The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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05/20/19
Job Loss, Job Search and Retirement
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 10:58 am

Now looking in the rear view mirror on this, it is possible
to offer a perspective.

.
One of the key things is to join and participate in professional
societies.  This was a strong recommendation of a former
boss at Exxon Research, Jim Amick.  Our conversations led me
to pursue roles that might provide experience in leadership and
networking.  It was not broadly spoken about at my first two
positions and it was not easy to get approval to attend meetings.
.
Yet when my turn for facing the music of job loss came,
it was my good fortune that managers encouraged me to 
attend a national ACS meeting to participate in the job clearinghouse.
That led to several interviews and offers.
.
Weathering the storms of corporate life is mostly being in the
right place at the right time, by good relationship and
skill building.  Accepting roles that are not part of my formal
background did stretch employment longevity.  But looking for
volunteer opportunities 
for the common good– chairing meeting
sessions, reviewing articles, 
volunteering as local section member
at national meetings and then
learning from successes of others
Then, help others pursue their career aspirations.
.
As I saw happen to even the most talented colleagues, cut backs occur.
Through no fault of their own I saw many people get “sacked” and 
pick themselves up and resume their career somewhere else.  My
content here is to bring up end of career observations, as are described
in Mark Miller’s article and podcast.  [LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!]
.
 - Center for Retirement Research (BC) found 37% retire earlier
(55% fail to reach age 66 target)
 -  one quarter of loss of jobs due to health (UMichigan,
Sanzenbacher)
 -  Workers 55 and older:  unemployment rate 2.6%, but long term
unemployment of >27 weeks, is 26.6%,  [that is, if you get laid off,
recovering is less likely]
 -  Sporadic income is hard to manage, but expecting to reach your
retirement goals set early in life, is getting harder and harder.
.
Pointers from Mark Miller
1. Assess your health and employment statistics in viable fields, as
time goes on.  
2. Create interim plans including health care insurance and alternate
income streams that match outflows.
3. Fees and costs of retirement accounts.  Look for financial advisers
who pursue your goals [interview several and don’t just depend on
robo-investing]
comments (0)
05/08/19
Tax Law Change. Relocation and “Gross Up”
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:32 am

Al Sklover shared one of the impacts of the 2018 tax law
change that allowed the mega wealthy a tax cut is to tax
as income any relocation reimbursement by employers.

.
The article recommends that new or relocated employees
ask for “grossing up” that is having extra sum of compensation
to pay for the taxes due.
1 comment
04/17/19
Habits. Top four that enhance your self esteem
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:06 am

Many times authors write about and speak about habits that
will help you be successful.  As we come to appreciate,
winning and “success” are fleeting until the next event in a
competitive world.

.
I enjoy much of what David Brooks writes in his NYT
editorials.  One of the latest is about 2 mountains we face
in our lives–

“If the first mountain is about building up the ego and
defining the self, the second is about shedding the ego and
dissolving the self. If the first mountain is about acquisition,
the second
 mountain is about contribution.

On the first mountain, personal freedom is celebrated
keeping your options open, absence of restraint. But the
perfectly free life is the unattached and unremembered life.
Freedom is not an ocean you want to swim in;  it it a river
you want to cross so that you can
plant yourself on the other side.

So the person on the second mountain is making commitments. 
People who have made a commitment to a town, a person,
an institution or a cause have cast their lot
and burned the
bridges behind them. They have made a promise without
expecting
a return. They are all in.

.
I can now usually recognize first and second mountain people.

The former have an
ultimate allegiance to self; the latter have
an ultimate allegiance to some
commitment.”
.
Supporting this are habits that build self-confidence and
lead to commitment. [taken from ]
1.  delay celebration and develop a ‘reserve capacity’ to persist
2.  make choices and have the mental agility to have a back-up
if first choice does not work
3.  organize details, set priorities and understand root causes
of shortcomings
4.  be kind even in the face of rudeness, bitterness and
unhappiness
1 comment
04/14/19
Artificial Intelligence. Best Jobs and Predictions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:36 am

Readers of this blog might look at recent reports for: 

   looking for best jobs
               -  AI predictions
.
  companies are predicting when employees will quit
IBM Watson and GM have a “predictive attrition program” which
assesses employee flight risk and offers proactive steps to retain
those employees.
Career path assessments and key employee skill area predictions
are also AI targets..
Ginni Rometty predicts AI will change 100 % of jobs in the future.
.
Suggestion:  While it is nice to track trends, finding what
is likely to happen in the future and how to prepare for it
is better for our futures.
  
comments (0)
04/12/19
Update on Financial Record-keeping
Filed under: Recent Posts, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Technicians, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 6:13 am

Fidelity Investments highlighted a Kiplinger article suggesting how long to keep hard-copy and/or virtual files of financial records.

