to think about how to best communicate it.
In part 1 of Science is Communication – A Time to R.O.A.R., we defined Communication as “the successful exchange of ideas or information between two or more people.” We then focused on Why Communication is Important, How to Communicate with a R.O.A.R., and How to Develop Communication as a skill. In part 2, Science is Communication – How the Story’s Told, we will zoom in closer and, as promised, talk about our M.A.D. skills. Message, Audience, and Delivery are the essential elements of using your R.O.A.R. to construct an individual story to effectively communicate specific information. (READ MORE)
Here is an example of how your story can be told with a R.O.A.R. and how no communication is too small to apply this method. This is a PodCast I did with Max Johnson of The Food Fix communicating the Science I did as a Ph.D. student.
The Mind of The Founder… Not really, however here are a few articles written about and a few written by TheCOM’s founder Bethany Huot.