In our Professional Development class this week,
half the class was assigned to describe a key strength
they have and provide a clear, relevant example of when
they have demonstrated it. The other half described a
weakness each one has and what they are doing about
These are relevant questions each one of us needs to ask
ourselves when we do a personal self assessment.
Some indicated that they struggled with completing
one or the other situation, because it was not something
they did in their native culture or they had not done something
like this before. In each case I reviewed their submissions and
provided constructive commentary on keywords, concepts
and stories. One suggested, however, a weakness of
“perfectionism”. To which I indicated– try again. That will
He came up with something. However, there was a discussion
in our class. Some felt that they fit with that weakness
So, we discussed that striving for excellence is certainly one
desirable strength, however, its negative, despite advice others
may provide to call an extreme of your strength, a negative, in
this case does not work in real situations… Why not? the discussion
1. this is one of the top “RED FLAG” answers and I
would suggest you not use.
2. perfectionists are far less happy than high achievers
and less able to cope when things go awry.
3. there is no such thing as “perfect, ” so perfectionists
are chasing an impossible task and might never know
when to end a project
4. they can often miss deadlines and waste time, money
and resources re-doing a task that they will never be
pleased with anyway
5. they tend to make poor managers by setting impossible
standards and withholding praise from staff.
Your future supervisors and managers will seek out your
weakness since they wish to find out how you perceive
yourself and if you can take constructive feedback to
A career is a process (not an outcome) with many
transactions. You are the CEO of ME, Inc. as Reid
Hoffman wrote. Your job is to learn your strengths,
develop an ability to articulate your value so that
others will understand and appreciate you and your
contributions. Test scores from college entrance
exams are again being sought at a time when there might
be an oversupply of candidates.
New trends in when an employees 401K match is
paid out can provide a difference when comparing
The “pull” marketing of our job hunt strategy is
continuously influenced by tactics in using Linkedin.
TEST SCORES IN JOB INTERVIEWS
SOURCE: WSJ 2-26-14, p. B1
M. Korn, “Job Hunt? Dig up those SAT Scores“
The author writes about a recurring trend to include
an applicant’s SAT test results as a factor in the evaluation.
SAT scores provide a short term assessment, valid or
not, of a person’s preparation and prediction of
success in the first year of college. So many things
have evolved in the SAT tests so it might be hard to
compare 1970s vs. 2013s results. A person’s track
record of results and objective references of what
they actually do on the job should be most relevant.
It should be a signal to interviewees if this occurs
as article comments point out.
401K MATCHING FUNDS TIMING DELAYED
SOURCE: A. Sklover, 2-21-14
“Did you know that…“
A. Sklover pointed out a recent bump in the trend for
employers to hold on to longer term savings for
employees. First it was replacing formal pensions with
401K matched at the time of contribution. Now, the
matching is happening at the end of the calendar year.
Thus, account balances will be lower throughout the
year. And, should an employee leave or be asked to
leave earlier, they do not receive the match.
Al provides six checks for employees to consider.
LINKEDIN JOB HUNTING TACTICS
SOURCE: L. Garver CareerHub BLOG 2-23-14
“Linkedin Confusion or Conquest“
Things you typically will not hear at a workshop
Your homepage: complete it, scan for valuable
resources, consider “liking” to significant items
Apply for positions daily; don’t miss Monday
Premium service: “feature my application,”
explore using “A vs. B testing” various options,
Participation: initiate discussions in primary and
secondary groups, visit and become knowledgeable
in topical areas, reconnect with network, follow
up and comment to contributions important to you.
An inquisitive student asked for some help. In order for some
possible mentors to help him he was advised to share a letter
of professional goals.
He asked: How is that different than a standard cover letter.
It might be as simple as what I heard Adam Cheyer describe as
one of three pillars to career success– VSG, verbally stated
goals. [the other two were (2) going and working outside of
your comfort zone, ie., try things, and (3) be open for the
unpredictable turn of lucky events, so try many different things
and see what happens.]
It is probably not as simple as a “cover letter” or letter of
intent which can be viewed in a similar vein.
It seems more likely to be one of the wise skills, known as
goal-setting. Often the career coaching and management
literature speaks about SMART goals. Tulane University does
a creditable job pulling thoughts together where one might
“inform” your job search with professional goals.