See here .
Surprises include:  Keep for 3 years records of spending using withdrawals from health spending and 529 accounts.
                               Keep for 6 years records of self-employed business income and expenses.

       Keep indefinitely records of final tax returns.  (I guess this is where it might be handy to have something like Fidelity Investments, FIDSAFE .) 
                                Keep Home purchase and home improvement documents, taxable account investment documents
comments (0)
04/05/19
Professional Profile. 7
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Legal matters, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:01 am

Profile:  Technology Specialist, Science and Technology Patent LLC

Style and Responsibilities
Proficient in both experimental and computational exploration of
synthesis and evaluation.  Developed technology assessment 
experience through post-doc and internship.

Personable and highly organized with different cultures.  

Position involves bringing technical skills to bear on business 
strategy and best legal practices for technology concept protection
for biomaterials, formulations, optophotonic electronics, food
and nanomaterials.

Challenges and Stresses
Time is currently a limited resource with long commute, 
management of household with preschool children and 
current housing arrangement.  Am using mentors to figure
out longer term strategies  and encouragement to ask questions
and seek help.

Landing Current position and openness to new opportunities
The search for my current position that I started a month ago
faced several hurdles.  We became new parrents, had my
work papers approved and dealt with several months break in
appointments.  Yet we were successful due to persistence,
preparation and practice.

Just as one might expect, as soon as I started a new position
other opportunities arise.  While the benefits package is quite
satisfactory and meets our needs (eg.  salary exceeds ACS
Salary Comparator benchmark), I will find a way to accept
interview invitations.  I do not do them from my employer’s
locations nor on employer’s time.  I keep all engagements 
confidential and record notes.

Interestingly, since this is a legal position “billable hours”
is a new work constraint that I am learning to include in my
agenda.

Opportunities for Growth
In addition to a highly skilled staff and generous benefits,
the firm offers continuous in-house training, support for
personal growth and patent agent certification and help
in pursuing a legal education.  
1 comment
03/27/19
International Travel. New requirements
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:36 am

Are you planning international travel in the future?

.
I know when I was in grad school, the situation came 
up that had me travel to several European countries.
Emergencies happened and we had to cut it short.
.
An article, Think you only need a passport? 
WSJ  3-27-2019 by Scott McCartney
should be read, as it includes great trips:
 - make sure your passport is valid for at least another
6 months from the end of your travel
 - carry extra passport photos with white background.
[remember AAA offers photos– free for some members]
 - carry at least $50 cash for on-the-spot visa fees
 - register with the state department’s Smart Traveler
Enrollment Program STEP for contact with updates
 - carry a copy of passports, itinerary, birth certificates,
medical prescriptions, credit cards  in case of loss.
 - plan a contact near home who knows where you are
and can help in an emergency 

comments (0)
03/25/19
Plan S. OPEN ACCESS Journals
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:27 pm

Another area of interest to readers might be journal articles,
where to publish and availability of publications.

.
I searched the ACS evolving policy and viewed the page .
.
This is an area we should all take note of in consideration
with what is occurring with the rest of the global scientific
community aiming for Open Access by 2020.  See details.
.
I was tuned into this by an editorial in Interface by Jannuzzi
who linked to Richard Kiley at University College London
who wrote about the aim of “Plan S” to ensure research that
is publicly funded to be openly available.  As a species we 
face climate change, epidemic preparedness, major disasters.
He wrote of the Liberian government not being aware of
research of the potential impact of an Ebola outbreak. 
If research was openly available and acted upon, some of
the thousands of death could have delayed to their normal
course.
.
There is a sizable cost for ACS members to participate in
OA open access.  We can influence this by voicing what is
being done in proactive societies giving its members a
competitive advantage.
comments (0)
03/16/19
On-Line Platforms. Suggestions from Clint Watts
Filed under: Recent Posts, Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:15 pm

Clint Watts, former FBI agent, wrote a recent book “Messing with
the Enemy” and offers some helpful suggestions.

