It is very easy to get so engrossed in all that you do day-to-day so as not to see what might being coming or moreover not see where you are going. True of many careers / jobs is that how much, or how often, you look to the work horizon is lead by the culture of the particular work place. Students, graduates and post-graduates in my experience can be very good at ignoring the horizon in favour of the exam, dissertation, or work package in front of them. It is often true to say they leave their horizon to their adviser, which can be where many go wrong.
“Should those who counsel also judge? Should those who mentor also manage?” – pretty much everyone I would like to believe would agree that anyone providing counsel to an individual should not then be the one who sits in judgement of them – a huge conflict of interest. Why then in the towers academic do so many place their mentorship with those who ultimately seek to guide them with specific projects and depend perhaps upon the them for results above all else? At this point I have to say that within the spectrum of academic managers there are those who can divorce the development needs of the ‘team’ from the needs of an individual, but sadly these are not overly numerous and not often seen as the most dynamic leaders by their peers.
The advice that I end up giving the most often is that students look up and look ahead. Recently I have come to realise that they also need to look to find the best mentoring as part of this strategy to increase their awareness. The needs of balanced and constructive careers assessment / feedback are sadly all too often not met well in academic towers.