One of the first tasks the ESRs in the FibreNet project were given, was to write their first Career Development Plan (CDP). It might sound absurd to think on your first month in a new position where you want to go next but let’s consider some aspects on career planning.
In the beginning of the PhD studies, the main goal for most students is to graduate. However, already during the studies we can make choices that brings us easier towards our dream job. Just as an example, in engineering sciences research can be closer to science or engineering. The first one prepares you better to academic career whereas the latter better to industrial R&D work. Another example is networking. Who are the people you want to know when applying for your dream job as a PhD and how you can get to know them? Do you meet them in a scientific conference or perhaps in some exhibition?
Even if we wouldn’t be yet sure, what we want in the future, it is good to be aware of their effect on our career. What kind of courses we are going to take during the PhD studies? Do we concentrate on strengthening some scientific part or expanding our knowledge to something new? Do we need some soft skills, such as negotiation or management skills in our future dream job? To learn to think ahead and to evaluate what effects our choices have makes it then easier to achieve what we want, no matter what life brings us later.
In the FibreNet project, the CDPs have been now prepared and discussed together with the supervisors. Now it’s time to turn them into action and remember to revise them regularly. The CDP as a document is a good and concrete tool to bring you towards the future you want to live!
FibreNet Recruitment Officer, Tampere Univ. Tech.