A survey and interviews, with both researchers and researcher developers, were used to explore how researchers use their social capital to elicit careers advice, who they ask, how they rate their networking skills and their career aspirations, attitudes and constraints.
‘Straight talking: the role of non-specialist advice and networking in career conversations for researchers' identifies that many researchers could access more effectively their networks for career support and development opportunities.
Many respondents would like more personalised career help, particularly with discussions about strengths and weaknesses and coaching in skills and techniques that will be useful in their future career.
Despite apparently often having quite numerous and widely dispersed contacts, respondents were somewhat reluctant and hesitant networkers and were highly reliant on friends and family and PIs/supervisors for career advice. The report makes a series for recommendations for researcher developers, PIs and supervisors and researchers themselves.
The report ‘Straight talking: the role of non-specialist advice and networking in career conversations for researchers' is available at http://www.vitae.ac.uk/straighttalking