Reflections Newsletter

Issue 11, January/February 2022

The year 2022 has brought many changes in my professional life. Hence, the slight delay in this issue. I recently began a new role leading the creation of an Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Virginia Tech. I look forward to sharing my experience in this new endeavor in future blog posts. The newsletter will return to its usual monthly frequency in March. As a reminder, it will land in your inbox on the last Thursday of the month and contain a variety of resources, links, and reflections on graduate-level career & professional development, higher education, and an occasional detour into neuroscience topics, the area I formally trained in as a graduate student and postdoc. On to the first issue of 2022!

Missed the inaugural newsletter from January 2021?

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Reflections Blog: January 2022 


Cultivate Serendipity by Giving Back and Getting Involved in 2022

Many will use the start of a new year to begin making plans to better their lives including eating healthier, exercising more, or reducing screen time. And while plans are great, leaning into unplanned experiences can sometimes produce unexpectedly positive results for your personal and professional life. Cultivating serendipity, then, should also be a goal for 2022. In this month's blog piece I share my own serendipitous journey to my current field working in postdoctoral affairs to illustrate how you can create unexpected opportunities for yourself that could lead to destinations that, while unplanned and unforeseen at the outset, are rewarding and fulfilling landing places.  

Relevant Reading

Using stakeholder insights to enhance engagement in PhD professional development

In this PLoS ONE article, the authors identified and interviewed various campus stakeholders, external and internal to academic institutions, to help inform career and professional development programming and initiatives for graduate students and postdocs. 

Programs Worth Promoting

National Postdoctoral Association's SmartSkills Program

  • ​SmartSkills is a free, virtual course for postdocs who are members of the NPA​. Monthly classes are taught by experts and focus on building skills critical to career and personal success. Postdocs can earn a certificate from the NPA by attending 10 out of the 12 skills classes.
    • Note that most US institutions of higher education have a sustaining membership to the NPA​, which you can use to access a FREE affiliate membership with your .edu email address. Learn more here. 

Revisiting Past Blog Posts

Explore US Ph.D. employment trend data from the National Science Foundation. 

Read More

Consider the pros and cons of pursuing postdoctoral training and its potential role in your career planning and professional development.

Read More

It is critical for graduate students and postdocs to expand their networks and maintain their wellbeing by finding activities and organizations to engage with beyond school/work.

Read More

More to Explore - Resources for Trainees & Those Supporting Them

Explore Job Search & Funding Resources On My Website

For Further Reading & Exploration

More About Me
Carpe Careers Column
National Science Foundation Data
Data on PhD & Postdoc Training: NGLS 
GCC Professional Development Webinars
Career & Professional Development Research

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