Note: I have organized blog posts that describe the self-mentoring process into a field guide for you to easily find the information. This guide is a work in progress.
Based on personal frustrations with the lack of strong career mentoring systems in the sciences, I identified the need to compile career resources into one centralized location and to organize activities into a format that can be accomplished on a limited time budget. In July 2012, I founded this blog to design a guide to self-mentoring for early-career scientists. The Field Guide will continually be updated as new posts are created until the project is completed. The blog also aims to engage the public on science career, diversity and education issues.
The main theme of this blog focuses on the concept of self-mentoring — only you can know your true talents, interests and where you want to go in your career. In this self-mentoring process, you learn to surround yourself with a supportive team of mentors and take a proactive approach to your own career development. The resources are out there: you just need to know where to look and gain the confidence to move forward, despite any obstacles in your career path.
All of these career-development techniques can be applied at any level from high school to PhD. The purpose is to develop this blog into a central resource of career information for scientists. I welcome you to share advice with other readers with comments or contribute as a guest blogger.
Introduction to the Field Guide
Chapter 1: Defining Your Career Goals
Chapter 2: How to Build a Professional Network
- Career Fairs
- Prepping for a Virtual Career Fair
- Informational Interviews
- Scientific Meetings
- Funding Sources for Meetings
Additional Networking Resources:
Chapter 3: Self-Marketing Tools and Techniques
Appendix A: “Spin-off” Science Careers (section devoted to highlighting diverse career paths)
Appendix B: Lessons Learned…the Hard Way (stories from my own personal experiences)
Lesson 4: What’s Your Career Exit Strategy?