Join Professional Societies
Scientists benefit from joining and engaging in professional societies (not that we at APS are biased!).
Professional societies bring together scientists spanning decades of experience. Societies often provide their members with current career information. Many societies offer students reduced registration rates and travel reimbursement to attend meetings and meet other scientists. Typical professional society career development activities include:
- Networking events
- Funding announcements
- Travel grants
- Journal publications
- Networking Venues – both real (meetings) and virtual (websites)
Talk to people whenever you can, socially, casually, and at professional meetings and events.
Don't Just Join, Join In
Once you join a society, participate. Becoming active in a society is an excellent mode for career development and can be personally rewarding, too.
Society participation broadens your professional horizons. Experience gained in society leadership hones your management and leadership skills. Active society members become well-known in their science communities.
- American Physical Society (APS)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)
- American Astronomical Society (AAS)
- Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
- Materials Research Society (MRS)
- Optical Society of America (OSA)
Tricks to Networking
The most common method for finding new jobs is through personal connections. It really is true that who know matters. Building your network lets you know more people.
Social Media Networking
Many people like to start "meeting" people online. Start with LinkedIn. The APS Physics group on LinkedIn is a great place to ask a question about career advancement and options. Remember, LinkedIn is not Facebook. Use a professional photo of yourself and make comments and observations using a professional voice.
APS Physics on LinkedIn
Networking at Meetings
Professional societies and organizations include offer receptions, panels, banquets, etc., at their meetings. These events are a place to introduce yourself and meet new people.
Networking at APS Meetings Webinar
Talk to as many people as you can. Be able to give them your Elevator Speech. Listen to what others do and ask questions. You may be surprised by how many helpful connections you obtain in this way.
The Physicist's Elevator Speech
Talk to Everyone—Everyone!
Did you realize that many people whom you meet, even non-scientists, have connections who could help you? For example, your hairdresser or barber is in contact with lots of different people all day long. He or she hears who is working on what and who is hiring and can pass that on to you.
Make a point of speaking to as many people as you can about what you do and what you'd like to accomplish. There is potential in even casual conversations.
Develop Relationships with Program Managers at Funding Agencies
Maintain Relationships with Early-Career Mentors