Getting an opportunityΒΆ

Tags: phd

Rajesh Setty says in Ways to distinguish yourself - #122 Overestimate people with potential minus experience that most people tend to underestimate the potential of someone they delegate to if that person is new at the job or if he doesn't have a lot of experience. So, effectively, you keep on delegating to the few persons that you know to have the capabilities.

In that conservative way, you can miss out on many capabilities other people could offer you. You can distinguish yourself by entrusting a new person with a big or difficult task. But do expect a lot form them:

How much a person accomplishes during their dance with the "first experience" is directly proportional to the "amount" of expectations that is placed on that person. If you want to get the best out of these people, best is to "overestimate" what they can do. That will make them stretch and reach beyond what they could do if the expectations were "normal" or "watered down."

For my masters thesis, I was asked to attend the first three-day meeting of the EU research project eConstruct, which was held just 5 minutes walk from the university. My professort had started the project, but got tired quickly, so he left half of the meeting to me. Afterwards I told him that the next meeting was going to be in Nice, France. "I'm not going there, too much travel. You can go in my stead. Oh, did I tell you you're working fulltime as a full member on that project from now on?"

So I got dumped in the deep part of the swimming pool. At a moment when I didn't understand at least half of the acronyms they used in the project. But I was expected to do a full, good job of it.

It worked out real well, allowing me start my PhD (pdf) during the project, learing a lot of things and generally raising my confidence, my experience and my prospects! Thanks a lot, Frits Tolman (the professor)! It sure was hard work, learning to swim that way, but it was fun.

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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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