My friend’s husband has a saying (that I can’t repeat) but let’s just say it’s a warning that a choice you make in the moment could be one your future self is going to regret. That’s sage advice. But so is the corollary. You can also do something now that your future self will thank you for! In this case I’m talking about writing a master resume. What is a master resume?
This week, my posts have been all about some of the final steps in landing and accepting a new job. Let’s say you’re one of those lucky ducks and you have accepted a new job. One of the things I see fellow academics lean head first into right after that is trying to learn all. of. the. things. about the new job. That’s only natural. You’re excited about the new job and highly motivated to learn what you need to know. And if you’re here, you’re probably an academic. Academics are, by nature, curious creatures, and our quest for knowledge never ends. But you probably need to remember a couple of things here.
I’ve posted about negotiating your salary before. But now I’m here to remind you that salary is not everything. When you’re considering a job offer, you MUST also take benefits into account before you decide. A real example, from a client yesterday. She got a terrific job offer, offering more than 10% above her current salary. And while she was doing the happy dance (and should!), I had to rein in her excitement and make her do some math. “Have you examined the benefits package? No? Oh, girl. Okay, sit down.”
When you find a job listing you’re interested in, what do you do? You scan the job ad, and if you’re me, you’re already envisioning how your life would be better if you had that job and subsequently making a checklist of the things you’ll need to address in your cover letter & resume. Sound familiar? Especially when I see a job that is super tempting – maybe it’s the exact job title I’m looking for, or a group with whom I’ve been wanting to work or for work I think I’d be great at – it’s tempting, sometimes impossible, to not get ahead of ourselves. After all, you’ve already decided it’s time to find work, got your search query all built, and now found something very intriguing. Here’s where I constantly have to remind myself to take a step back, take it down a notch. There’s a step in between reading the job listing and jotting down what needs to go in your cover letter.
Here’s a great book to help introverts (continue to) rock the workplace. It’s called Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference by Jennifer Kahnweiler. In the beginning, Kahnweiler identifies 5 skills that introverts rock: thoughtful use of social media, writing, preparation, engaged listening, and focused conversations. Then there’s a quiz to help you assess where your strengths lie among those categories. And the quiz is actually helpful. I like the way it helped me listen to where I am already an expert and which skills I could work on a bit. And for the rest of this short read, you’ll get practical tips on how to hone each skill, as well as rein it in. For instance, we know that introverts need to build in quiet time into their workday (YES! Can you say it again for the executives in the back and anyone who suggests open offices?!) but she also warns what becoming a workplace loner can do. Throughout she gives some practical tips on how to put each skill into practice, even in cubicle land.