Monthly Challenges

Participate in each monthly challenge to learn new skills and expand your knowledge. Explore the current challenge below, share your accomplishments on social media with the monthly hashtag, and check back soon for next month's challenge.

student exploring online resources

#Planuary

Whether you are mapping out your career goals or just trying to figure out what your career goals are, creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP) can help. A good IDP will help you assemble your skills and interests into a set of short- and long-term goals. It can provide a road map when times get confusing.

Your #Planuary challenge is to create your own IDP. Don’t worry—you’ve got the whole month to do it. 

Individual Development Plans (IDP)

Career planners are a great way to identify what you want to do and how to get there. It doesn’t matter which you use, as long as it provides the right plan for you:

  • ChemIDP this ACS resource is an online toolkit that helps you assess your strengths and values, strengthen desired skills, set and track goals, and explore career options. Use this to learn more about yourself and make your career planning more effective.
    • We value your feedback! Send your comments and questions to ChemIDP@acs.org. Feel free to ask questions about IDPs or IDP workshops too!
  • myIDP was developed by AAAS. This career resource to help you map out your personal and career growth. 
  • myPlan is a privately-owned tool combining assessments, education, and career development.
  • Check with your college or university Career Services to see what they offer.

IDP Components

Don't love the IDP options above? You can assemble your own by incorporating these components:

Self-assessment

Identify your values, interests, and strengths to find an ideal career match or to develop assets in your chosen path. These assessments are meant to be reflective, not predictive—if a result doesn’t feel right to you, try something else.

You can find good tools in a variety of places, but some charge fees. Check with your school’s career services office to see if they have a subscription.

  • Career Pathways (free for ACS members) offers short and simple overviews of values and strength assessments to start you down the right pathway for you.
  • Career OneStop is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and offers free assessments on interests, skills, and values. 
  • How to Assess Your Career Values, from The Balance, highlights the role of values in your career options.
  • Myers-Briggs personality assessment is about learning how you prefer to process information and make decisions which can help you find your ideal work environment.
  • O*net interest profiler helps to align your work interests with potential careers.
Career Options

There are so many career options for all education levels that narrowing them down can be the hard part. Get ideas from these sources.

  • College to Career will give you an idea of some of the careers available to chemists.
  • C&EN Career Ladders share the twists and turns that chemists have taken in their career journeys.
  • inChemistry has a collection of career articles on everything from different types of jobs to nailing your interview.
  • LinkedIn: Manage your professional identity and connect with people that share a similar area of interest.
Skill-building

Knowing what skills you need for your career path is one thing; getting them is another. Here are some resources to get started.

  • ACS Career Consultants are on-hand to answer your questions every Thursday, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern)
  • Virtual classrooms are free, 2-hour workshops to support career success.
  • ACS webinars allow you to learn from experts on a variety of subjects from solar power to grant-writing to culinary chemistry.
  • Doing Undergrad Research in the Time of COVID, from inChemistry, highlights how undergrads are developing research skills during the pandemic.
  • Get Experience offers a variety of internship opportunities in numerous industries.
  • ACS International Center is devoted to providing listings of programs and opportunities, ACS-sponsored and non-sponsored, for funding of international research. 

Explore All Social Activities

Mocktail Recipes
Join us in making a chemistry-themed mocktail of the week!

Journal Club
Find all the information you need to start a journal club.

Monthly Challenges
Discover and participate in the monthly challenge for students.