Field Guide

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

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 1: “You, Non-scientist” or What Not to Say to a Young Science Professional

Lesson 2: No Undo Button in Life—Follow-up on Job Leads to Avoid Missed Opportunities

Lesson 3: What to Do When You’re Late for That Important Date?

Lesson 4: What’s Your Career Exit Strategy?

4 thoughts on “Field Guide

  1. elkement says:

    Great blog – I wish something like that would have been available when I had just graduated in nascent internet era!
    I can relate a lot to the way you utilize your blog for sharing your self-mentoring experiences.

    • Donna Kridelbaugh, MS says:

      @elkement – Thanks for the positive feedback! I hope that some of the information on this blog will help others in their pursuit to finding a satisfying science career. If you ever have suggestions for content or tips to share then please feel free to post that info!

    • Donna Kridelbaugh, MS says:

      Thanks, Mademoiselle Scientist! I hope to return to the main focus of the blog project (i.e., the step-by-step career development guide) in the near future, so be sure to check back later for updated content.

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