For your work on Platforms:
1.  Ask whether the benefits outweigh the costs.  Try to
minimize social media.
APP:  Use Moment to monitor your time commitment.
2.  Pop or drop our preference bubbles. 
Know why we ‘like,’ tweet  & share items
3.  Listen or read those who oppose our preferences. 
They provide the needed
reconnaissance for opposites.
4. Pick experts who are good critical thinkers. EOA
  A. they have experience in their field and in the topics they
discuss
  B. they have many observations in their field
  C. they go through a deliberative process (analysis)
to arrive at conclusions.  Structured evaluation, ask questions.
.
About where you seek and obtain your news, consider the abbreviation CMPP
.
Competency- source capable of knowing, gathering, and understanding
the information they provide
.
Motivation- why is the source providing the information
.
 Product- type of information- audio, print, online, video, social. .
Each type conveys different meaning and
impressions of reality.
.
 Process of collection-  were sources primary or secondary. 
Was the data selected to favor a position?
Is contrary data considered and tested?

comments (0)
03/09/19
On-line Platforms. Subtle repositories of metadata
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:53 am

As a twist on topics the blog shares, I wish to bring up
an intriguing book that I recommend you read–   ’Zucked-

Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe’ by Roger MaNamee,
Penguin NY 2018.
.
Unwittingly, many of us may be the fodder of metadata for
high tech internet operating organizations and platforms.
Then, we further participate and are entranced to follow
what the AI directed algorithms prescribe.
.
McNamee writes that the internet technology world follows
predictable patterns.  He points out technology has two rules
of thumb– Moore’s law about integrated circuit packing
density and Metcalfe’s rule about the increasing value of
any network being proportional to the square of the number
of nodes (or members). 
.
These result in a philosophy:
-make things appear to be free, effort-less and friction-less 
to make networks and connections engage more often and
build on habits that evolve into addictions
.
-promote a libertarian philosophy that prioritizes individuality
over the common good.  Individuals feel good about ambition
and greed.  Disruption, being first and winning becomes an
effective strategy.
.
The author highlights the role of the vision, value system
and connections a group of leaders, he calls the “Paypal
Mafia” have succcessfully promoted.  [Named are P. Thiel,
E. Musk, R. Hoffman, M. Levchin and J. Stoppleman]
.
McNamee shared the finding that MoveOn.org president
described where FB and Google feeds no longer are subject
neutral but are biased to deliver likeable content and headlines
to engage emotions.  [Ed Pariser]

A real stand out the book offers is a segment on B J.. Fogg
and Persuasion Technology that Silicon Valley firms employ
to compete, grow and prosper.  the result is that the software
designer creates the illusion of user (you and I) control, when
it is the system (and AI) that guides every action.  FB and Google
now include behavioral prediction engines that anticipate our
thoughts and emotions and offer high quality targeting for advertisers. 

2 comments
02/23/19
Professional Profile. 6.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:24 pm
Profile:  Senior Supervisor Immunoassay disease detection.

- What do you say when asked about your personal style and responsibilities? 
I would say my personal style is pretty easy to work with and always trying to
accommodate others reasonable requests within my ability. My responsibility
I would say it’s really to help others, either it’s the upper management or my
colleagues. 
- Are you challenged?  What stresses you? 
I’m definitely challenged at work, but I welcome that as it gives me a sense
of accomplishment. As with any projects, finding and managing resources can
be pretty stressful, but I think our team are doing pretty well so far.

- Describe your title, how long you have been in your role and your most
enjoyable responsibilities and tasks. 
I currently hold a supervisory role and I enjoy very much working with my team
to meet our targets and present our work together to the cross functional team.

- How did you land your current position?  Do you continuously keep an open
mind to changing positions?  How long should we stay in our positions? 
I started as a scientist role in my current company and was approached by my
current boss to work on a special project that expands our companies current
portfolio, which I thought was and still is pretty interesting. As my experience
grows, I always think about the next step, for which I have continuous dialogue
with my current boss.

- What do you believe aided you in being awarded your position? 
Not afraid to take on really challenging but low visibility tasks.

- Have you refused an offer that you think you should have taken?  What were
the factors in your decision? 
Yes, long term professional growth was probably the biggest reason I decided
to refuse. The offer I refused was definitely a much better short term offer, but
I think I made the right decision.