More than a few students have mentioned to me how
valuable the exercise of writing down their goals has
been in pursuing their career.
What might help defining the goals is doing a personal self
assessment which can be called the zeroth level of the process.
Five years ago this blog reminded readers of services
that outplacement firms provided clients who had been
severed from an employer. My experiences with them
had been stunningly meaningful personally in gaining an
better understanding of the differences in different people’s
emotional impact of job loss and emotional resilience.
I recall my wife and I speaking with a psychologist about
the different ways people react to job loss. Back in the day,
DBM, the firm hired by my former employer, provided
valuable tools to re-start my career. Fast-forward to today,
our transcription of Outplacement services that are expected
- understand, reflect and deal with emotional impact to
individual and family
- series of personality instruments. with guidance and
- job lead resources, now enhanced by the Internet and
niche job boards and search tools (tracking system, too)
- building resumes, cover letters, critiquing them and
printing hard copy (plus secretarial and posting services)
- Online presence development such as Linkedin profile
and appropriate webpage web presence.
- up to date tools for do relevant company research, all
within an office with privacy and facilities.
L Weber and R. Feintzig authored an interesting piece
about the “shrinking outplacement services” people are
finding in the current market.
To me this only emphasizes the importance of Career
Services offered at Universities and leading technical
professional societies, like the ACS.
Weber and Feintzig report that tighter budgets and
competition from web only packages is minimizing the
individual “facetime” with experienced consultants
(from a worload of one to 30-40 to one to 150),
providing restricted phone access in its place, providing
sterile one directional on-line webinars and courses
online for training , and online self-service help to white
papers for resume and cover letter building for generic
It is a given that Push-Pull marketing strategies need to
bring in a number of Internet assets to successful job
Opportunity (job description)
Company webpage (news, products.competitors)
Network (who in your network is connected to this firm)
Google the firm (glassdoor.com yahoo.com/finance, etc.)
Investment review (when you work for a firm you are investing your
life’s energies in the firm and its people)
Interviewers profiles/ affiliations
Your personal self assessment
Match between your strengths and the job requirements
References (keep them informed)
Benefits should not be the reason to agree to work
at a location or company or sector, but it does factor
into ranking opportunities. It is better to establish
and confirm these on going into an interview, than
finding out after you are on the job 3 months. [It is
true things can change a lot between an offer and
working in place.]
There are several perspectives on overall compensation
packages. I talked today with one high level technical
manager who thought.when an offer, a good offer, is made,
to a highly qualified and desired candidate, it is either
accepted or rejected. No room should be made for
Another hiring manager thought that an offer should be made
quickly but that there should be some consideration for
negotiating, like hiring bonus at start up or a 5% higher
amount, since many candidates who receive attractive
offers will want to negotiate. Round numbers: Offer
$100K, but be willing to go up to $105, or offer a
sign-on bonus that also pays the taxes on the bonus.
Each candidate needs to examine the whole suite of
benefits and establish what is best for their family situations.
It is often not easy to determine a dollar value for
insurances and vacations and motivational awards.
One company, for example, offers a strong package including
health, life and injury, disability insurances, retirement income
and business travel insurances. A flexible spending
account, domestic partner coverages, children till 26,
401(k) plans with matching, and a personal investment
planning seminar series.
A number of sites have on-site medical, on-site car,
immunizations, fitness, gyms and credit unions.
Competitors present 4 weeks of vacations per year (+ week
between Christmas and New Years) [vs. 2 weeks], and
recognize the importance of work life balance supported by
health and financial wellness programs. They also
emphasize learning and development (’lunch and learn,’ tuition
reimbursement and mentoring programs) and state of the
art research facilities.
Louise Garver also points out several benefits that could
be included in a negotiation discussion, including
expedited review, and
”informed value” of stock options.
The outcome of the importance of each of these factors
could be different for different people and at different
times in each person’s career lifespan. These kinds
of determinations should be estimated before an on-site
interview. Think about asking questions of the HR
manager developed to confirm importance.
Preparation is key on these.
Last week, I met an interesting person who was the “managing
director’ of a research center. We spoke several times over
a few days and I came to learn she was only in the role for
a couple of months.
She spoke of having explored various roles following her PhD
as a post-doc and as a technical expert consultant for a consulting
firm. Now, and in this role, she was getting experience as a
More than one PhD graduate has described their goal to be a
manager. So there might be something to learn from this case.
