Even though I’m a young and healthy woman I have to remember I cannot do it all. I’m all for being a superwoman, but this superwoman needs a break. I’ve been reading a few blog posts here and there; talking to other women about this issue and realized that a superwoman needs to know her limits. In addition, a superwoman has to start saying “no”. When you say “no” that does not mean that you are being “rude”. A superwoman asserts herself and is confident. If you want to learn more about how you can be the best superwoman you can be in the workplace check out the book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel.
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:
Last week I was reading Biochem Belle’s blog post, Changing Course, Part 3: Open exploration. This post was a continuation post and she shared how the myIDP tool helped her figure what she wanted to do next in her career. After spending time on the myIDP tool she discovered, MySciCareer.com. Since I never heard MySciCareer I had to explore and decided this would be a be a great double Feature Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist post. Thank you, Biochem Belle for sharing this resource and I look forward to reading more about your changing course series!
Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientists: MySciCareer:
MySciCareer was founded by two Mademoiselle Scientists that are biochemists, Eva Amsen and Lou Woodley. Eva is the Outreach Director at F1000 Research and Lou is currently a freelance community engagement specialist. Another cool thing about these Mademoiselle Scientists is that they are both bloggers and are big on science outreach. They both have lots of writing and blogging up their sleeve. Eva launched and ran the developmental biology blog, the Node, shares her musician side on her blog, MusiSci, and blogs on easternblog.net and The Finch and Pea. Lou founded and served as Managing Editor of BlueSci Magazine, If you want to see more of her, check out her blog, Social in Silico, where she integrates people, science and technology.
In my first Spotlight on Science post I talked about Dr. Vincent Racaniello. In January I talked about resources for scientists. If you have been following my blog for some time you know that I am a toxicologist I am exploring a vaccine research career. Dr. Racaniello and Coursera.org are great resources to check out.
On Thursday, August 21 I participated in a Twitter Chat #ECRChat hosted by Science Mentor. When I found out that Science Mentor would be hosting the chat I knew it would be informative because she has many resources on her blog. Check out her post about Self-Mentoring and using the myIDPtool.
Thursday’s #ECRChat topic was about How to Develop a Career Exit Strategy. A Career exit strategy is a short-term plan (1-2 years) to maintain professional life during a career transition. If you want to find out more information check out Science Mentor’s career exit strategy post. Last year I shared my experience using the myIDP tool. Using this tool helped me get a better idea of what I need to do to get in the career I want.
If you are new to my blog I am a toxicologist and have many interests. Currently, I am science writer and communicator. I am exploring career options of vaccine research and STEM education. Very different STEM pathways, but very interesting to me. Now, that you know a bit more about me let’s get started with my reflection of the #ECRChat hosted by Science Mentor:
For the past few months I have been hearing a lot about alternative science research careers, specifically science policy, patent law, science communication and science journalism. About a month and a half ago I attended the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) Career Panel on Science Policy and Education hosted by the AWIS-Baltimore. This was a career panel of women in different policy and education positions.
Science policy is the branch of public policy that is the bridge between science and the public. It involves scientific issues, education, advocacy and everything else that goes into science policy. A balance of writing, communication, and oral skills are key skills to have in a science policy position.
Now there are many recent graduate PhD scientists that are exploring alternative science research careers, such as science policy. The good thing about the science policy field is that you get the opportunity to apply your extensive scientific knowledge that can make an impact on the public. For this career corner post I am going to share my reflection after attending an AWIS career panel on science policy and participating in a NSBE twitter chat on science policy. Continue reading Careers: Science Policy Reflection – AWIS & NSBE Mashup
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.
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.