I wanted to take this thread to apply to all thinkers early in their university career who would like to get a better "feel" for how to behave in department meetings, job talks, interviews, and colloquia. As a way to begin broaching this topic, I thought I'd list a number of "dot points" which people have talked to me over the years. If you have any others please go in the comments, but no false statements (or Liar-like sentences!).
- Try to keep other hobbies. I was in a real "slump" recently and playing my bongos and screaming was the only thing that kept me out of it.
- If someone asks you a question, ask them if you can take some time to think about the answer. They have been surprisingly understanding when I say this, and usually I don't ever have to answe.
- Look at the seniors in your institution and think about what they say, sure, but also think about how things will look down the track when I am older.
- Send your papers out to people as little presents with wrapping paper. I used to just email my colleagues my new work, and they all but ignored it. So my wife helped me come up with a better presentation, and now when I come down the corridor with my "parcels" of new knowledge, people know to smile and say thank you, and when you're early career, this can really be a game changer.
- Talk about your family and pets with your new colleagues. I directed my supervisor to a picture of Jocone, and our meetings went better after that.
Here's little Jocone brushing up on these tips! Now go forth and multiply!!