For those people on the bottom end of the experience scale (I know that I am in comparison to some UX people I know), 99% offers a list of things to consider, ranging from tailored portfolios for recruiting managers to side projects and telling stories rather than facts.
Alternatively, if you do have a few years under your belt but not enough to be an expert, Tara Mohr suggests you frame your creative expertise in one of four ways: the survivor (experienced with battle stories); cross-trainer (good at different things); called (passionate about their domain), or specialist (know their niche).
Meanwhile, thinking about doing a PhD? “Doing a PhD will break you. It’s pretty much designed to break you.” I’m not sure whether I entirely agree with Livre D’or, but certainly it was hard to start off with, and is getting harder. And then there’s what happens after you get into industry. Grant Jacobs writes that (in the sciences in NZ at least), many doctoral students leave to industry after getting their PhD, and many of those who do leave within a few years. See this terrifying diagram). And then there’s those who attempt to stay on in academia (Google “why I’m leaving academia” for more). Still, it isn’t always that bad. Or even if it is, it can be funny.
Meanwhile, for those hitting the networking events, make sure you eat beforehand. And if you’re an introvert dreading making that speech, embrace your introversion, think dialogue rather than monologue, and let your passion carry you through.