Biophysical Society Bulletin | October 2023

Career Development

Self-Management in the Scientific World In the 21st century, as the scientific community is predominantly com posed of Generation Y and Z members,

Once you feel satisfied with the assessment, concentrate on your strengths by asking yourself how they might be im proved, expanded, or applied in a different way. This will naturally lead you to your next step, which is to repeat this process with your weaknesses. Everyone has something they can improve. Knowing your weaknesses and expanding on your strengths in a way that compensates for the weaknesses is, in my opinion, how energy, resources, and time should be utilized to make a competent researcher into a star performer. Growing a skill from ineffective to mediocre will rarely produce the same results. If you start comparing your daily approach to scientific problems and your own expectations with results, you will immediately realize what should be avoided. Once you have a firm grasp of your abilities, you must then look to the most critical factor for progress in the scientific world: ethics. Rules for ethics are the same for society. Before we go to bed or wake up in the morning, looking into the mirror should show a true image of yourself. The values and ethical practices of your work should be compatible with your beliefs, as conflicts and undermined performance arise when values clash with actions. Ultimately, we must acknowledge that fellow human beings are equally unique individuals, just as we are. Each individual possesses strengths, a distinct approach to tasks, and a set of values. The key is communication and, if we fail to do that, it can result in conflicts. It is perfectly fine for an individual to go to another individual, such as a mentor, and say, “These are my strengths, this is how I work the best, these are my values, and this is what I would like to contribute to the team.” We should communicate with clarity to increase understand ing and gain mutual respect. At every stage, the demand for scientists to take control of their own careers is poised to spark a revolutionary shift that will impact both present and future generations. — Molly Cule

we are presented with unparalleled opportunities. The ambition, determi nation, enthusiasm, and intellect of this current generation of scientists are undeniable. However, the path to success within the scientific realm is significantly different from that in the

corporate world. Each scientist must carve out their own niche, recognize when course adjustments are needed, and maintain consistent productivity. This ensures that both the current and future generations can reap the rewards of their contributions. Scientists effectively serve as their own CEOs, shouldering substantial responsibility that directly impacts society’s present and future. Consequently, all scientists, re gardless of career stage, should actively cultivate self-aware ness, consistently evaluating their strengths, competencies, and limitations. Scientists navigate their path to success through two ave nues: first, by engaging in research within their domain of expertise, and, second, by adopting methodologies that align with their personal strengths. This reality is evident to every graduate student, technician, and postdoctoral fellow, as each scientist boasts a distinct approach. Uniformity in work style proves elusive; attempting to mimic another’s approach al most certainly leads to underperformance. Thus, the question of “how do I perform” frequently outweighs “how well do I perform” in significance. From my perspective, refining one’s existing attributes generally trumps attempting a complete self-transformation. There is no perfect method of self-reflection, but for those seeking guidance, the simple approach is also among the most effective. The first step on this path is the self- actualization of one’s strengths. To begin, write down your strengths as you perceive them, and then independently ask mentors, mentees, and colleagues to do the same.

Numbers By the

In the past 5 years, BPS has received 532 nominations for Society Awards and Fellows.

October 2023



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