- What opportunities and challenges do you see provide growth for you? 
Right now, gaining experience in resource and project management is the
biggest learning opportunity for me.

- What are ways that you go out of your way to expand your network? 
So far, I think not being afraid to ask for help and others advice has helped.

What comments do you wish to make for people who are graduating or
planning on moving on in the next year? 
Keep an open mind, what you do after graduating may be different than
what you studied for 5+ years. Be prepared for the interview and know your
audience before your presentation, expect questions on anything you put
up on the slides, sometimes it’s the small details that trip people over.

comments (0)
02/11/19
Professional Profile. 5.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:04 am


Profile: Policy & Advocacy Fellow at Society for Neuroscience


- What do you say when asked about your personal style and responsibilities?

In terms of overall work, I like to be given a project and work independently, while knowing where to go for help if needed. It’s also very important for me to know where my work fits into the overall mission of the group, and that we all work together towards a common goal- that is usually very motivating for me. I also typically enjoy being given a great deal of responsibility in my work, as I take that as a sign of trust and therefore try to achieve the goals at hand as best I can. I try to utilize these principles in my current job, where I am part of a great team and also feel that I am given enough freedom to learn, explore, and manage projects and assignments. We have plenty of meetings about various aspects of the work, which is very helpful. I enjoy the group interactions as well as the independent work.  


- Are you challenged?  What stresses you?

I’m challenged every day in the sense that I am faced with having to find something, learn a new system or vocabulary- sometimes I am challenged in terms of time constraints, other times because I am working on a task that I’ve never done before. But this also contributes to the value of this experience. I was lucky enough to be given this opportunity to be a Policy & Advocacy Fellow at Society for Neuroscience. This is my first exposure to working in a department where there is a blend of biomedical PhDs and those from other backgrounds, and first time working for a scientific society and seeing how that works, while also learning more about policy & advocacy. I enjoy being fully immersed in all the novel experiences in this position, whether they are in the office, or outside going to Hill events (which is a lot of fun!). What stresses me is sometimes the element of surprise or changing circumstances, meetings or tasks, although currently I am fascinated by everything and soaking it all in. In general, I like stability, but in some cases, especially if it’s something I am interested in and wanting to learn more about, I welcome chaos and embrace new things no matter how hectic it is, because I know it’s a tremendous learning opportunity and I feel passionate about it. I suppose a lot of how we approach life comes down to our attitude towards things- if we think that something is exciting and we are grateful for it, we will enjoy it more. I am also stressed sometimes about not knowing what comes next in my career, however from past experience, my plans don’t usually work out but something else works out which typically turns out to be even better than I could have ever imagined. So I’m trying to learn a bit of the art of “going with the flow” and seeing where my interests and passions will lead, and enjoy the process.


- Describe your title, how long you have been in your role and your most enjoyable responsibilities and tasks.

I am the Policy & Advocacy Fellow at Society for Neuroscience. I started in this role on January 2, 2019. I enjoy having variety in my day, therefore the ideal day is a combination of office work and Hill time, which is not very common (although Hill Day in March will be exciting). The idea of interacting with people outside the office during the workday for networking is really important, and I’m trying to also take advantage of living in D.C. and engage in experiences outside of work as well, because there is so much here for me to learn from and I don’t want to miss useful opportunities. In terms of specifics, I enjoy drafting letters and working on excel sheets with information, especially if I know what the goal for them is, and in particular if they are collaborative efforts. It’s exciting to contribute to a collective project in the office, but I also enjoy being out of the office to and getting some practical experience.


- How did you land your current position?  
Do you continuously keep an open
mind to changing positions?  
How long should we stay in our positions?

I had some prior science policy experience. Once I realized that I wanted to pursue this as a career path, I applied to relevant jobs that fit my background. Out of all the jobs I applied to and interviewed for, this was my favorite, so I am very happy to be in it now. I searched for and applied to jobs for some time, and in the process learned the right level of job to apply for, my application materials improved and my Skype interview skills sharpened with each conversation. This position just happened to be there at the right time, I was very excited about it (which probably showed in the process!) and it was just a really good fit overall. I was happy to learn that, when I got the position, everyone in the office unanimously voted that it should be me. I am reminded of this every day and I am really grateful for how accepting and welcoming they have been towards me since the very beginning. I’m also lucky to be in a really good working environment, which I didn’t always have. I think we should stay in our positions for as long as we are still learning and growing in them, and when it starts becoming boring and not useful, switch. We should not switch if it’s challenging, however, only if there are good reasons to do it. We should always be striving to better ourselves and thus look for that next thing that will allow us to accomplish that. The exception to this is a situation where the environment is really toxic or detrimental to our well-being, in that case we should leave it immediately.


