Charlotte Chivers (Research Assistant, University of Gloucestershire)
Welcome to the Beyond Your Research Degree podcast from the University of Exeter Doctoral College! The podcast about careers and all the opportunities available to you... beyond your research degree! In this episode Kelly Preece, Researcher Development Manager talks to Charlotte Chivers, who secured a Research Assistant post at the University of Gloucestershire during COVID-19. Charlotte has started her role at the University of Gloucestershire whilst finishing writing up her PhD. Music from https://filmmusic.io ’Cheery Monday’ by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses Podcast transcript 1 00:00:10,000 --> 00:00:23,000 Hello and welcome to the Beyond Your Research Degree podcast by the University of Exeter, Doctoral College 2 00:00:23,000 --> 00:00:31,000 Hello and welcome to beyond your research degree. It's Kelly Preece here, and I'm really excited to be bringing you the second in a special series that 3 00:00:31,000 --> 00:00:38,000 we're doing for Beyond Your Research Degree about securing jobs during Covid 19. 4 00:00:38,000 --> 00:00:43,000 So last time I talked to Tomir about securing a job with an NGO. 5 00:00:43,000 --> 00:00:48,000 And today I'm gonna be talking to Charlotte Chivers in a very similar position to Timur, 6 00:00:48,000 --> 00:00:55,000 writing up herPhD and starting a new job, but this time as a postdoctoral research associate. 7 00:00:55,000 --> 00:00:59,000 So we normally on Beyond your Research degree, we focus on non-academic careers. 8 00:00:59,000 --> 00:01:03,000 But given the real challenges our PGRs are facing at the moment, 9 00:01:03,000 --> 00:01:10,000 it seemed really pertinent to talk about securing academic and research jobs as well. 10 00:01:10,000 --> 00:01:20,000 Yeah, hi. So I'm Charlotte Chivers and I have been doing my PhD at the University of Exeter since twenty seventeen. 11 00:01:20,000 --> 00:01:26,000 My research is within the Centre for Rural Policy Research. 12 00:01:26,000 --> 00:01:37,000 So it's a social science. PhD and I have been exploring the efficacy of agriculture advice surrounding diffused water pollution. 13 00:01:37,000 --> 00:01:47,000 So I have now finished a draft of my entire thesis and congratulations. 14 00:01:47,000 --> 00:01:52,000 And I'm making revisions based on my supervisor's comments at this stage. 15 00:01:52,000 --> 00:02:00,000 However, back in September, I started a research position at the University of Gloucestershire. 16 00:02:00,000 --> 00:02:05,000 So I now work in the Countryside and Community Research Institute. 17 00:02:05,000 --> 00:02:12,000 So I've been juggling, working full time and finishing off my PhD. 18 00:02:12,000 --> 00:02:18,000 And again, I'm working in social science, but mostly looking at environmental stuff. 19 00:02:18,000 --> 00:02:25,000 So I now work on two big EU projects. One is called Soil Care, which it's soil health in agriculture. 20 00:02:25,000 --> 00:02:32,000 And the other is called Spint and we are looking at pesticides in agriculture. 21 00:02:32,000 --> 00:02:38,000 That's brilliant. Thank you. So there's a number of lots of different things to pick up on within that. 22 00:02:38,000 --> 00:02:43,000 But I think so firstly. So if we can go back to September last year. So was it September you started the job? 23 00:02:43,000 --> 00:02:48,000 Yes. I started in September. So when when did you when did you apply? 24 00:02:48,000 --> 00:02:55,000 What were the sort of timescales? So I applied in June last year. 25 00:02:55,000 --> 00:03:07,000 OK, yeah. So. So I wasn't. Sorry. No i was just going to say so this is so all of the application process, everything, it's all happened during COVID. 26 00:03:07,000 --> 00:03:12,000 Yes. Yes. OK. So I. 27 00:03:12,000 --> 00:03:15,000 Let's start at the beginning of that process that I'm thinking about, how it might have been affected by it. 28 00:03:15,000 --> 00:03:21,000 So how? First of all, how did you how did you find this role? 29 00:03:21,000 --> 00:03:26,000 So I had sort of had my eye on the centre 30 00:03:26,000 --> 00:03:32,000 I now work for for the last couple of years and I recognised that it would potentially be a good fit for me. 31 00:03:32,000 --> 00:03:38,000 So I kept my eye on their website and I attended one of our events. 