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Webcast: how to plan your career

A drawing of a laptop screen with a mug and earphones.

Adapted from Getty

In this 60-minute webinar, now available as video-on-demand, three speakers share advice on how to plan a successful career in science. This is followed by a live Q&A session.

Linda Louie, who runs the programme for career exploration, experiential learning and employer engagement at the University of California, San Francisco, describes what career planning is, and how early-career researchers can do it alongside their existing roles and responsibilities. “It’s normal that someone would find career exploration difficult,” she says. “That’s why we start early.”

Antentor Hinton, who studies molecular physiology and biophysics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, shares his experiences mentoring students to develop career-planning skills, and discusses the tools he uses to encourage these students to think about their future careers. These include a mentoring map to help them see coaches as part of a wider network. “Mentoring relationships are best viewed as networks,” he explains.

Finally, Emma Williams, who runs EJW Solutions, a careers consultancy based in Duxford, near Cambridge, UK, describes the essential “building blocks” of career development, using the analogy of a skyscraper to illustrate her point. “No one becomes CEO or gets a Nobel prize overnight; they’re built up over incremental steps,” she says.

The session was held on 4 November 2021. The three participants also suggested further resources to support researchers’ careers and took part in a live Q&A discussion.

The seminar forms part of Nature Careers’ ongoing 2021 webinar programme. For information about future topics, please visit



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