|Mentoring Resources for Postdocs|
A Postdoc's Guide to Mentorship
As a postdoc, it goes without saying that mentors are critical for your continued development as a professional, as well as your movement into a position beyond training. But there is no such thing as the perfect mentor because everyone’s needs and goals are highly variable. In fact, that is the first step in thinking about finding mentors – reflecting to specifically identify and assess what you hope to gain from your mentor(s); you can’t go looking for something without a clear idea of your own needs and goals! Taking self-assessment tests and creating an individual development plan (IDP), and then reviewing the results with current mentors and peers is a great first step. With a deeper understanding of yourself, you will be much better positioned to seek new mentoring relationships and resolve mentoring relationship challenges.
Even with a clarified view of what you are seeking from mentors, it is critical to keep in mind that it will be less about what your mentor will ‘give’ to you and more about how the two of you can collaborate to meet your mutual needs. Traditionally, much focus has been on how to make mentors better at meeting the needs of those whom they are mentoring. In a utopian world with perfect mentors, this is a great ideal to strive for, but in the real world it has to be about mutual benefit and mutual responsibility for making the mentoring relationship work.
Mastering the Art of Mentorship Training
Mentorship is a frequently used word in academia, but probably the least well-defined. As postdoctoral scholars we have first-hand experience with varied mentoring philosophies that often perplex us when formulating our own. The following article provides insights into clarifying and defining postdoc mentoring.
How to be Proactive in Your Mentoring
It is no secret that professionals are often groomed by others who have paved the way in their chosen fields. The ability to proactively seek out those mentors which truly provide valuable guidance can be vital in determining a postdocs career path. Being proactive can be as simple as monthly check-in calls, meetings or e-mails to stay in touch. For some it can involve asking for a mentor to be assigned by human resources or searching for a second or third mentor.