Some days ago I discussed with some graduate students and postdocs what I call “the FaceBook effect
Do you know when you see your friends in FaceBook and they are all time going on holidays and their kids look perfectly cute and it is all smiles and party? and then you look to your own life and how you have to do the dishes and are stressed out for work and if you have kids they don’t look cute all the time.
There has been much written about FaceBook depressing people because they feel their friends are doing much better than them
And what we were discussing is that we have the same problem when looking at other people's careers
Instead of FaceBook what we see are their CVs, listing all of their achievements and publications. So when we compare it with our CVs it is easy to think that we are not that good because we actually know all the grants we didn’t get, all the papers that never got accepted, and overall all of the things that we tried and that never made it to the CV
On that note, check out this amazing “CV of failures”
by Johannes Haushofer from Princeton. The last line is my favourite.
The same happens when someone tells us about their careers. We don’t get to see all what they tried and that didn’t work, so we get the wrong impression that if we are having a hard time finding new jobs is because we are doing something wrong
Careers and job changes are hard for everybody, but the only visible side of it is the success (like FaceBook). It is a perception bias, and not being aware of it leads to people being too hard on themselves.
--->Did you know about this perception bias and the CV of failures?
--->What do you think is the best way to communicate this perception bias to graduate students and postdocs?