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Things I Discovered In 2014

Whether you have met me in person, online, through one of my Chemistry World articles or in any other format you are likely to have heard me mention reflection. It is such an important part of your career management and your own personal growth. Bearing this in mind, I have been doing some reflection myself.

As you may notice from the date of this post, it is Christmas Eve, the last day of my working year for 2014 and the perfect time to look back on the year and start thinking about the year ahead. 2014 was a big year for me; I came back to work having had a maternity break and made the decision to work part time. It was a difficult year in some respects, trying to fit everything in to three days; the thing I missed most was chatting, ahem, I mean networking with colleagues. Just finding out what else was going on outside careers and what this meant for me, and of course you. Here are my top 5 findings:

1. The Daphne Jackson Trust has funding available for people thinking about returning to research after a break. An awesome scheme which makes my heart glow, they do such good work and the people I met who had gone through the scheme were truly inspirational

2. People mostly fall into their careers, very few are planned. Fortunately I got to hear some extraordinary stories of members' careers during our Profiles in Chemistry and ChemCareers events throughout the year. If you are feeling uninspired and lost check out some of our webinars (click on any of the sesson links to listen again), videos or come along to a local event next year

3. Whether you want to take the next step, need to bounce some ideas around or are completely lost a mentor can be a great asset to your career. We are currently piloting a mentoring scheme and will be rolling it out in 2015 to a larger group. If you would like to be a mentee or a mentor and/or would like to find out more, please contact me at

4. We support members from every section of society, at every stage of their career journey and without judgement or comment. It is important to me that we continue this support and it's something I am very proud of. So too is our Diversity specialist Andrea Banham who works tirelessly to ensure that the Royal Society of Chemistry supports diversity and equality. You can find out more about what we are doing by following her on twitter for the latest news:@RSC_Diversity

5. After two successful years of identifying promising new technologies in the UK, in 2015 our Emerging Technologies Competition will be open to applications from small companies and academic researchers from across Europe for the first time. As in previous years, the aim of the competition is to reward the best new technology ideas in the chemical sciences. As the competition continues to grow, this year’s applications will be judged in three themed panels; healthcare, energy & sustainability, and materials science.

So finally, I feel caught up with what's going on and 2015 I will be aiming to keep up to date so I can share more with you and keep myself abreast of the latest developments in careers, chemistry and the Royal Society of Chemistry. I will be continuing to reflect on what I have been doing, especially during and after events we have run like ChemCareers so that we can continue to improve.

May I just take a moment to thank all of you have emailed, phoned, volunteered and supported all our events this year, we certainly couldn't have done it without you and because of your feedback I now have some great webinars, articles and events planned for 2015. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how we can improve our service, please don't hesitate to let us know, I love hearing your thoughts.

That's it from me today, all that's left to do is wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you on the 2nd January!
Posted by Charlotte Ashley-Roberts on Dec 24, 2014 9:03 AM Europe/London

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