Hello there bloggies! Welcome to Trainee Tuesday!

A couple Trainee Tuesdays ago, I wrote a post about the start of the new academic year. Check out that post here! There, I mentioned the importance of making clear, attainable goals for the upcoming year. But, I failed to go any further than that.

That changes with this post. After spending some time reflecting on my work and my career, here are some of my training goals for this upcoming academic year.

1) Publish my large collaborative project

Over the past year, I have been working on a massive genetic association project. This project is massive collaborative effort with dozens of cohorts and investigators working together on it. We are nearing the end of the analytical phase of the project, which means we are moving toward the interpretation and writing portions. In the next few months, I hope to piece together and craft an interesting story with the data and submit it for publication. The findings are exciting; it’s just crafting a cohort, meaningful narrative for the paper that is going to take some time and digestion.

2) Put money where my mouth is on networking

Networking is important at any stage of your career, particularly at the start of it. These connections you make can help guide your future research/career decisions and link you to other people and job opportunities. I’ve written about the importance of networking on previous Trainee Tuesdays. Unfortunately, I am not always the best at following my own tips. This year though, that changes. I have a conference in about a month. My goal is to make it a point to go a little bit outside my comfort zone and do some networking.

3) Independently come up with a new project

My first few projects during my postdoc were largely conceived before I started my fellowship. The hypotheses and even some of the methods had been decided before I had the job. It has been quite different from my PhD projects, where I came up with the central underlying ideas/hypotheses and then figured out how to ask these questions. I want to tap back into that way of thinking for my next project. Doing so will be great practice for my next position.

4) Not be a trainee anymore

Now, this leaves us with my ultimate goal for the year. At the end of May, I do not want to be a trainee anymore. I think I’m reaching the point where I am ready for the next step. Now, I don’t think I am likely to go onto a faculty position (you never know though), but I want to find out what the next step is going to be and take it. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. I just need to start the job hunting and keep exploring!

Thank you for stopping by Trainee Tuesday! Those are my goals for the academic year. What are your goals? Share them in the comments below or on twitter @DrFsThoughts.

See you later!

-Dr. F

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