Over our time, I devoted my attention to listening rather
than “advising.” As we know, the strongest attribute of a manager is
to be a great listener and motivator. So, at times where I did probe,
it was to find out fundamental motivations. It appeared to be freedom
to choose where to work, move when she wanted and build
a productive “empire.” That is what she felt her position offered.
She also seemed to like to believe managers could ‘direct’
rather than ‘enable’ research. Not everyone has the skills and
attributes to be a good manager. Scientists and engineers see
this as a possible track for career growth. It may on the other
hand lead to anxiety and unanticipated pressure.
If I had more time to discuss management with her I would
offer thoughts like Al Sklover offered. In addition to my
top three from Al’s list, I would add one.
Let me highlight top three tips for technical management for me:
(1) Provide equal opportunities to prosper and grow, and
equal accountability when mistakes or malfeasance occur.
(2) Co-create with each group member achievable goals establishing
direction and priority. Create feedback loops so that there are
(3) Continue to develop increasing competences and
professional skills to assume responsibility so that people feel
there is something in it for them.
In addition, it is important to
(4) scrutinize information and be cautious about making
pronouncements without due diligence and checking the
So often I have seen middle managers take
orders to do something that was wrong, even scandalous,
yet they did it. The people instigating it may have personal
advantage as their sole intent.
These are the kinds of points that might be part of a management
Attended a presentation that offered several sites
that were reported to involve more academic research
audiences. The list J. Kamens offered included:
Belonging to several networks can take a bit of time.
She recommended the use of a social media dashboard
At a recent event I attended a representative spoke
to an attendee starting off with, “I don’t know if you
know, but….” Then launched in to a polite attack
that was probably uncomfortable, unless she knew
what was coming and how to deal with it deftly.
Tee-ups are a term used to describe these.
In many circumstances now, positions are taken
where we BYOD (bring your own device) and it
can have unanticipated consequences.
An interesting global view of jobs and STEM job
locations, as if October 2013, has recently been
TEE-UPS AND WATCH-OUT
SOURCE. E. Bernstein, WSJ 1-21-2014, p. D3
“What verbal tics may be saying about us“
‘But don’t take this the wrong way…’ ;‘Can I be
(insert: ‘frank’, ‘direct’, ‘honest’)?’, and
many others. These phrases may seem harmless,
formal, even polite. Coming before another statement
they are intended to harm, be dishonest or lie.
James Pennebaker has studied these qualifiers,
performatives, or tee-up terms. They are yellow lights.
proceed with caution. When you listen to someone,
choose your time and timing and plan what you will
respond without letting it be at all offensive. Remain
totally professional, looking the person in the eye
and lean in to a squared up, confident position.
SOURCE: L. Weber. WSJ 1-22-14, p. B7
“Leaving a job? Better watch your cellphone.“
As more companies allow or encourage employees
to use their own phone and portable devices for
work, as well as home, unexpected consequences
can arise. Their devices can be wiped clean.
This is appearing as the separation between home
life and worklife become blurred.
Read your user agreement statements and contracts
carefully before the “I agree” button is clicked.
WHERE THE JOBS ARE NOW
SOURCE: H. Rudzinsky, Photonics Spectra Jan. 2014, p. 60
“Where the Jobs are Now.“
This is a ‘finger on the pulse’ article on jobs that offers
a clear view and perhaps some optimism on the job market.
The last segment offers some appropriate advice for
job seekers. It links to a Brookings Report.
At a recent workshop Professors Jennifer Shumaker-Parry
and Eric Potma shared their experiences about career
observations and the academic interview process. Some
of their thoughts will resonate with many who seek to have
their careers involve teaching and research. Let me highlight
1. Time management and life balance.
The choice between working at a PUI and a research I
institution requires thinking through what motivates you
the most and while three domains (teaching, research and
service) will be large parts of your responsibility, the ability
to manage time and focus on your priorities will be critical
for achieving the tenure goal. Time is limited and the need
is to balance urgency, importance and personal life.
3. Take time to develop your ideas before your application.
While your post doc may be the most exciting term in
your career, you need to develop with your mentors and PIs
unique ideas. One specifically mentioned having three
“idea notebooks” for nurturing, organizing and developing
impactful outcomes. As the other mentioned, it is likely
worth taking extra time to develop ideas before applying
for academic positions. You will need to be prepared for the
“chalk talk” interview.
