Mailbag: I'm Now a Senior DS—How should I Approach this?

[ mailbag career datascience ] · 2 min read

J writes:

I recently got a job offer as a Senior Data Scientist at __. I’ve been working only as a data scientist for about three years, so I’m feeling quite a bit of imposter syndrome with this “senior” title. I wasn’t expecting this. I saw on your linkedin, you made it to senior after only a few years as a DS. Curious, how did you handle/approach this?

I know that level definitions will depend on the company, but any insight here would be super valuable! Thanks Eugene. No rush to reply.

Congrats on the job offer! __ a great place to work at.

The expectation of “senior” differs from org to org. Nonetheless, one thing is constant—the team has higher expectations of you and needs you to be a role model for entry-level DS. This could involve advising in design discussions, incorporating industry best practices, raising the bar in code reviews, suggesting effective ML techniques, etc. It’s a good thing.

In my experience, I approached it like how I would with any job title—I contributed in the best way that I could to serve customers. The title didn’t matter much; it usually came after I was already performing at that level. Let me know if it needs clarification. All the best!

J’s reply:

Thanks Eugene! That makes sense, especially the part on focusing on the best way to serve the customers. Plus, it’ll force me to elevate my skillset and continuously improve.

Have a question for me? Happy to answer concise questions via email on topics I know about. More details in How I Can Help.

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