NextGen VOICES: Mentor a Job Seeker

Thank you for adding your voice to Science!

The NextGen VOICES feature calls upon young scientists to speak up. Make your ideas known!

A selection of the best responses will be published in an October issue of Science.

Please submit your response by 28 February.

Peer mentors can play an important role in the career development and support of fellow students and colleagues. In this survey, we ask you to play the role of peer mentor for a young scientist asking for advice.  Here is the question:

Dear NextGen VOICES peer mentors,

I am the first of my family to go to graduate school, and I’m about to defend my Ph.D. It has been a really tough few years, but now I’ve completed all the requirements in my program, published two papers, and was a coauthor on several more. I was even given an “outstanding student” grant to attend a conference this year! Even so, this all feels quite average for a Ph.D. student, and I feel like I can attribute most of my achievements to luck. The support of my peers and adviser also helped me a lot. As I apply for jobs, I can often think of a colleague who seems more qualified for the position than I am. I fail to meet many of the requirements listed for jobs outside of academia, but the jobs I do qualify for seem like they’re all for people with less education than I have. Still, I don’t want to oversell myself in applications or interviews. How can I realistically assess my own potential and avoid wasting time applying to jobs I could never get?

Sincerely,

Seeking Career Clarity

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* 1. By asking questions, you as a peer mentor can help your mentee think about a situation in a new way.  Please ask "Seeking Career Clarity" one question to help him or her think through this problem.  For example, "Well, SCC, have you thought about or considered….?” or “What do you think about…?” or "Why do you think....?"

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* 2. By sharing your own experiences, you as a peer mentor can also help your mentee understand that he/she is not the only one facing this challenge. Have you experienced a situation similar to the one "Seeking Career Clarity" describes?  If so, please describe it here.  If not, please explain the experience or knowledge on which you will base your advice.  For example, "SCC, in my experience, I have found...." or "I have noticed that those in similar situations...."  (100 words or less)

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* 3. If you would like Science to ask your permission before publishing the personal experiences you discuss in Question 2, please check this box.

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* 4. Once you as a peer mentor have asked questions and assured your mentee that s/he is not alone, your mentee may ask for advice. In 10 words or less, what advice would you give to "Seeking Career Clarity"?

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* 5. Please expand on the advice you offered in Question 4, providing more details about how "Seeking Career Clarity" could move forward.  For example, "SCC, I suggest that you...." or "It might help if you try...."   (150 words or less)

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* 6. Full name (First and last name are required. We do not accept anonymous submissions.)

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* 7. Full mailing address

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* 8. E-mail address (Authors of selected essays will be contacted by e-mail.)

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* 9. Optional: Social media handle.  (Authors of selected essays may include one social media handle with their contact information.)

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* 10. Gender

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* 11. Age

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* 12. Optional: Are you facing a challenge?  Would you like advice from NextGen VOICES peer mentors?  Please describe your situation and any questions you have about how to proceed. (150 words or less)  (If selected, your question will be published anonymously to protect your privacy.)

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* 13. By submitting material to this Survey, you are indicating that you accept Science's Terms and Conditions.

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