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

Journaling for Self-Mentoring: Recap of ACS Webinar

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.

person uses pen on book
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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.