- What do you believe aided you in being awarded your position?

I had demonstrated prior interest and passion in the area that I was looking to get hired for, and this position was a logical next step for me. I was able to articulate what I had previously learned and done, but also knew exactly why I wanted this position. I was looking for exactly this type of experience as the next step in my career. Although I had some experience with policy, I had never worked in a department like this. I work hard and I think I had demonstrated that in the past, so I came across as someone who was reliable and whom they could count on for pretty much any task at hand, which I imagine is what they were looking for. Finally, I also had the scientific background, and I believe they wanted a PhD graduate for this position, and that serves me well now as I am able to apply that background to this position. At the same time, I am also learning the policy & advocacy side of it, which is what I wanted to learn. Overall this is a win-win situation, and I think that everyone on the team is gaining from it. Plus, it is a really good working environment which is great.


- Have you refused an offer that you think you should have taken?  
What were the factors in your decision?

Not an offer. There were other potential interviews on the horizon when I decided to accept this one, and some of those were more long-term and potentially more stable as well. But this was my only offer I had at the time, and I didn’t want to wait any longer before moving in this direction, so I accepted immediately. At the time I was still toying with several options as to where I wanted my career to go, and I applied for jobs in two different directions along the same continuum. In a sense it was maybe a bit of a coin toss in terms of which one would work out first. Interestingly, I interviewed for the other type of job first, and I got pretty far in the process (I got to the in-person interview) but then ended up not getting the job, which I was very disappointed by. In retrospect, I am grateful that happened because it determined my direction towards something else that I instinctively knew was the right thing for me, and my current position was exactly that. I remember saying to a friend after I didn’t get the other job offer that it would be ideal for me to work in policy at a scientific society. I am now doing that, so it couldn’t have worked out any better!


- What opportunities and challenges do you see provide growth for you?

Right now this position is both a tremendous opportunity and challenge at the same time, and I took the job knowing that it would be both, and I need both. I haven’t entirely figured out where to go from here, but I am learning more every day about what my future interests might be and where I might want to take it, just by being exposed to various experiences. My opportunity right now is to work with people from a different background, and learn how they think about the same issue that I am bringing my scientific expertise to. This is really valuable. The challenge is that I to put myself in situations which are outside of my comfort zone. I purposely seek them out because I know they will be growth opportunities for me. Sometimes this means talking to someone I might be intimidated by, so I force myself to just go up to them and start talking! This job is definitely teaching me how to network, and I find it’s getting easier overtime. I also often seek out projects that I know nothing about but could help with, in order to gain that expertise and grow in a different direction that I might not have explored otherwise.


- What are ways that you go out of your way to expand your network?

Being in DC provides a lot of opportunities to meet people, and I find that most people are happy to have an afternoon coffee and talk about what they do. This is usually very  informative for me, and provides good practice for me in talking about my interests and goals to as many people as possible. The interesting thing is that I almost always get a different response, a new perspective, or a resource I didn’t have before. I attend some events related to work, and others on my own in particular if they are on something I am interested in (for example at the NASEM) but wouldn’t have the opportunity attend in person otherwise. I also try to go to social events related to policy work, where either peers or higher level experts would be present, and seek to meet both types of people. I find that talking with peers is helpful for practicing my pitch before going up to someone who might be more intimidating.


- What comments do you wish to make for people who are graduating or planning on moving on in the next year?

I would say that career exploration should be a constant endeavor, and not done only when you are in your last year of your PhD, for example. Don’t wait until the end to try and figure out what you might want to do. Every day is an opportunity to explore something new, and everything you do can change your career trajectory. If you work in the lab, get out and meet people, especially those from different research areas or non-scientific backgrounds, because you will learn a lot. Keep an eye out for opportunities to grow and help others in your community. Never stop learning and growing, and find opportunities that will facilitate both of these things.


comments (0)
01/21/19
Professional Profiles. 4.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:28 am
Profile:
Pharmaceutical Process Research

- What do you say when asked about your personal style and responsibilities?
I have never been asked that question but it is good question which I will prepare for my next interview.   


