By Tim Paz
The mentoring pair should discuss what the professional objectives are for the mentee in the next 3, 5 or 10 years. In which professional sector do they currently practice? Do they want to move to another sector, such as federal government, academia, etc.? The mentor should discuss their career journey to get the dialogue moving. How did they find out about the field of industrial hygiene and how did they make the move into IH as a career field? What organizations have they worked for and in what business sectors? Have they been EHS generalists or strictly practitioners of IH? Help the mentee map out a plan of action to get to the desired end point. If they want to get into the federal government, consider reaching out to someone working at a federal agency such as NIOSH, OSHA, NIH, CDC, etc. What were the career choices that person made to get to their position within the federal government. A career coach once had me list everything I liked and disliked about every job I’ve ever had. This is a valuable exercise and was very eye opening for me. What skills do you use when you’re doing the things you enjoy? Have you considered expanding your practice to other EHS disciplines such as environmental, safety or fire protection? Again, find the people who work in the field you are interested in or working at the places you are hoping to get hired on at, and speak to them about their career journey.
In summary, what are your ideal plans and goals? My advice is to set personal and professional goals annually. Review them at mid-year and at the end or beginning of each and every year.