Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

A little over two years ago I wrote a blog post about journaling for self-mentoring and have been promising to share my favorite mentoring tips on Mademoiselle Scientist. Today I decided that it is time for me to share my mentoring tips and start my May Mentoring Series. I hope you find this information helpful and if you are a recent graduate or know a recent graduate check out my recent graduate series.

Even though the spring semester is coming to an end now is a good time to start thinking about finding a mentor. This is a good time to network and meet people because there will be many social events going on campus and in the community. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you do not find a mentor right away because it takes time. Throughout my journey as a woman in science I had many types of mentors and have learned a lot from my mentoring experiences. Mentoring like any relationship is a partnership and commitment.

Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor:

1. Update myIDP tool:
As you may know I am a huge fan of the myIDP tool. I enjoy staying organized, reevaluating and updating my goals and the myIDP tools helps me do that. When you update the myIDP tool you will be able to see what things you need to talk to a mentor about and what things you can solve by self-mentoring.

2. Use your resources:
There are many resources available and many of them are free. Use the internet as a resource to find what you want in a mentor. Find articles (Levo League), blogs (The Thesis Whisperer, Science Mentor and Tenure, She Wrote) and people (Dr. Amy Freeman, Dr. Monica Cox and Dr. Renetta Tull) that are doing what you would like to do. This is a great way to find out what career pathways you want to explore. If you want a more hands-on approach check out my recommended books on my useful book list and seasonal reading lists.

3. Remember your role:
When you self-mentor you are playing a double role. You are a mentor and you are a mentee. Think about the strong points you want in a mentor and focus on using these points as a way to self-mentor. This will help you be a better mentor to others and help you find the right mentor when the time is right. Continue reading Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

My Informational Interview Tips

Before subscribing to Science Mentor’s blog I was not familiar with informational interviews. After having my share of informational interviews I have learned a few things along the way. Here are my tips for informational interviews:

Let’s get started! Continue reading My Informational Interview Tips

myIDP (Individual Development Plan) & How to Use it

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Image Credit: http://myidp.sciencecareers.org/

A few posts ago I mentioned getting organized, developing a plan and achieving goals. Click here if you need help setting time aside for your goals. Click here if you want to reevaluate some of your goals or make a change. Now, that you have these ideas flowing in your mind I am ready to share today’s post with you.

When I began blogging a post by the ScienceMentor caught my attention. The post was about a plan from Science Careers called myIDP. If you are not familiar with myIDP I suggest reading the ScienceMentor’s post and checking out the Science Careers page to learn more about it.

After learning more about using the myIDP tool I was ready to start, but nervous at the same time. I knew that using the myIDP tool was something I wanted to use and I wanted to share how I have been using the myIDP tool. If you want to create a myIDP account click here.

When you create a myIDP account it suggests that you create your goals using the ‘SMART’ Principle. Some of us may have heard of this during undergraduate. If not here it is:

SMART Goals Are:

S – Specific 

M – Measurable

A – Action-Oriented

R – Realistic

T – Time-bound

When you create SMART goals you are more likely to achieve them with little procrastination. This is a good way to see if you are really doing the steps it takes to achieve your goals.  Many of us have to juggle important tasks and have multiple deadlines so why not treat our goals the same way we treat important deadlines we cannot change?

One of the ways you can keep track of deadlines is using multiple calendar reminders on paper, on your cell phone, and computer. Now, you have no excuse to miss a deadline. Also, give yourself room in case something comes up. Don’t beat yourself over it. Sometimes you need to revise your plan. Another way to stay on track is to create weekly and monthly check-ins to analyze the entire list of goals you created. Once you do this a couple of times it will become easier to achieve your goals.

Most of us have many things that we want to achieve in our career. Sometimes it is a bit overwhelming. You may decide to use myIDP tool in one sitting, but I believe you will be happier working on it over a span of a few weeks. Here’s what I did:  Continue reading myIDP (Individual Development Plan) & How to Use it

5 Key Things to Reevaluate and Plan for Success

In a previous post I talked about using your Power Hour to do something that is important to you. Lately, I have been thinking about making some changes in my career.  Continue reading 5 Key Things to Reevaluate and Plan for Success