4. Openness in academic idea exploration
Both mentioned being open with colleagues to share ideas
even original ones.
5. Money means Start-up funds.
When interviewing and considering positions determine
where you are given the opportunity to be successful. One
shared having to choose between prominent university positions.
Initial offers were presented. The offers were considered with
a site visit for where their laboratory would be located and
Counter offers in a negotiated process were forthcoming,
where one university increased their start-up package offer.
Thus, it was more attractive.
Recently I attended a conference reporting some remarkable
A. miniaturized personal monitoring laboratory devices
B. formalized operating system for intuitive integration of
C. 3-d printing of devices
D. Q-state of protein folding offering the quintile structure
of proteins for activity.
All of these showed creative solutions providing innovation
to solve problems.
A. Vadik Marmeladov displayed personal environment
monitor that connects to your phone to measure, collect and
the hidden qualities of your surroundings.
Lapka devices and app compares readings to average guidelines
and can create profiles and a diary for personalized medicine.
B. Greg Linshiz reported microfluidics platforms for
biotechnology and biorefinery platforms.
C. Eric Jones of National Center for Advancing Translational
Sciences reported emerging 3d printed devices from various
allows adaptation to sample and conditions.
D. William Balch from Scripps Institute reported a Quintile
form of structural complexity in protein folding that influences
protein function explored via isobaric mass spec.
There was a very interesting session with the editors of two
journals describing how to get your work published in a
journal that seeks to be read and archived by an exclusive
audience at the interface of biology, biostatistics, robotics,
engineering, bioanalytical chemistry and diagnostics,
emerging technology, microfluids and nanomedicine.
REALISTIC ABOUT JOURNAL SIGNIFICANCE
The editors have the goal of not having a large readership impact
factor (the commercial journals) rather be the resource of an
exclusive field in complex intersection of a number of fields.
In short, a specialty field.
1. Describe the topic that you wish to write on to the editor in
chief. Have the central message in 2-5 sentences providing the key
points. The topic should be targeted to the interest of the journal
readership. Negative results of an especially prevalent widely held
error is encouraged and can be published. It needs to be artfully
done extending or improving the concept and logically and
persuasively providing an alternative.
2. Send a cover letter and paper manuscript to the editor in chief
offering in the cover letter the gist of the article, possible reviewers
and people who for one reason or another should not be reviewers.
List who the corresponding author is.
3. It is important to read the author guidelines for detailed and
specific instructions about each one of the sections included
and provided as addenda electronically. There are generally word
count guidelines and sometimes that can be met by using archived
4. Six sections of a journal article included in a published full
paper were carefully described.
Results material and Method
References or citations and acknowledgements
5. Logical message sequences, like cause and effect, flow nicely
especially when composed by the authors and following the
order of the manuscript. Avoid not writing, concluding or
referring to data not described in the paper. Stay within
the page guidelines and only interpret conclusions guided
by the data presented.
6. Citations are critical to a good scientific paper and something
that all reviewers are quite mindful of.
8. Figures tables and legends
In my experience, this was the second time I met and spoke
with an editor about journal article writing. I did jointly
write and have published an article but. it is no longer
The editor did bring up the discussion of digital publication in
the vein of augmenting rather than replacing hard copy based
on publication counts.
Just could not pass up the opportunity to attend an early morning
session of a “special interest group” at a technical conference.
Group: Women professionals in science and technology
Topic: Big things happen in small groups
Discussions focused on three areas– leadership gap
(assertiveness commitment and ambition), career planning and
goal setting (fears and barriers) and doing it all (work-life
balance and perfectionism).
Our group pursued the third topic and while we all know it is not
possible to do everything to perfection, our behaviors fall back on
our habits both at home and in our career environments. Our
behaviors seem to have a divide where more serious thought is
given to our career environments, where we plan to cross train
and make it so everyone can take a vacation and have a workflow
that is less than 100% utilization. Home and personal life is not
managed in the same fashion– imperfection is allowed, couples
divide duties, some things just don’t get done. Work always enters
our home lives.
Some good thoughts came from Amy who identified with me, as
we were the two outliers in the group (single, unattached mid career
woman and lone wolf guy). Amy pointed out we need to realize
forming and building trustworthy, sharing relationships was key.
