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Articulate Your Career Goals

Posted on July 28, 2014

As a mentee, it's your job to define clear goals and communicate them to your mentor, says Sarah Clinton (bio).

 

I think mentees, I think some of the most important goals or skills that they could develop would be to define their clear goals, articulate their goals for what they want to do. So, a lot of us as scientists are very good at articulating scientific goals. We can set experiments to address certain questions, but we're often less good at defining, "What are my specific goals for career training? What are specific career skills and a career path?" And I think as a mentor, our job is to help them to advance in their career, but if they don't have a clear idea — not that they have to have the exact path mapped out, but they have to have a few goalposts in mind, and then maybe as a mentor you can help them clarify it and help them come up with some specific steps that they could use to achieve that. I think if someone's very diffuse and really is scattered and has no idea what they want to do, it's hard to give them guidance. You have to gather some information. I suppose maybe a very skilled mentor can help to center them and ask the right questions to help to guide them. So, that would be my advice.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2014 Career Development Institute for Psychiatry in Pittsburgh, PA.

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