32 00:03:38,000 --> 00:03:45,000 So they have a annual winter school, which meant that I had the opportunity to meet some of the academics working there. 33 00:03:45,000 --> 00:03:49,000 And from then on, then I kind of just kept my eye out for jobs. 34 00:03:49,000 --> 00:03:54,000 And although it was quite early for me to apply for a job because I still had, you know, 35 00:03:54,000 --> 00:04:00,000 my PhDi ongoing, I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out on an opportunity. 36 00:04:00,000 --> 00:04:04,000 As obviously, you know, academia is competitive. So I had to kind of go for it. 37 00:04:04,000 --> 00:04:09,000 When when a job came along. So, yeah, absolutely. 38 00:04:09,000 --> 00:04:15,000 And I think, you know, it is that when your when you're targeting particular departments or organisations, 39 00:04:15,000 --> 00:04:24,000 if you're thinking outside academia that are a really good fit for your passion, but also your kind of knowledge and skills. 40 00:04:24,000 --> 00:04:28,000 It is sometimes having to kind of make that compromise going okay. 41 00:04:28,000 --> 00:04:36,000 It's not the ideal time. But is this opportunity likely to come up in six months when it is the ideal time? 42 00:04:36,000 --> 00:04:46,000 Can you talk a little bit about the. Application process, particularly thinking about what might have been different about it because of the, 43 00:04:46,000 --> 00:04:52,000 you know, the all of the restrictions that we've had in the UK for the past year or so. 44 00:04:52,000 --> 00:04:58,000 Yeah. So in terms of actually applying for the job, it was it was the same essentially because, 45 00:04:58,000 --> 00:05:04,000 you know, I had to submit an application form and a CV online. And so that was quite normal, actually. 46 00:05:04,000 --> 00:05:16,000 And that the first stage where it was quite different is that my interview had to be held online with a panel of three professors, 47 00:05:16,000 --> 00:05:24,000 which was quite interesting. You know, I had to get myself into the mindset of an interview even though I was starting my apartment. 48 00:05:24,000 --> 00:05:30,000 So that day that I just made sure that I got dressed up as if I was going to an interview. 49 00:05:30,000 --> 00:05:38,000 And I just tried to get myself in that mindset. But it was quite strange having a sort of online interview. 50 00:05:38,000 --> 00:05:47,000 But luckily for panellists were lovely, really supportive. So, you know, I felt relatively at ease despite it being an online interview. 51 00:05:47,000 --> 00:05:50,000 Yeah. And I think you've picked up on a couple of really important things. 52 00:05:50,000 --> 00:05:57,000 They're about actually kind of that sense of mindset of how do you put yourself in the frame of mind of performing, 53 00:05:57,000 --> 00:06:01,000 because that's essentially what an interview it is, isn't it? You know, it comes down to it. 54 00:06:01,000 --> 00:06:10,000 You're you're kind of performing for the interview panel. And how do you do that when you're kind of in your in your everyday? 55 00:06:10,000 --> 00:06:12,000 Environments, so I think that thing you said about, you know, 56 00:06:12,000 --> 00:06:18,000 getting dressed up and doing all of those things like you would do for an interview normally are really important. 57 00:06:18,000 --> 00:06:28,000 Were there any kind of any markedly different things for having the interview online from when you've had interviews face to face? 58 00:06:28,000 --> 00:06:34,000 Was there anything kind of. I don't know. Different or challenging? 59 00:06:34,000 --> 00:06:37,000 About doing that way. Yeah, definitely so. 60 00:06:37,000 --> 00:06:42,000 And the thing is, it's because there were four of us on the call. 61 00:06:42,000 --> 00:06:47,000 And you have a lag often when you're online It was incredibly difficult to not interrupt each other. 62 00:06:47,000 --> 00:06:51,000 And and being in an interview, you obviously don't want to interrupt people. 63 00:06:51,000 --> 00:06:57,000 You want to make sure that you, you know, wait your turn and speak when you can ask the question. 