As a graduate student, the prospect of the “future career” can seem overwhelming. Trying to balance your classes, thesis, and research makes it challenging to find time to identify—and eventually apply for—future positions. With in-person conferences being somewhat infrequent, it is important to utilize all your resources to network effectively.
See an interesting seminar at your university? Maybe an online training? Meet someone in passing at a lunch and learn? Follow the presenter, organization, or individual on LinkedIn! By establishing an online connection, LinkedIn allows you to keep track of professional relationships that can help you throughout your career. Not only does it form an association, but it is a great way to identify and keep track of career options, job postings, and experts that you can contact.
Start by making an informative LinkedIn profile and include a brief introduction, your background information, and your strengths and skills! Once your profile is established, you can focus on connecting to people that you already know: the other students in your program, faculty, and previous bosses. From there, every time you meet someone new, attend a seminar that inspires you, or network in a Zoom call, take a moment to follow the individual or organization on LinkedIn. This is a great way of passively building a network that can be utilized as a powerful resource in your job search or even scientific collaborations. As you build your network, consider scheduling an in-person meeting with those individuals for the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo!
Head to LinkedIn, build your profile, follow SOT, and see where your network takes you!