Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cult of personality

As I've been embarking on my whirlwind Fall of career development/praying someone will want to hire me,I've been struck and somewhat confused about people who tout the concept of "developing my brand."

WTF - I thought my science spoke for itself, right?

That people should know what I do and where I want to go based on reading tea leaves.....

OK, I'm being sarcastic, but I have a hard time knowing where to draw the line. At what point does all the PR take over from doing good science? How does one balance substance over style?

1 comment:

  1. nitpicking-on a technical sense good PR doesn't take over from good science. There's a difference between PR and advertising glitz. (Can you guess what I teach?)

    In all seriousness, you do need to sell yourself a little, but it's a fine line to walk. Think about how much crap search committees get sent and have to sift through. You have to somehow stand out in your letter and CV and who you are (your "brand" to use your terms) should be clear. I'm pretty sure I got rejected from schools because who I was was fairly clear--and I wouldn't have fit. For many interviews I was so scared about being what someone else wanted, that that was the message that came through instead of my own confidence/certainty of who I am. For the interview where I'm at now, I was me. I was risky. I was also exhausted of trying to hold it in. It worked--and the more important relief--they know who I am and what they're getting by hiring me.

    It's not fun, but it's needed. Your science might be great, but if I can't figure out who you are as a person then I'm moving on. I've been trying to impress this on my brother--a personal trainer who thinks his work should speak for itself. But he comes off as standoffish. Which he's not. It overshadows his work though.