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Overall Career Planning Think Day

Overall career planning think day

My most recent think day was cut short, but it still packed a punch. I’m sharing here the prompts and activities that I used to think about the next steps in my career, an dhow to balance my own research with my leadership responsibilities moving forward:

Part 1: Crafting a Career Development Plan (1 hour)

Setting the Foundation (15 minutes)
  • Objective: Identify your current position and future aspirations in your career.
  • Activities:
    • Write down where you see yourself currently in your career, highlighting both your strengths and areas for growth.
    • Envision your ideal professional scenario in 5 and 10 years. Consider positions, achievements, and the impact you want to have in your field.
  • Journaling Prompts:
    • What achievements am I most proud of in my career so far?
    • In what areas do I want to grow or improve professionally?
Goal Setting (15 minutes)
  • Objective: Define clear, actionable goals that align with your career vision.
  • Activities:
    • Break down your vision into tangible goals (short-term, mid-term, and long-term).
    • Ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART).
  • Journaling Prompts:
    • What specific milestones do I need to achieve in the next 1-2 years to progress towards my vision?
    • How will I measure my progress towards these goals?
Skills and Knowledge Development (15 minutes)
  • Objective: Identify the skills and knowledge you need to develop to achieve your goals.
  • Activities:
    • List the skills and knowledge areas crucial for your career advancement, including both technical and leadership skills.
    • Plan how you will acquire or develop these skills (e.g., courses, workshops, mentorship).
  • Journaling Prompts:
    • What are the key skills I need to develop, and why are they important for my career trajectory?
    • Who in my network can support me in developing these skills, and how will I engage with them?
Action Plan Creation (15 minutes)
  • Objective: Develop a detailed action plan to achieve your career development goals.
  • Activities:
    • Outline specific actions, deadlines, and milestones for each goal.
    • Consider potential obstacles and how you’ll overcome them.
  • Journaling Prompts:
    • What are the first three steps I will take to advance towards my goals?
    • How will I hold myself accountable and stay on track?

Part 2: Reflecting on Balance Between Research and Leadership (1 hour)

Assessing Current Balance (20 minutes)
  • Objective: Evaluate how well you’re currently balancing your research and leadership responsibilities.
  • Activities:
    • Reflect on your recent experiences balancing these roles. Consider times when you felt particularly successful or challenged.
    • Rate your current balance on a scale from 1 to 10 and explain your reasoning.
  • Journaling Prompts:
    • What recent successes can I celebrate in balancing research and leadership?
    • Where do I feel the balance is off, and what contributed to these feelings?
Identifying Strategies for Improvement (20 minutes)
  • Objective: Develop strategies to better integrate your research and leadership roles.
  • Activities:
    • Brainstorm ways to leverage your leadership role to benefit your research and vice versa.
    • Consider how delegation, time management, and team dynamics can be optimized.
  • Journaling Prompts:
    • How can I use my leadership position to further my research goals?
    • What changes can I make to my schedule or responsibilities to improve balance?
Planning for Integration (20 minutes)
  • Objective: Create a plan to implement your identified strategies for better balance.
  • Activities:
    • Choose 2-3 key strategies to focus on in the next 6 months.
    • Develop a mini-action plan for each strategy, including specific steps and timelines.
  • Journaling Prompts:
    • What will success look like in integrating my research and leadership roles more effectively?
    • How will I track my progress and adjust my strategies as needed?

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