- Are you challenged?  What stresses you?
Yes. Working on a work visa can be stressful because you cannot plan long term for practically any aspect of your life. 


- Describe your title, how long you have been in your role and your most enjoyable responsibilities and tasks.
Research Scientist. I have been in this role for a year. The responsibilities I enjoy the most include troubleshooting the formulation and process related issues for iotech startup customers from all over the world. 


- How did you land your current position?  Do you continuously keep an open mind to changing positions?  How long should we stay in our positions?
Job interview. Yes, now that I have a better idea of the spectrum of opportunities available in my current company, I would like to branch out and learn more in the field of drug development in about a year’s time from now. 


- What do you believe aided you in being awarded your position?
My Postdoctoral advisor’s influence in the pharma industry.


- Have you refused an offer that you think you should have taken?  What were the factors in your decision?
Yes. I had to give up on an informal but direct offer from a top pharma company because the company’s policies did not allow sponsorship of my work visa. I told the R&D manager that I will go ahead and accept offer from my current company and will stay in touch with her. That was the end of the interview process. 


- What opportunities and challenges do you see provide growth for you?
The ability to interact with the experts in my field provides me an opportunity to build a long-term perspective about the pharma industry and the potential career milestones I need to be aware of. One of the biggest challenge faced by the pharma industry is their conservative approach towards the drug development process that makes the entire process more tedious and sometimes more expensive. This conservative approach provides me an opportunity to suggest scientifically acceptable cheaper alternatives. 


 - What are ways that you go out of your way to expand your network?
Attend conferences. Volunteer to take on-site customers out for lunch or dinner. Stay in touch with seniors and peers from your academic lab because you never know whom they will introduce you to. 


 - What comments do you wish to make for people who are graduating or planning on moving on in the next year  
Talk to seniors and professionals in your network before you commit to your next organization. People are usually very helpful in sharing their professional experiences.

comments (0)
01/20/19
Professional Profiles. 3.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:55 am
Profile
Field Application Scientist

- What do you say when asked about your personal style and responsibilities?

I think I am  a “people person.”  I enjoy talking about science with peers. I try to engage with customers with friendly approach, which is critical in my position as I need to develop good working collaborations with them.  I chose to become field applications scientist because I thought it would give me opportunities to communicate science without having to do it inside four walls.  As a field applications scientist (FAS) I have two main responsibilites- 1) presales-  as a technical expert help account managers to drive business in a given territory.   2) to help customers in their projects (like a consultant) after they adopt our product and train them in using it. This is where friendly approach is useful because customers then feel comfortable talking about their projects openly with me. 
.

- Are you challenged?  What stresses you?

The current job responsibilities offer many challenges with exciting opportunities. The challenging part is understanding customer needs and delivering customer centric presentations. there is always some stress when you need to convert to sale and help account managers do that. but luckily FASs are not required to close deals.
Another exciting and challenging responsibility is to stay abreast in latest scientific developments. Let it be new scientific applications for the technology or developments related to clinical trials of a new drug and how company’s product would help in that.  
.

- Describe your title, how long you have been in your role and your most enjoyable responsibilities and tasks.

I have been working as FAS for almost three years. and I currently enjoy it for aforementioned reasons. 


- How did you land your current position?  Do you continuously keep an open
mind to changing positions?  How long should we stay in our positions?

I got this position through networking with recruiters. (my previous job was also through developing connection at a scientific conference). I am open for changing positions when there is a feeling of saturation or when there are no more opportunities for growth at current position. it is important to not get into comfort zone– Growth follows if we take on new challenges.  
.

- What do you believe aided you in being awarded your position?

I think having a proactive approach during job applications helped me secure current position. for example- learning how to prepare a good resume, discussing with mentors and peers about my career interests, staying in touch with recruiters and my network.

.
- Have you refused an offer that you think you should have taken?  What were the factors in your decision?

I did refuse one Postdoc offer. It is always difficult to refuse an offer that you already accepted, but when I look back, I think I made a very good decision. That time I had another offer for Applications position. Then I considered- what my priorities are, does the postdoc position offer me ample opportunities to grow my career where i would like it to be. The applications position seemed to be fulfilling those priorities, so I made decision to refuse postdoc position. Having said that, I knew this would cause inconvenience to the PI, so I remembered to acknowledge that, apologized for the inconvenience that my decision would cause  and suggested few good candidates that were suitable for the Postdoc position. 