She came to me afterwards and thanked me for making a difference
by not trying to attract the spotlight but by shining light on an
unassuming team member (listening and supporting her comments).
Supporting the relationship building is the need to have an “off-button”
for distractors that can interrupt the important relationships in our
Some decisions like starting a family or leaving temporarily or
permanently can never seem to have a “right time”. That is because
we believe it should be thought out logically, when, in fact, it
is an emotional sensation that we support using facts and data.
(and even, after the fact.)
An engineering faculty member at Berkeley and I had a
conversation that women professionals commonly get…
wow, you are an engineering professor at Berkeley you must be
incredibly smart. How did you do it? What was your secret?
I could never do it?
How do you respond, she asked?
We thought together for a while and concluded it was important to
perform an audience analysis to assess if an emotional response would
be effective or an information loaded response would be.
For someone who could not easily relate to the complexities,
telling a story about who was a model or mentor for you and
provided a boost of confidence that you could do it. Then,
relate it to that person rewarding their curiosity in asking.
If it was an audience who could relate to the complexity, we
can be more factual and list that if it were highly structured
situation knowing the rules and being efficient in following
them made a difference. If the situation was complex, we
realize that luck is totally unpredictable and that persistence
and trying many alternatives and learning from failure gets
us to where we are and we probably could have not predicted
The turn out last Thursday at the Local Section meeting
was quite good as Katherine Lee moderated a ‘right on
target’ panel discussion entitled “Alternate Careers for
Chemists, or what I want to be when I grow up”.
It featured three chemistry trained people who have
transitioned into impactful careers:
Accounting: Chris Montean, Ernst & Young
Venture Capital: Eddine Saiah, Atlas Venture
Intellectual Property Attorney: Heidi Erlacher, Mintz, Levin,
Each one was progressing well in their careers and found
(1)they were “stuck in a rut” with limited futures or
(2)found their current roles doing more “paper pushing and
‘administrivia” and less science. learning and exploration or
(3)be limited to working at the bench where her legal intuition
and technical strengths could be leveraged for much more.
They all demonstrated curiosity and related stories of how
they found a path with an open mind, adapting (learning through
difficulties), and broadening their perspectives of what they were
good at and found they received satisfaction from.
ASKING GOOD QUESTIONS
Throughout the panel discussion, one or two questions that
clearly resonated with the audience.
People noticed not only the responses but also who the
questioner was and how they articulated their query. It is
situations like this that professionals notice who asks the
“aha” question making the session real value. The timing,
the tenor and the tone make a difference in a good question.
I remarked to several people that I was interested in a couple
of companies that a colleague had interviewed for. One
person, Maya, asked about this approach of me pursuing things
on another’s behalf. This is one of the things good networks do.
Committed networks are allies for you and do some of the
due diligence that you would want to do.
While meeting a number of people I encountered colleagues
who I had not seen in some time and caught up with what they
were doing. Several new people approached me and are now
part of my Linkedin Connections. Several asked for advice
OTHER AREAS JOB GROWTH
One questioner asked other areas where our technical skills
as scientists would be strengths. So we met afterwards and
I shared some items that have been shared in the blog, including
intersection of fields
defense related devices for security
material science and engineering
therapies for bugs that are pan resistant
computational chemistry, property and toxicology predictions
Interested in a good discussion on improving your “willpower“
to get more enjoyment out of what we do and to do more personally
meaningful things? A KQED podcast of Forum on “the Science
of Willpower” was clearly enlightening. It included three authors
that have been highlighted in this blog: Roy Baumeister, Charles
Duhigg and Kelly McGonigal. The notes alone in the web page
offer value. If you want to catch the flow of the discussion on
what willpower is, how you can strengthen your willpower,
understand the role of habits and connect to the notion of personal
self-control. listen to the podcast, as well.
I liked more than a dozen parts of the discussion. Let me highlight
four for you.
1. K. McGonigal talked about willpower being an instinct
comprising three elements– “willpower“, what you want to do
daily, “won’t-power,” not doing the things you wish to avoid and, most
importantly, “want-power,” your personal vision that drives your
purpose. The latter form the rewards that will drive your behaviors.
