Research Skills – Importance & Improvement

Research is the fundamental building block of your thought process, your opinion, perception & every decision that you have taken & will take in future. So, your research skills indirectly determine how you think, behave & act. On an average, we make 35,000 decisions per day – that’s roughly 2,000 decisions per hour or one decision every two seconds. Even if this feels counterintuitive, the fact that you are still reading this is also a decision that you just took. So, your research skills literally dictate how you spend your each second. Sharpening your research skills, comprehension capabilities & perception abilities would enable you to make better decisions, make sense of things, connect dots easily & live a better life.

Explore, diagnose & formulate your problem/question clearly: Identify your pain points,
break down your problems into smaller issues that you intend to explore & articulate your issues explicitly. Document your issues & revisit them time and again during different phases of your research decisions, make sense of things, connect dots easily & live a better life.

E.g. 1 What are the job opportunities in my field of data science?

E.g. 2 What are the skills required in my field of data science, do I have them & how exactly can I boost my profile in this field?

E.g. 3 Articulation of your experiences in application documents: Is my current formulation of sentences powerful & convincing enough? Explore different ways to use effective action verbs, explore LinkedIn profiles with similar job roles & use LinkedIn CV assistant in word.

Think big, start broad & then dive into relevant, concrete specifics: Start your research by exploring all possibilities, think holistically covering all potential dimensions of your issue at hand. Concretize your findings by being more specific, selective about your choices.
 
E.g. I have received many rejections & wish to broaden my job search horizon. Start by identifying areas with high vacancies and some relevance with your profile. Filter & Identify areas where you can gain fundamental & basic skills quite easily. Start upskilling & boosting your profile for the broader field.
 
Focus on the Quality of your resources, rather than the Quantity of resources: Focus on credible sources, authentic & genuine information. Map newly discovered information with the issue at hand to check the value add & impact of your resource.
 
Be open-minded to seek answers, learn new aspects & accept uncomfortable truths:
  • Your research can many times throw surprises that contradict your beliefs & biases.
    Being open-minded is essential to ensure that you don’t discard your findings only
    because they are pushing you out of your comfort zone. Doing this would be harmful in the long run as it would hamper your growth & evolution.

     E.g. Interpreting requirements to capitalize on job opportunities – Thoroughly read through &       explore in detail the specific requirements in a job description. Connect the different aspects with your profile & articulate your previous experiences with the demands of the future employer. If you come across a totally new topic within the scope of your field, try to understand & incorporate it in your profile, instead of discarding it.

  • Reach out & take feedback & expert opinion from friends, family, network & REFLECTIONS
  • Follow the five stages to Information Fluency – Ask, Acquire, Analyze, Apply, Assess
  1. Ask:  Ask right questions to yourself, to your sources & your network/connections. Ensure that you stay focused by searching for relevant information within the context of problem/question formulated clearly.
  2. Acquire: Acquire relevant information by identifying, prioritizing & filtering your preliminary findings. Pay attention to detail in connection with your main pain point, identify data points & information touchpoints that push you to proceed in a direction to find answers to your core question/problem.
  3. Analyze: Analyze critically & constructively to deduce solutions, find answers to
    your problems. Add your contextual & experiential knowledge to extract & filter
    your acquired information.
  4. Apply: Organize your findings, information & thoughts. Summarize & conclude your findings, discoveries. Apply your results, output to check out plausibility, feasibility of your solutions. Iterative approach & learning from your experience.
  5. Assess: Explore the practical relevance of your theoretical findings by
    assessing the impact, value of your answers & solutions. Reflect, Relearn &
    Rework based on your assessment to fine tune your research skills & output in
    future

How are your research skills? 

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3 thoughts on “Research Skills – Importance & Improvement”

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