.
- What opportunities and challenges do you see provide growth for you?

Opportunity to work on the commercial side while keeping close contact with R&D has been very helpful. 
In addition,working for sales is quite challenging. I believe, B2B sales gives lot of opportunities to grow in career. It can develop some personal skills and gives exposure that can have major impact in career.

.
- What are ways that you go out of your way to expand your network?

I attend conference meetings, try to connect secondary connections through one on one meetings etc. 
.

What comments do you wish to make for people who are graduating or planning on moving on in the next year?


My suggestion would be to keep career options open. And If you do the same thing that you are good at, it wont open new opportunities. So be open for new ideas, skills, and opportunities. 

Also, i remember that during my job application process while at graduate school, I had to take “inside-out” approach. Meaning, i had to learn how the job market is, learn how to write a resume that is specific to the job posting, what do employers expects from applicants etc - you sell what other person wants to buy. Not to sell something that you have but the other person is hardly interested in. What I mean by this is that, in resumes, graduate students often highlight their academic achievements which industry may not care about rather than looking at the job responsibilities and what is needed. ( i remember making such mistake in my first few resumes)  
comments (0)
01/19/19
Professional Profiles. 2.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:42 am
Profile:
MSL+ Medical Science Liaison
 I have always looked ahead to what might be next-where is there a gap. That’s what will keep people employed in my opinion.
Principal Research Scientist and Technical Fellow

Professional Development Facilitator, University

- What do you say when asked about your personal style and responsibilities?
When you say “style” I immediately think of management style-I think because that’s so critical to success in a job whether you’re the manager, or you’re being managed as an individual contributor. They say people don’t quit jobs, they quit bad bosses, and in my case that’s definitely true. I stayed at a job where I wasn’t properly rewarded/recognized/compensated for many years because I had a great boss who supported me and my ideas, gave me freedom and didn’t micromanage me, and protected me from the “nasties” in the company so I could do my work without needless interruptions and political bologna. In short, I knew he had my back. That’s worth more than any amount of money. I think that understanding that everyone has a life outside of work, and certain stresses-whether they be familial, marital, health, financial, whatever-is key to being a successful manager. If you can support your employees when they need flexibility it engenders a deep sense of loyalty. And that’s part of why I stayed at that job so long!
.
Responsibilities-here what comes to mind are moral and ethical considerations when working at a large corporation. Money is the ruler of the roost. It’s not easy to stand up and shoot down a project that’s looks like an “easy win” for the business because it’s bad science or it might hurt a patient. But that’s the job of a scientist. That means there are some people who will not like you. It’s important to hold true to your moral compass when faced with bullies who are just trying to push their own agenda, collect a big fat bonus check, and be long gone before the shit ever hits the proverbial fan. Scientists and engineers tenures tend to be much longer than business partners who turn over every 2-5 years. They have a lot less to lose.
.
- Are you challenged?  What stresses you?
Challenged as in intellectually? Seldom. Interested, often. Mostly the challenging part of my work is dealing with the personalities and egos present everywhere (my own included). What stresses me out is not feeling a sense of place in a the company (not being valued) or feeling like the work isn’t valued.

.
- Describe your title, how long you have been in your role and your most enjoyable responsibilities and tasks.
Currently, MSL. About one year. Most enjoyable task is rounding with the surgeons and meeting patients who have received our therapy-there is nothing better. 

.
- How did you land your current position?  Do you continuously keep an open
mind to changing positions?  How long should we stay in our positions?
Word of mouth.

Yes.
It depends on the job, the economy and personal factors such as home life-marriage, family, ageing parents. kids in school, ability to sell a house, et cetera. You (generally) have the most freedom before you start collecting a large paycheck and take on a mortgage and family…maybe a boat or a lovely pair of horses. (LOL).
.
- What do you believe aided you in being awarded your position?
My experience and openness to move to a riskier situation.
- Have you refused an offer that you think you should have taken?  What were the factors in your decision?

Possibly-I declined an offer in Europe just out of grad school (with what was at the time Synthes, in Oberdorf Switzerland). It was a great offer but I couldn’t pull the trigger and I wasn’t sure why. Several months later my dad was diagnosed with cancer and he was dead within the year. If I had taken that job I would have missed the last months of his life. Trust your gut, even if you don’t understand it. 

