Here’s a question: How’s your eyesight? Many of us wear glasses or contact lenses because we don’t have 2020 vision, i.e. perfect vision. We need help to bring into focus objects that are either far away or close up, so that we can see clearly to manage and navigate our lives effectively.
Here’s another question: How’s your ‘i-sight’? In other words, how well focused are you on yourself? Do you have a clear vision for 2020 and the decade ahead? What plans do you have for your near and future career?
To maintain good eyesight, you need regular visits to an optician who can use their special skills and equipment to keep you focused. In the case of your career, the situation is more complicated: The type of help you need to improve your ‘i-sight’, and from whom, depends on the circumstances you find yourself in and the network of support on which you can call upon. Perhaps it’s a short-term problem that requires some instant specialist advice (e.g. analysing some data, writing a paper), a medium-range goal such as learning new skills and techniques or maybe it’s a long-term plan for your career for, which you need to prepare and research before you take action. See Table below for examples:
|Help needed||Examples of possible support|
|Planning and managing |
|Career consultant, mentor, supervisor|
|Analysing your data||Specialist data analyst, supervisor, |
courses, peers, collaborators
|Writing a paper or |
applying for funding
|Supervisor, peers, collaborators, |
professional consultant, self-help books
|Making career choices||Career consultant, case studies, alumni, |
information, tools and techniques
|Writing a CV & covering letter / Interview |
|Career consultant, professional in your field of interest, HR, examples and guides|
|Self-presentation and |
|Career consultant, media/marketing/brand|
specialist, science communicator, mentor
|Innovating your |
|Enterprising, tech transfer or innovative |
specialist, supervisor, courses, books
|Finding out about |
|Professionals in careers of interest, alumni, |
career consultant, career stories
|Enhancing your |
|Career consultant, professionals in careers of |
interest, company/business contacts, alumni
For the majority of examples listed, apart from the more specialist academic activities, you’ll notice that I’ve included ‘career consultant’ as a source of support. Career consultants are a very useful starting point for most of your career needs, especially helping you to make career decisions. Working to an ethical code of practice, we use specialist skills, knowledge and techniques to listen and guide you initially, helping you to reflect and review your situation, ideas and plans. This can be done in individual interviews (face to face or on-line) or as educational workshops where you learn techniques, engage in discussions and take part in self-reflective exercises to help you to gain a clearer vision of what you need to do in the short and longer term, in order to achieve your immediate and future career goals. We may also signpost information and resources, assist you in practical aspects such as perfecting your CV and interview technique, or refer you to other professionals who can give you further expert assistance. You may have noticed we like to use metaphors too ?
Wishing you a forward-looking and visionary year ahead !
To find out more about my career services including talks, career workshops and 1-2-1 career interviews visit: https://biosciencecareers.org/career-support