64 00:06:57,000 --> 00:07:03,000 But there were a couple of times. So it's quite difficult to know when to talk and when to get a word in. 65 00:07:03,000 --> 00:07:09,000 So that's something that was a bit challenging. But again, I think everyone is aware of this. 66 00:07:09,000 --> 00:07:16,000 So I didn't I didn't see it as a major issue because I assume everyone is facing the same sort of challenge. 67 00:07:16,000 --> 00:07:19,000 So it was kind of it was kind of okay. Yeah. 68 00:07:19,000 --> 00:07:29,000 And were there any kind of any positives, any things that you felt were kind of easier or or or nicer or more relaxed because of the online format? 69 00:07:29,000 --> 00:07:34,000 Yeah, I mean, I personally do prefer in-person meetings because you can build rapport a bit easier. 70 00:07:34,000 --> 00:07:40,000 You can make proper eye contact, but not having to travel was quite nice. 71 00:07:40,000 --> 00:07:43,000 I didn't have to worry about being late, unless the Internet had died. 72 00:07:43,000 --> 00:07:46,000 But, you know, in general, our Internet is really strong. 73 00:07:46,000 --> 00:07:53,000 So I could just kind of get up in the morning and not think, oh, my gosh, I need to make sure the train isn't late or. 74 00:07:53,000 --> 00:07:58,000 Yeah. So it was quite nice, actually, not having to worry about about that. 75 00:07:58,000 --> 00:08:04,000 So, yeah, I'd say that was a benefit. But other than that I'd say I didn't find it dramatically different. 76 00:08:04,000 --> 00:08:13,000 You know, it was interviews are Always scary. You know, I think I think either way, it's not it's not the easiest of things to go through. 77 00:08:13,000 --> 00:08:17,000 But, you know, I think having a nice panel really helped. 78 00:08:17,000 --> 00:08:22,000 And, you know, I think just making sure your Internet is working and stuff is really important to you. 79 00:08:22,000 --> 00:08:28,000 But, yeah, I wouldn't say there were any massive positives or necessarily any massive negatives either. 80 00:08:28,000 --> 00:08:34,000 It was kind of. Yeah, it was it was different. But it was but it was fine. 81 00:08:34,000 --> 00:08:42,000 So can we talk a little bit more about what was involved as part of the application process? 82 00:08:42,000 --> 00:08:48,000 So you said that you did an online application form and a CV were that particular things like. 83 00:08:48,000 --> 00:08:55,000 Required as part of the application form. Did you have to do like a personal statement against the job specification or questions? 84 00:08:55,000 --> 00:08:59,000 Upload documents, anything like that? Yeah. 85 00:08:59,000 --> 00:09:09,000 So I believe I had to fill in in the application form, I had to refer to how I met the sort of essential and desirable criteria. 86 00:09:09,000 --> 00:09:17,000 And as a rule of thumb, what I always do is I actually copy across all of the headings from the job description. 87 00:09:17,000 --> 00:09:20,000 And I specifically answer each one. 88 00:09:20,000 --> 00:09:28,000 So, you know, and that's always worked quite well for me because it means that the person reading the application can literally see straightaway. 89 00:09:28,000 --> 00:09:35,000 Okay. They've actually tried to answer every single one of these essential and desirable criteria. 90 00:09:35,000 --> 00:09:41,000 So I remember specifically doing that, but I don't think it had off the top of my head. 91 00:09:41,000 --> 00:09:46,000 I can't remember having any really sort of specific things that were out of the ordinary. 92 00:09:46,000 --> 00:09:53,000 It was kind of just an application form. And yeah, your CV, which I obviously tailored for four jobs, 93 00:09:53,000 --> 00:09:59,000 I made sure that I prioritise certain things and put things at the top that were really important. 94 00:09:59,000 --> 00:10:05,000 So, you know, my publication record and my previous work experience were important for this particular position. 95 00:10:05,000 --> 00:10:14,000 So, you know, I just made sure that it was really I make it as easy as possible for us to do application to see, 96 00:10:14,000 --> 00:10:21,000 you know, the key things that they need to know about you rather than having it hidden or or further down the page. 97 00:10:21,000 --> 00:10:27,000 Yeah. Yeah, I think that's a couple of things that you said and that just really useful kind 98 00:10:27,000 --> 00:10:32,000 of simple tools like copy and cross the headings of the person specification. 