A few months ago I attended the ACS Webinar, “No Mentor Available? Mentor Yourself”. After attending this webinar, my take-home message was the importance of keeping a journal. I used to keep daily journals for most of my life, but one day I stopped. This webinar gave me the push I needed to start daily journaling again. Specifically, journaling for self-mentoring. Self-mentoring is not as complicated as it may seem. If you want to find out more about self-mentoring check out the Science Mentor’s Blog. This blog has many resources for early career scientists. If you want to find out more about this webinar or upcoming webinars check out the ACS Webinars site.
When you decide to start journaling for self-mentoring you want to make sure you are committed. Whether you are a student or working in your field as a scientist, keeping a journal will help you stay on track. Journals are a good way to track your career progress and reflect on the past.
In comparison to a To-Do-List, a journal can provide a way for you to see what you did exactly at each point in time and examine the outcome, good or bad. Think of your journal as a meeting with the CEO. When you self-mentor you are your own CEO. You are the person that is planning your future, making changes and taking action. If you keep a detailed journal you can avoid making the same mistakes over and over. If something does not work, troubleshoot and find a solution. If something works reward yourself and realize that you are one step closer to achieving your career goals.
Starting a journal is the first part of self-mentoring. Will you start keeping a journal? Comment below.
At the beginning of the year most of us make our New Year’s Resolutions. The fall season is a good time to check your progress. Did you achieve your goals? Do you need to redefine them? What are your next steps? There is still time to make some changes.
Hopefully you improved your networking game this year. If not, you still have time. Step outside of your comfort zone and meet new people. This should be pretty easy because there are many career fairs, new student orientation, and many networking events during the fall. Take advantage of this season to broaden your network.
Everyone should have a mentor. Become a mentor, find new mentors or do both! Do you remember when you were starting college? Your first job? Here’s a quick story. When I started college I was very shy. I didn’t know anyone at my university. So I decided to join a group for women in STEM at Penn State. By joining this group I was able to meet other young women in STEM and build friendships. Also, I was able to find mentors. The fall is a great time to mentor a young scientist AND find a new mentor for yourself.
What are you doing to recharge and refocus? Comment below.
The life of a scientist is pretty busy. Between labs, meetings, conferences and association involvement it seems like there is never enough time. I often wonder am I doing enough, but then I realize I don’t have to be so hard on myself. I deserve a break. Work is important. Life is important. Finding the balance is key! Many of us understand the struggle and this is where the Power Hour comes in! The ‘Power’ Hour is a chance for you to focus your energy on something exciting and give yourself a break.