2. A part of will power is “self-control” which interestingly is
a habit of doing things that propel us to our goals. It is a limited
mental resource that can be depleted from overuse, can be restored
by meditation, involvement in a like-minded community, and
influenced by mentors.
3. Goals are a meta-concept of a pattern of thinking that can be
reached by establishing “keystone” habits. C. Duhigg cited the
work of Wendy Wood who established 40-45% of what we do
is habits and if we prioritized and focused our cues and patterns
of behavior we would feel rewarded, especially if we were willing
to delay gratification.
4. Selective actions help us to have the will power to complete
complicated tasks. Challenges can be overcome by
breaking complexity down into manageable chunks,
bundling them with priorities, reward the accomplishment
of even small steps and “powering” through to even a
draft end point.
If it weren’t for prescription medical coverage who could
afford prescribed medications? Have you rationalized, too,
whether it is better to be skilled or to be lucky? Some
seem to have all the luck. What is their unique skill so
that they can be lucky?
Some of the “name” firms are using a special breed of
interviewer called “bar raisers”. It might be nice to know
about them if you are job seeking. Have you recently found
a journal article in a language you do not know? Ever use
google translate? Pretty nifty.
BAR RAISERS IN INTERVIEWS
SOURCE: G. Bensinger, WSJ 1-8-14, P. B1, Amazon
recruits face bar raisers.” Bar raisers are skilled
personnel evaluators who evaluate talented candidates
especially for cultural mismatches and growth dynamics
in many areas. While it has been called different terms
over the years, it provides a challenge to our preparation
and performance during job interviews.
LUCK VS. SKILL
SOURCE Cal Newport, BLOG 1-2-13, LUCK VS. SKILL
So many in business claim when things don’t work– great
idea, just at the wrong time. Maybe that is true! According
to Cal Newport and many of the commentators they agree
that it is good to be lucky, but you have to “do the reps”
referring to body building and a connection to Arnold
Schwarzenegger and his career. For activities with clear,
fixed rules, skill and practice surely makes a difference.
For activities with evolving rules, success happens when
the rules or situations change that were not anticipated.
It is as if luck is significant.
success = potential * serendipity
The more rare and valuable your skills, the more potential
you have. It is within your control.
You cannot predict or control serendipitous factors, thus
luck plays a role.
HIGH COST OF MEDICATIONS
SOURCE A. Jogalekar, Scientific American Curious
Wavefunction BLOG 1-6-14, “Why drugs are expensive“
Authoritative description of drug discovery. Since drugs
work by modulating the function of proteins. It is hard
to sort out which proteins and which small molecules
can affect their activity in complicated cellular systems.
I recently wanted to translate a job description which
appeared in German. My German is “rusty,” so I went
to Google translate and got a terrific on the spot sense
of what the musts and wants were for the position.
Is it in your arsenal of tools?
Top 10 “Overused” Profile buzzwords– Linkedin
responsible, strategic, effective, creative, effective,
motivated, multinational, experimental, specialized.
Do you have these in your linkedin profile?
Thank you Dr. Patrick Gordon for sharing a helpful
marketing document describing crafting effective
“elevator speeches.” Elevator speeches (or pitches) are
useful tools in the job market as well as in the business
world involved with products and services, where it is
integrated into a strategy.
There were six startling take-aways that helped me
revise my marketing tool, specifically:
1. Target your audience’s needs and reveal the value you
provide. Practice and perfect the wording and timing of
2. Give a couple of specifics of the people you serve or
industries that can benefit.
3. Describe a problem and solution or share a benefit
4. Make it illustrative rather then encyclopedic,
conversational rather than jargon-loaded and memorable
rather than lumped with broad career fields, like organic
chemistry or medicinal chemistry.
5. Perhaps describe your customer’s feelings before
working with you or your product.
6. Perception is everything. I could picture the four
approaches commonly used and clearly see the strengths
of one of them “the attractor.” Less effective are:
“minimizer (I am an analytical chemist.)”,
“rambler (I am an analytical chemist with background in
Don’t overlook the nonverbal communications you use
when delivering your elevator speech. It can make all
Job analysis, on-boarding, strategic hiring and down-sizing,
psychometric testing, outplacement….These and many other
terms are roles of recruiters.
