Do you ever wonder how networking can boost your career as a statistician?

Are you an introvert who finds the idea of networking daunting?

In this episode, I explore the essential skill of networking and why it’s crucial for professional success.

Despite the challenges many of us face in social settings, networking offers significant benefits that extend beyond the office. I share practical advice on how to initiate and maintain professional connections, both within and outside of your organization. From casual lunch meetings to attending conferences and joining professional associations, I provide a comprehensive guide to help you enhance your career through effective networking strategies.

Tune in to discover how you can leverage networking to gain insights, seize opportunities, and ultimately become a more effective statistician.

Key points:

  • Career Boost: Explore how networking can significantly enhance your career as a statistician.
  • Introverts: Address the challenges introverts face in networking.
  • Importance: Understand why networking is crucial for professional success.
  • Practical Advice: Learn how to initiate and maintain professional connections.
  • Office Networking: Tips for networking within your organization.
  • Conferences: Benefits of attending and networking at conferences.
  • Professional Associations: Importance of joining and participating in associations.
  • Career Insights: Gain valuable insights and seize new opportunities through networking.
  • Effective Strategies: Comprehensive guide to effective networking strategies for statisticians.

Mastering the art of networking is essential for enhancing your career and seizing new opportunities as a statistician. By implementing the practical strategies discussed in this episode, you can build meaningful professional connections, gain valuable insights, and navigate your career path more effectively.

If you found this episode helpful, share it with your friends and colleagues. Let’s help each other grow and succeed in the world of statistics.

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Why And How to Network As A Statistician

[00:00:00] Alexander: Welcome to another episode of the Effective Statistician. Today I want to talk about a very very essential skill for everybody that wants to be successful in their career and actually also beyond. And that is networking. Yes, I know [00:00:20] this sounds like do I really need to do this? I’m more of an introvert.

[00:00:25] Yes, I can understand it. Networking is not easy and for many of us, it doesn’t come naturally. We are not the kind of people that usually hang around with lots of lots [00:00:40] of people and get a lot of energy from it. I know how that feels. If I have been around with people for a very, very long time, at a conference, at other events, and so on, then I actually also need my alone time to regain energy.[00:01:00] 

[00:01:00] Nevertheless, Networking is absolutely important. And here are a couple of reasons behind it. The first is, networking helps you to learn more about the business. And learning about the business is absolutely fundamental for [00:01:20] you to prioritize stuff, to do things more effectively to get new opportunities, all these kinds of different things.

[00:01:29] So how can you actually network in, in that regard? So, of course, if you are still working at some kind of office, or at [00:01:40] at least from time to time you are going into the office, or you have the opportunity to go into the office, then there’s a couple of things you can network about. The first is, have lunch with someone.

[00:01:55] Yeah, sounds kind of trivial, and it is trivial, yet it is [00:02:00] super, super important. Many, many people go for lunch, and that’s a time that is not blocked in their calendar. And, well, it’s pretty easy to, you know, Even have an appointment with very very senior and super busy people. Just have a relaxed [00:02:20] lunch with them and talk to them about what is theirs, what is their business, where are they at the moment.

[00:02:29] And then you can have a discussion with them about what is on their mind. What are their challenges? How do they see the current situation of the company? Are there [00:02:40] any special organizational changes, any initiatives within the company that they see of critical importance? These kinds of things will be really, really important for you to learn more about the company as well as about the [00:03:00] person.

[00:03:00] And this will actually also show to these more senior persons that you want to have a bigger understanding and that you are passionate about the company, about how it delivers value to patients, these kind of things. And [00:03:20] Be open there. Learn. This is not the time to kind of critique or things like that.

[00:03:28] You can always come up with suggestions, but don’t kind of come up with things are bad and overwhelming and all this kind of, you know, negative spirit. [00:03:40] That is not very helpful in these moments where you just want to build a connection. That is really important. Of course, there are many other people you can have lunch over to a coffee chat or anything like that with.

[00:03:55] Yeah, who are the people that you should [00:04:00] really build trust with you on on your projects? Yeah, you’re probably working multiple projects. Who would it make sense to learn more from? What about people in your line of command, so to say, the your step supervisor, your step step [00:04:20] supervisor, these kind of people.

[00:04:22] Or are there any other people in your organization that are really, really important for you? When I was working for a U. S. company with a headquarter in the U. S., me sitting in Europe, whenever I’m over to the U. S. for any kind of [00:04:40] situation, I would make sure that I have one to ones with those that are important within the biostatistics organizations.

