Fine-tune your profile as an academic Academics who are in line for tenure are able to perform all of the tasks that are part of the day-to-day life of a university professor. These include the following: Teaching (tasks in study programme management, preparing and teaching classes, marking exams, supervising thesis work etc.) Research (research focus topics, acquiring and realising projects, publications, conference engagements, international partnerships etc.) Promoting young scientists (managing academic staff, supervising doctoral and habilitation candidates etc.) Academic self-management (panel work, research management, institute leadership) Service (services, commissioned research, scientific communication) Put yourself in the shoes of someone applying for tenure, and adopt the perspective of an appointments committee. Which of these factors are relevant in your department or to your preferred employer when it comes to appointments? And, from this perspective, how would people rate your performance, experience and skills? Where is it really worth investing all your energy? As regards building a competency profile, we recommend the following publication for the purposes of self-learning: Mirjam Müller (2014): Promotion – Postdoc – Professur: Karriereplanung in der Wissenschaft. Frankfurt/New York. Campus-Verlag. So much for the formal performance criteria for a professor. What is actually relevant in terms of being promoted? It is no secret that there are factors in play that do not relate to performance and over which you have little to no control. These implicit criteria include: The academic reputation of the institution where you are/were working The academic reputation of your Ph.D. supervisor or co-author(s) The rigour of your academic track record The only way to exert any influence here is to make smart decisions based on information that you collect from your mentors, more experienced colleagues and peers. Our Peer Mentoring Programme is a good opportunity to network with others on the topic of competency building and knowledge sharing.