Recruiters and their general function, recruitment, are part
of the process of
1 deciding what skills and experience are needed to complete
and deliver a function for an organization [job analysis],
2 defining for, advertising to and attracting qualified applicants
3 screening qualified candidates and narrowing the applicant pool
4 participating in a joint selection decision including establishing
5 on-boarding the new hire into the organization bringing them
quickly up to speed.
The role and responsibility can also involve (6) hiring strategies,
(7) networks [that is how I got started into Linkedin, for example],
(8) screening tools, (9) hiring plans and timelines, and even
(10) downsizing and (11) outplacement [I worked with DBM
in an early in my career transition].
Recruiters are part of practically all organizations– academic,
government, industrial, entrepreneurial,… you name it.
Some are permanent hires of a larger organization, with other
responsibilities. Some recruiters are contracted. Of the contracted
group, one can find
- niche specialties (Chemistry, engineering, pharma, nanomaterials,
instrumentation, batteries, electrochemistry, fuel cells, process
industries and many more),
- narrow geographic areas (Bay Area, San Diego, St. Louis, Boston,
Phila., New York, Texas, etc.) and
- more general sourcing agencies.
Joseph Jolson presents, for example, how one can find career
opportunities for chemical enterprises in the Pittsburgh job market
each year. Recruiters commonly represent their organization at job
I followed a few other blog entries and the NESACS website
unsuccessfully for niche contract recruiters for either the NE region,
like Joe does for Pittsburgh, and for industry specific retained
Contract recruiters are professionals who earn their keep and
integrity by providing a service that needs to be paid for, either by the
hiring organization or the client. The best often work well with other
professionals based on valued relationships that lasts, not for just one
job cycle, but for years. So, in my career, I maintained a relationship
with a fuel cell and lithium battery recruiter for over 20 years. I was
able to help some of my colleagues find their next position by
referral a few times. Currently, I maintain professional contact with
a few recruiters even though I am not actively in the job market myself.
One of the evolving trends in chemical fields but not
often developed in education programs is life cycle
assessment. I learned about this as part of reviewing
EPA proposals. This was one of the aspects that proposals
could enhance their consideration for support.
Only one proposal incorporated an LCA.
What motivated entering this topic into the blog also was seeing
LCA in a psychology and ’science of attention’ book by
Daniel Goleman. He talks about human brains’ ability to
have a razor-sharp focus on certain things, like smiles, frowns,
growls and babies, while we have “zero radar” for threats to the
global systems that support human life.
Goleman talks about LCA profiles using glass making as
his example which has 659 ingredients in its manufacture.
There are “too many factors to assess.” We need, however, to
focus in on a manageable number in meaningful patterns to
deal with them.
For the present readership BASF and SKB 2 have delivered
meaningful ACS presentations on how they have developed
Life Cycle Inventories and assessments for specific processes.
They used a process flow diagram that has co-products and side
reactions, energy inputs and outputs for sustainable development
Life Cycle Analysis is as meaningful an area for technical people to
have some grounding in as hazards analysis and review.
LCA is life cycle assessment, also known as ‘cradle-to-grave,’ analyzes
the human impacts of a product’s life from cradle to grave. Wikipedia
describes Life Cycle Supply Chain, Life Cycle Inventory and Total
Life Cycle Impacts.
SOURCE “Performed Predictive Analytics and
Analytic queries on big data,” Intel White Paper
Parviz Peiravi, Ajay Chandramouly, Chandhu
Yallaand Moty Fania.
Future Business conditions are predicted using
an analytics continuum model of increasing
complexity and resulting value. This alone is
worth reading and learning how the data can be
Living by numbers alone reportedly does not work,
however. F. Salmon, Wired, Jan. 2014, p. 27-33.
“Numbed by Numbers: Why quants don’t know
SOURCE SLAS ELN, “Disuptive technologies poised
to transform drug discovery”.
Open sourced 3d printing to emulate vascular structures,
fluorescing cells with clear membranes reveal drug interactions,
miniaturized spectral and mass spectral instruments
and other “disruptive innovations” are highlighted in
ELN briefs showing remarkable applications of
technologies to lead to improved therapies.
January meeting live streamed content.
SOURCE J, J. Kojima and M. Shah, “Time Resolved
Raman scattering Spectroscopy facilitates combustion
research”, Photonics Spectra Dec. 2013 p. 32-5.
Using a newly developed detector gating and wider dynamic
range subsystems flame instabilities can be captured
and studied in many propulsion applications.