ACS & YOU
Planning for your career can be difficult and daunting, making it a prime target
for procrastination. It may seem
as if no one expects you to spend
time on it or has time to help
you with it.
As a result, it’s easy to get
caught up in short-term issues
that arise each week, and continually put off career planning.
You complete a task or fix an
issue and move on to the next,
but have you taken time to consider the overall picture of your
college education and your progress toward achieving career
goals? It is well worth your time
ACS has introduced an
Individual Development Plan
resource to help you. ChemIDP,
a tool ACS designed specifically
for students in the chemical
sciences, is based on steps
employers use for career development. Supported by the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Teams
Program, ChemIDP is a highly comprehensive and up-to-date career planning
Regardless of whether you just
started your degree program or will
be in the job market soon, you can
benefit from using ChemIDP. Dive into
the thought-provoking questions; take
advantage of the insights and advice
in crafting your plan and putting it into
action. Working through your career path
now will make the next few years more
efficient, effective, and successful.
• Explore more than 50 career
descriptions in a variety of sectors
to better understand work environments and roles and responsibilities
of different positions in the field.
• Identify and set your own career
goals and tactics to achieve them.
• Perform a self-assessment to take
an introspective look into what you
value and to identify your proficien-cies in technical, knowledge, and
• Explore ideas to strengthen the
skills you will need to achieve your
ChemIDP brings these pieces together
so you can review all of this information
in one report, set milestones, and create
reminders to ensure you are on track.
Preparing and updating an IDP is a
process that reflects your background,
experiences, and career dreams.
ChemIDP is a private space for you to
consider your options, capture your
thoughts, and map out plans. Share your
plan with those who can assist you, such
as your research advisor, your college
career center, and your mentors.
Completing an IDP is just the beginning. Your IDP should be fluid and
flexible, because your answers to the
thought-provoking questions will change
over time as you build your portfolio of
experiences. It’s your career; don’t wait
for it to happen to you. ChemIDP can
help you identify the skills you need to
prepare for the career you want. Start
today at ChemIDP.org.
Mary Kirchhoff is Director of the
Education Division at the Ameri-
can Chemical Society and former
Assistant Director of the Green
Chemistry Institute. She received
her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry
from the University of New Hampshire.
It’s Your Career— Plan It, Own It!
BY MARY KIRCHHOFF
April/May 2016 www.acs.org/undergrad • inChemistry