Steps (4): post-doc
Under the guidance of your Ph.D. supervisor, you have brought a research project to its completion. Now you are a researcher. Next step? Learn to define your research projects yourself! The person who hired you as a post-doc is no longer your “supervisor”: he/she is the head of the research group in which you are integrated. You shall surely learn from him/her, as well as from the other members (after all, we all learn all the time from each other). But what used to be enough during the Ph.D. (namely, to take vague indications, make them concrete and get the results) is no longer enough: you are now supposed to contribute with your own ideas.
… or didn’t you know that the brain energy of your boss, when it is not spent in bureaucracy, is indeed mostly spent in trying to find new ideas? You are going to be appreciated if you help him/her in this task.