Career Resolutions: Setting a Calendar for Career Success in 2012

Happy New Year!  It is time for the annual tradition of making New Year’s resolutions.  Often the theme of resolutions is to better oneself through eating better, exercising more or changing a habit that drives us crazy (this will be the year that I paste every gel into my notebook and stop using paper towels for my calculations!).  While healthy bodies and well organized notebooks are great things, we encourage you to resolve to prioritize advancing your career.  Do you need to make a decision about what to do after your training?  Do you need to network more and/or more efficiently?  Do you need to develop skills to make a successful transition to the next step in your career? 

We all know that resolutions often do not see success beyond the second week of February.  Saying that you are going to make your career a priority in 2012 is not enough.  You should also make a plan for how to do that.  Below we have sketched out a timeline of things to do in 2012 to make sure that you are ready to face that next step. 

January:  Meet with your PI to discuss your career.  Yes, it can be scary.  We will be posting next week with some tips to conquer that fear and get the most out of such a meeting.

February:   Meet with a Career Counselor.  We have two on staff here at OITE, and they are really good at their jobs. 

March:  Create a “Networking Map” and update and improve you LinkedIn presence. 

April:  Use a conference to build your network. 

May:  Attend the annual NIH Career Symposium and use that information to figure out what is next.

June:  Set up at least two informational interviews.  If you need some tips on how to go about that, check out our blog post here.

July:  Make a decision on the where you want your career to go.  Then, figure out holes you still have in your CV or Resume and find ways to fill them.

August:  Create your Job package.  Whether for an academic position, a postdoc, or a career transition, you will want to have a competitive application.  OITE staff is well equipped to help you with this process.

September:  Practice and improve your interviewing skills.   

October:  Be prepared to negotiate a job offer.  Know what to ask for and how to improve your chances of getting it.

November:  Prepare for the transition to your new job.

December:  Celebrate your Success!  Even if you have not found that perfect job yet, you have stuck to a plan that will benefit your career in the long run.  Be proud of that and take some time to pat yourself on the back…then get back to work. 

This list may contain topics with which you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar.  Do not fret!  We will be checking back in throughout the year with tips and advice on how to be successful following this career development calendar.   Also, you can always write us a comment, or contact us through LinkedIn with questions and concerns.  We would love to hear from you.

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