[00:04:50] Just have, you know, a relaxed 30 minute discussion with them or coffee or a lunch meeting or something like this [00:05:00] to learn about what is on their mind, to learn about what does a good career look like. Usually people are very willing to make time for someone that travels abroad or comes from, you know, not the place that they work and make sure to, to meet these.

[00:05:19] Yeah. Of course [00:05:20] you need to organize things in advance. But usually that is happening. Now this is all what you can do with In your organization, you can actually do a lot of networking also outside of organizations. So recently, I’ve been to the PSI conference, wonderful [00:05:40] conference, and as a good conference, it allows for networking.

[00:05:46] You have the time before the first presentation starts, where people mingle for coffee, things like that. awesome time to network. Yeah, the [00:06:00] poster area, of course, is absolutely fantastic for networking, because if people stand around to have posters, and that is already an area of common interest, and you can talk about that, and that makes things super, super easy.

[00:06:17] If you are in the same room [00:06:20] for a specific presentation or topic, well, that also shows you that these people are also interested in these topics. And so you can. This is a video where you can speak to them about exactly these things. What do they think are the main takeaways from the presentation, from the poster, from the [00:06:40] meeting, whatsoever?

[00:06:41] That will help you to get connected and build new parts of your network. Of course, I’m a little bit. Old fashioned here, maybe, but I’d love to have a business card with you. Yeah, I know, digital business cards [00:07:00] are really great. I still love my paper business cards with a QR code on them, so I can also connect digitally.

[00:07:09] Also, for example, my conference coming up the Effective Statistician Conference in fall this year, and that will also help you with lots [00:07:20] of, lots of networking experiences. We have a specific system there called HyHive, and you can download it. Check that under to get a little bit of a look and feel for that.

[00:07:35] It will make it super easy to network. You [00:07:40] can meet speakers, you can meet sponsors. By the way, if your organization wants to sponsor the conference, there’s also an opportunity there. You can meet people that have a similar interest, because we will have things around that. And we will even have some kind of [00:08:00] games like area, which will make it even easier to network.

[00:08:06] So another topic for online is work with other organizations. Yeah. I very, very early on in my career volunteered for working [00:08:20] for PSI. The association that actually I do this podcasting association with. It’s an awesome opportunity. To work in such an organization or the ASA in the US or EFSPI in Europe or one of the EFSPI members in Europe or the IBS [00:08:40] or whatever kind of your local national continental organization is.

[00:08:49] Look for these and join these organizations, become a volunteer. By the way, you can also become a volunteer within the effective [00:09:00] statistician just send an an email to alexander at theeffectivestatistician.Com. And then say, well, I want to help with organizing conferences, organizing webinars, organizing.

[00:09:15] Local meetups, all these kinds of different things, by the way, that is yet [00:09:20] another opportunity, local meetups. Well, maybe there’s not a specific biostatistics meetup, always kind of start one. And if you’re interested to maybe also reach out to other people that are also listening to the effective statistician and organize a [00:09:40] local meetup.

[00:09:40] Yep. Just also drop me an email to alexander at the effective statistician. com and can help you. Organize one and and reach out to more people. There’s also these data science meetups. Yeah. So that might be a great way to kind of engage with [00:10:00] other like minded people that work in other industries?

[00:10:06] What are they doing that we can learn from? I think there’s a lot you can do to grow your network so that you get exposed to more opportunities. [00:10:20] You can’t imagine how many opportunities for new jobs, new projects new ideas I got from networking and therefore I think this is an absolutely essential skill.[00:10:39] Of course, [00:10:40] Gary and I also teach that in our leadership shop. So with that, have a nice weekend if you’re listening to this on a Friday. And think about how you can do more networking, how you can become better at it, and make some plans [00:11:00] and put them to action. So, be an effective statistician.

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I want to help the community of statisticians, data scientists, programmers and other quantitative scientists to be more influential, innovative, and effective. I believe that as a community we can help our research, our regulatory and payer systems, and ultimately physicians and patients take better decisions based on better evidence.

I work to achieve a future in which everyone can access the right evidence in the right format at the right time to make sound decisions.

When my kids are sick, I want to have good evidence to discuss with the physician about the different therapy choices.

When my mother is sick, I want her to understand the evidence and being able to understand it.

When I get sick, I want to find evidence that I can trust and that helps me to have meaningful discussions with my healthcare professionals.

I want to live in a world, where the media reports correctly about medical evidence and in which society distinguishes between fake evidence and real evidence.

Let’s work together to achieve this.