99 00:10:32,000 --> 00:10:36,000 I do that and I don't necessarily use them as headings, but I make sure that, 100 00:10:36,000 --> 00:10:40,000 like with the example I'm giving the examples I have the exact language from the person. 101 00:10:40,000 --> 00:10:46,000 specification. Just say it like you're having all the signals or making it really, really clear. 102 00:10:46,000 --> 00:10:51,000 And so with the interview, was there any preparation you have to do for the interview? 103 00:10:51,000 --> 00:10:58,000 Did you have to do task or anything like that? No, I didn't. 104 00:10:58,000 --> 00:11:03,000 I don't think. But I did send across some material in advance. Just off my own bat. 105 00:11:03,000 --> 00:11:07,000 OK. So I, I basically just really wanted this job. 106 00:11:07,000 --> 00:11:11,000 So I probably came across as extremely keen. I think that's fine. 107 00:11:11,000 --> 00:11:19,000 So I essentially sent across some examples of my work just to help bolster my application. 108 00:11:19,000 --> 00:11:25,000 So part of the role was and so I work on dissemination work package for one of for projects. 109 00:11:25,000 --> 00:11:30,000 So, you know, I don't just do research. I have to help with dissemination and communication. 110 00:11:30,000 --> 00:11:34,000 So I sent across a couple of examples of infographics, ive made, 111 00:11:34,000 --> 00:11:41,000 and I think I sent them a podcast and things like that just to show that even though I'm mostly trained in research, 112 00:11:41,000 --> 00:11:48,000 I am capable of doing with dissemination side as well, because, you know, it was quite hard to articulate that without providing evidence. 113 00:11:48,000 --> 00:11:51,000 So I made sure to send that. But it wasn't a prerequisite. 114 00:11:51,000 --> 00:11:57,000 They didn't ask for it, but I just felt that it would help them to see that, you know, I'm not just saying I can do it. 115 00:11:57,000 --> 00:12:06,000 I have shown them. Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, as part of the whole job application process, that's to be being proactive. 116 00:12:06,000 --> 00:12:14,000 It is so crucial to the whole process. And do your remember what kind of questions they asked you an interview. 117 00:12:14,000 --> 00:12:21,000 Oh, my gosh. One of one of the questions I asked was actually where I'd like my career to go. 118 00:12:21,000 --> 00:12:25,000 Which one? Yeah. So and I was quite sort of. 119 00:12:25,000 --> 00:12:29,000 And I was like, well, I could just say, oh, I just desperately want. 120 00:12:29,000 --> 00:12:35,000 this job forever to try and persuade them to give it to me. But I decided to be honest and actually that really paid off. 121 00:12:35,000 --> 00:12:40,000 So I said, you know, within a few years I'd like to be a research fellow. 122 00:12:40,000 --> 00:12:49,000 And when I got offered the job, they said that actually really helped me get the job because they want people to progress and they like ambition, so. 123 00:12:49,000 --> 00:12:55,000 Yeah. So I remember they asked me that was. Oh, they asked. 124 00:12:55,000 --> 00:13:02,000 They asked questions about my research interests. So, again, you know, I don't want to end up doing research I'm not passionate about. 125 00:13:02,000 --> 00:13:11,000 So I was completely honest. You know, I explained that I'm very interested in farm advice and soil health and the environment. 126 00:13:11,000 --> 00:13:21,000 And again, you know, it was just lucky that the job I was applying for, you know, happened to be really aligned in my research interests. 127 00:13:21,000 --> 00:13:25,000 They also asked me to talk about. So this is a really common in question. 128 00:13:25,000 --> 00:13:31,000 I think I've had it in every interview I've ever done. They ask what your sort of weakness is. 129 00:13:31,000 --> 00:13:38,000 And I always. Yeah, and I always tackle that by giving an example of a weakness. 130 00:13:38,000 --> 00:13:40,000 I may be used to have. 131 00:13:40,000 --> 00:13:48,000 And then I explain how I resolved it or how I managed to kind of overcome it or how I'm working to do so so that I don't just say, 132 00:13:48,000 --> 00:13:56,000 oh, I'm really bad at this. And then that's it. I make sure to say, you know, I used to really struggle with time management, for example. 