Propel Careers

Propelling Careers Podcast - Episode 18 - Is engagement in your community outside of your research worthwhile?   

July 3, 2024 
by Lauren Celano, CEO, Propel Careers and Jim Gould, the Director for Postdoctoral Affairs at Harvard Medical School 

Apple Podcast Link


In Propelling Careers podcast episode 18,  Jim and Lauren focus on the importance of being involved in your community outside of your research activities.  This involvement can increase connections and enable you to develop soft and sometimes hard skills outside of your research.  These activities could also increase diversity and inclusion depending upon which organizations you are involved with.  We thought this would be timely given the focus on diversity in June and also the importance of contributing positively to your respective community.  We will share a few of our involvements as well as highlight a few that we have seen recently in resumes covering these points below and more. Jim has emphasized a few times during the podcast series that we are all human beings doing human things  and involvement is a great way  to show this! We hope you enjoy listening!

  • Engagement in your community is important
  • You can gain skills and experiences through involvement in your respective community that help you build skills outside of your day to day work
  • You can be energized  by these – therefore you could be less likely to burn out
  • Sometimes these activities can enrich and inform your “day job”
  • You can increase your network and perspectives
  • You can gain leadership and management skills.
  • You may learn something new
  • Ask yourself why do you want to do something, how can I go about doing that, and what you can draw from the experience to help you plan what to engage with and how.
  • Seeing this on a candidate’s CV or resume is often seen as a positive
  • Jim and Lauren talk about a few examples that we have seen to help the audience with perspective here such as
    • Involvement in local chapters of national organizations.
    • Involvement in specific groups at universities
    • Founding an organization to serve a need that you see
    • Involvement in community wide organizations
  • It is important to draw parallels to the skills you are gaining through involvement and how these can impact your “day to day” work

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