Most postdocs spend the majority of their time training to become principal investigators (PIs). Yet, because of the changing career landscape for Ph.D. holders, a tenure-track position in an academic setting is no longer the typical career trajectory for the great majority of postdoctoral researchers. While we understand it might be difficult at times to balance personal professional development with your other work commitments, it is important to dedicate some time and effort into acquiring the professional training and skills necessary to pursue the career of your choice.
A good place to start your career planning is by doing a self-assessment of your skills. There are many available resources that can be used to identify your strengths and weaknesses and help you improve your skill set.
- An excellent resource is the myIDP tool maintained by AAAS. This tool allows you to examine your skills, interests, and values, and, based on this information, predicts which career paths best fit your skills and interests.
- The National Postdoctoral Association has many resources for postdocs, including a list of Core Competencies that postdocs should consult to acquire, maintain and improve their skills.