133 00:13:56,000 --> 00:14:05,000 But since then, I've decided to have to make more lists and to use my calendar more just as an example. 134 00:14:05,000 --> 00:14:09,000 So that's something that I think I've been asked in every interview I've ever had 135 00:14:09,000 --> 00:14:19,000 Yeah. I wondered, so you said that you're working on you've completed a full thesis draft and you're working on feedback from your supervisors. 136 00:14:19,000 --> 00:14:28,000 Is that right? Yes, that's correct. So you started this job in September and to those listening we are currently in February. 137 00:14:28,000 --> 00:14:37,000 So with a period of five months you've been working full time and finishing writing up your thesis. 138 00:14:37,000 --> 00:14:44,000 So are you technically still registered full time for you for your PhD 139 00:14:44,000 --> 00:14:48,000 No. No. So, I mean, continuation status. Yeah. 140 00:14:48,000 --> 00:14:53,000 Yeah. So my my funding finished in September. 141 00:14:53,000 --> 00:14:57,000 And then I started my job in September, which was quite nice because, you know, 142 00:14:57,000 --> 00:15:03,000 I couldn't afford to have a gap in and, you know, financially, it's very difficult to to have a gap. 143 00:15:03,000 --> 00:15:13,000 So I kind of did need to start. But equally, you know, due to various reasons, due to the pandemic and things, I hadn't quite finished my PhD. 144 00:15:13,000 --> 00:15:21,000 So, yeah, I just I just had to go for it really and sort of just make sure I work on the thesis as much as I can. 145 00:15:21,000 --> 00:15:27,000 So what I did once I'd settled into this ECRI, which is where I work now, 146 00:15:27,000 --> 00:15:33,000 I took a week of annual leave and just sort of really worked on a thesis because 147 00:15:33,000 --> 00:15:38,000 I find it hard to I can do some work in the evenings on the on the thesis, 148 00:15:38,000 --> 00:15:42,000 but I think it's hard to get into that headspace when you've been working on other research all day. 149 00:15:42,000 --> 00:15:49,000 So I decided to use my annual leave up to sort of get the bits of my thesis just finished. 150 00:15:49,000 --> 00:15:57,000 I needed to. And then it's been quite nice because I actually handed in my draft to my supervisors 151 00:15:57,000 --> 00:16:04,000 in November and then it took three months to get my supervisor comments back in full. 152 00:16:04,000 --> 00:16:09,000 So I essentially just had three months to just work on my job and and other bits, 153 00:16:09,000 --> 00:16:13,000 too, because I seemed to just always have several other bits going on with work. 154 00:16:13,000 --> 00:16:17,000 But yeah, so I've only just got it back a couple of weeks ago. 155 00:16:17,000 --> 00:16:20,000 So I now now hatched a plan. 156 00:16:20,000 --> 00:16:31,000 I have now had my full draft back with supervisors comments throughout and I've hatched a very strict plan to make sure that I do submit and that I, 157 00:16:31,000 --> 00:16:38,000 you know, have time to sort of make sure I answer all of that comments and proofread and do any final bits. 158 00:16:38,000 --> 00:16:43,000 So, you know, my goal now is to submit at the end of March. 159 00:16:43,000 --> 00:16:46,000 And again, I've had to take another week of annual leave. 160 00:16:46,000 --> 00:16:55,000 So next week, I I've completely taken myself away from ECRI work so that I can just focus on the thesis because, 161 00:16:55,000 --> 00:17:03,000 you know, I do need to be able to get into that headspace again. And, you know, I am working a lot of evenings and I worked yesterday on it, 162 00:17:03,000 --> 00:17:10,000 but I think it's much easier to do it when you have a proper chunk of time to just focus on your PhD 163 00:17:10,000 --> 00:17:14,000 Yeah, that's what I was going to ask is how what's your plan and kind of managing your time. 164 00:17:14,000 --> 00:17:23,000 And I know I'm speaking to quite a few people who not necessarily you've kind of started a job early, you know, before they finish their PhD 165 00:17:23,000 --> 00:17:27,000 but people who've been working full time throughout and they've said that, you know, particularly in the write up stage, 166 00:17:27,000 --> 00:17:34,000 that's been the way that they've managed it the best is to kind of take a big chunk of time. 167 00:17:34,000 --> 00:17:40,000 And work exclusively on it rather than try and just do it all in evenings and weekends. 