So, starting over is a difficult thing for anyone to do. The one thing we discussed my last blog post is how older and younger mangers view the process of challenges. Junior PIs are fairly new managers in the eyes of a department or of an institute. However, they have accumulated a wealth of knowledge about their project and specific aims. They’ve spent years perfecting that process. All those years have come to a new beginning in their career, and now they have to do it all over again, at a new institute.
So how do they “start over”? Well, as you can recall in my last post I discussed the use of generational team work. This is why inexperience techs/students/postdocs have more time and energy to spend learning and cultivating the process for you. So, recruitment becomes a very important process in being able to “start over” at a new institute. Most new investigators don’t have the financial resources to recruit experienced techs/students/postdocs to carry out new challenges quickly.
However, new investigators have opportunity. This is what new employees, who lack the knowledge and skill, desire; an opportunity to learn and to prove themselves. So you must use your unique starting point as an opportunity for the inexperienced.
When recruiting be upfront with the candidates. Tell them that you’re starting all over again, in an unknown territory. Tell them that this will be a difficult process for the both of you. Tell them, that they’ll rely a lot on their own efforts to accomplish tasks and goals.
After that, sell them on the opportunity. Tell them, even though this is a big challenge, this will create an amazing opportunity for them to learn and to become their own. Tell them that the lessons learned during this start up process will translate to other career trajectories. Tell them, you’ll depend on them as your team to support your overall scientific goals and vision.
Then ask them if they are able to meet or exceed this difficult challenges. Most ambitious young workers will be more than happy to meet those challenges. The more timid will give indication otherwise. Its a great elimination check point in your interview process.
Be honest about the challenges that they’ll be expected to encounter. You’ll find amazing people are willing to rise to the opportunity. The team that remains will help you to start another amazing scientific journey. Team work is how you start over.