168 00:17:40,000 --> 00:17:48,000 Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, working full time, I simply don't have the time or energy and I really don't want to burn out. 169 00:17:48,000 --> 00:17:53,000 So overall, I work a lot of evenings. I can't work every evening. 170 00:17:53,000 --> 00:17:57,000 It's just not sustainable. And and, you know, my new job, I love it. 171 00:17:57,000 --> 00:18:01,000 But it does require me to work quite long hours. 172 00:18:01,000 --> 00:18:07,000 So I often actually work in the evenings on my CCRI work. So by the time I can get there, you stay. 173 00:18:07,000 --> 00:18:13,000 So, look, well, you know, it's quite late at night. So I do think for blocking out time is the best way forward. 174 00:18:13,000 --> 00:18:25,000 Really? Yeah. What was it like starting a job in a new academic department during COVID 175 00:18:25,000 --> 00:18:34,000 So it was bizarre, to say the least, because I couldn't meet anyone in person for ages. 176 00:18:34,000 --> 00:18:36,000 I have now met a few people in person. 177 00:18:36,000 --> 00:18:43,000 So we had a couple of months where I don't know if they had all these weird tiers and people were starting to go in again. 178 00:18:43,000 --> 00:18:46,000 And so I went into the office a couple of times and met people. 179 00:18:46,000 --> 00:18:54,000 But aside from that, I've I've essentially done the job for almost six months just working from home, which has been odd. 180 00:18:54,000 --> 00:18:59,000 But luckily the centre I work with a really, really lovely. 181 00:18:59,000 --> 00:19:04,000 So they have made a real effort with me. So they have like a morning coffee break. 182 00:19:04,000 --> 00:19:08,000 Twice a week just. And you can just join as you'd like. 183 00:19:08,000 --> 00:19:14,000 And it means you get to just have a chat with people. And I've had them send lots of emails. 184 00:19:14,000 --> 00:19:18,000 We even had to what sub-group where we all sort of sat running goals and things. 185 00:19:18,000 --> 00:19:24,000 So, you know, it's really helped me build some rapport. And I'm also incredibly lucky. 186 00:19:24,000 --> 00:19:32,000 I had already met a few of them, you know, in the past. So I sort of had a little bit of a rapport with them already. 187 00:19:32,000 --> 00:19:37,000 But, you know, I have other friends who started in jobs. So my friend Beth. 188 00:19:37,000 --> 00:19:42,000 She's in the same situation as me. And she hasn't been able to meet anyone. 189 00:19:42,000 --> 00:19:45,000 And I think I think it is difficult. 190 00:19:45,000 --> 00:19:53,000 But you have to just almost make that effort to just have a bit of, you know, like talk that you'd have over coffee when you're in the office. 191 00:19:53,000 --> 00:19:59,000 You always have to try and do that in meetings a little bit. People obviously really fatigued from Zoom and that 192 00:19:59,000 --> 00:20:08,000 We often have a little bit small talk before we get into the nitty gritty of it research just to help us to feel connected. 193 00:20:08,000 --> 00:20:14,000 So, yeah. But I'd say my experience has been amazing. Like, I'm incredibly lucky with that, with a sense of I've I've ended up in. 194 00:20:14,000 --> 00:20:19,000 It's really nice. Yeah. And I think the things that you're saying, I mean, because we've been I mean, 195 00:20:19,000 --> 00:20:22,000 apart from all of the different things that the difficulty is we've generally 196 00:20:22,000 --> 00:20:30,000 been in this situation for so long that actually organisations and ah and, 197 00:20:30,000 --> 00:20:36,000 you know, employees within it getting much better at kind of creating those opportunities for that more informal. 198 00:20:36,000 --> 00:20:38,000 But community building, I think. 199 00:20:38,000 --> 00:20:46,000 So, I mean, those kind of opportunities for people to talk and chat in a way that's not about work to sort of finish up. 200 00:20:46,000 --> 00:20:55,000 What advice would you give to someone who's looking at applying for kind of postdocs sort of research jobs at the moment during the pandemic? 201 00:20:55,000 --> 00:21:00,000 Is there anything that you kind of wish somebody had told you or anything you've learnt from the process that you think, 202 00:21:00,000 --> 00:21:07,000 yeah, people need to know this? Yeah, so I'd say just when you're applying. 203 00:21:07,000 --> 00:21:17,000 Just try to stay optimistic. I know it can be really difficult, especially if you have, you know, some unsuccessful applications go through it. 204 00:21:17,000 --> 00:21:20,000 It can't be quite demeaning. But just keep your chin up. 205 00:21:20,000 --> 00:21:27,000 Just keep going. And always just have confidence in yourself and your skills that you've developed in your PhD 206 00:21:27,000 --> 00:21:32,000 And I'd say also make sure that you show other people your applications and CVs 207 00:21:32,000 --> 00:21:39,000 So even if it's, you know, peers or anyone who could maybe take a look at it, you know, through a different lens and say, 208 00:21:39,000 --> 00:21:46,000 oh, actually this skill here is really useful for this criteria for looking for why haven't you suggested that? 209 00:21:46,000 --> 00:21:49,000 So, you know, I think it's really important to keep talking. 210 00:21:49,000 --> 00:21:54,000 And equally, if you're starting to feel, you know, down that you haven't got a position yet. 211 00:21:54,000 --> 00:22:01,000 Just just keep talking to people. And in the meantime, just keep developing developing yourself. 212 00:22:01,000 --> 00:22:05,000 So if there's things you could do that would both to application, for example, you know, 213 00:22:05,000 --> 00:22:14,000 completing your HEZ application or, you know, making a podcast or whatever it is that might help you to get that job. 214 00:22:14,000 --> 00:22:18,000 I would I would just, you know, keep keep trying to do that. 215 00:22:18,000 --> 00:22:29,000 And okay, so if you if you get to interview stage and I would say just be prepared, you know, have notes by the side of you, maybe have a mock interview. 216 00:22:29,000 --> 00:22:35,000 So I always ask my partner to go through some potential questions. 217 00:22:35,000 --> 00:22:41,000 And he he's not in academia. He's got you know, he wouldn't really have a clue what I'm going to be asked, 218 00:22:41,000 --> 00:22:44,000 but he knows that I'll be asked about my weaknesses and other things like that. 219 00:22:44,000 --> 00:22:49,000 So whoever it is you're living with, if you're living with anyone or have a Zoom call 220 00:22:49,000 --> 00:22:52,000 Just get people to help you, you know, practise for an interview, 221 00:22:52,000 --> 00:22:59,000 because it may be that if you've done a PhD, you may not have been interviewed in free for years. 222 00:22:59,000 --> 00:23:03,000 So it's almost like a completely new thing to go through again. 223 00:23:03,000 --> 00:23:06,000 So I think just making sure that you're really prepared for that. 224 00:23:06,000 --> 00:23:14,000 I always find reading blogs useful on how to respond to certain questions and just, you know, make sure, you know, 225 00:23:14,000 --> 00:23:22,000 the job description as well as you possibly can have your CV and stuff open during your interview so that you can have a look. 226 00:23:22,000 --> 00:23:29,000 I'd recommend printouts, though, because you don't want to be seen to be clicking about when you're in your Zoom call because it looks unprofessional. 227 00:23:29,000 --> 00:23:33,000 I'd say like taking about I wouldn't do it personally. 228 00:23:33,000 --> 00:23:38,000 I just have notes by the side of me so I can refer to those if needed. 229 00:23:38,000 --> 00:23:47,000 And aside from that, I mean, yeah, my main task is just to stay as optimistic as you can and to look after yourself while you're applying for jobs. 230 00:23:47,000 --> 00:23:53,000 Thanks so much to Charlotte for sharing her experience with me. I think it's really helpful to know. 231 00:23:53,000 --> 00:23:58,000 Actually, all of these processes are still the same and these opportunities are still out there. 232 00:23:58,000 --> 00:24:04,000 Even during COVID 19. And that's it for this episode. 233 00:24:04,000 --> 00:24:18,585 Join us next time when we'll be talking to another researcher about their career beyond their research degree.