- What opportunities and challenges do you see provide growth for you?
Changing to new technology platforms that are very different than what I have experience in-it changes the way you think about approaching problems and exposes you to new ways of doing things. 

Teaching and teaching others to teach-never easy. 
Service work-there are so many people who have problems we don’t know about and we may have solutions they need-it could be a great product or device to help someone. 

- What are ways that you go out of your way to expand your network?
Even when I’m tired I meet people-for lunches, or attend events they’re going to. There’s nothing as good as face time with people in your network. Keep a broad network of people older and younger than you-you can learn from both. I try to check in with people a couple of times a year and if I know they attend a specific conference plan ahead to meet up. A large network of people who you don’t know, or who don’t care about you is pretty useless in my opinion. Your network will grow over time, like a garden. If you plant too much you can’t care for any of it properly. Select and tend to relationships that you care about the most, and over time you will see the fruits of your labors. 


What comments do you wish to make for people who are graduating or planning on moving on in the next year?
Plan carefully, but once you’ve looked at all the factors don’t use your brain, use your heart. You’ll make the right decision. 



+  MSL = requires a “D” degree-so MD, PharmD or PhD. It used to be a minimum of 10 years of experience but now new grads can get these jobs. It kind of depends on the company and what they are looking to do. I honestly don’t feel super qualified to talk about MSL roles as mine is kind of odd. There is an MSL society.

comments (0)
01/15/19
Professional Profiles. 1
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:50 am

This blog entry is aimed at exposing introspection.  Asking what
are each of us are thinking and feeling.  I asked several individuals
if they would be willing to respond to a series of questions.
.

I read an article about goal setting for different personality types
recently and wish to offer an alternative vein of thought.  It starts
with WE CANNOT PREDICT THE FUTURE.  But we can learn
from experience.
.
The questions:

1. Describe your title and most enjoyable responsibilities and
tasks?

2. How did you land your current position?

3. What do you believe aided you in enhancing your candidacy?

4. What opportunities and challenges do you see to provide
growth for you?

5. What is your experience for the length of time for positions
before you see people moving on to another professional positions?

7. What are special ways in which you expand you network?

8. What comments do you wish to make for people who are
graduating or planning on moving on in the next year?

=========================
Starting with the first profile– 

Positions:  Applied Researcher, Rechargeable Batteries,
          Solar Energy, Complex Fluids for technical applications

.              Photographic Chemistry Process
Chemist, Process Safety, Scale-Up, Process Analysis

.            University Adjunct and
Professional Behaviors, Workshop & Seminar Presenter

Personal Style and Responsibilities
My chemistry career span started out with JFK’s “Let’s go to the
moon” message and it was encouraged by summer laboratory research
jobs and honors research projects before grad school.  Grad school
occurred during the Vietnam War escalation and Arab Oil Embargo gas
lines.  My early career style revolved around ‘working harder than
expected,’ experiencing many different things, and being observant for
surprises and opportunities.
.
I took in that I had to aim very high and learn from rejection.  Rejection
is not permanent.  That “No:” can often mean ‘not now.’  
.
In addition, I need to learn something more  or do something special.
So, to an observer I was an assertive, analytical go-getter who worked
through all four undergraduate years on a straight and narrow path with
purposeful objectives that evolved over my career with changing
circumstances:  family, economy, business prospects, health and longevity.
.
That personal strategy operated in a time when fellowships
were a-plenty
and research was well supported.  Economic cycles, competition from
emerging technologies and war time priorities change hiring and support.
.
Being ‘dropped’ by one firm opened my eyes to keeping options available
via professional society participation and developing other income streams
for unexpected events.

ADAPT IN MID CAREER

In my first 10 years I was an individual contributor.  I soon learned that
I needed to develop leadership,
communication, and technical breadth for
problem solving skills that employers ‘hand select’ individuals for training. 
Professional
societies and networking offered one alternate way of gaining skills.   
[Began initiatives for the company related to manufacturing efficiency
at university collaborative.  Developed and completed Six Sigma projects
as a black belt master.] 

ASK FOR HELP AND HELP OTHERS

Many times companies do not reward employees for
participating in
professional and technical societies.  Oh, they don’t [surprised?]? 
.
It was interesting that by volunteering to
support as a member-volunteer,
I learned many insider skills, met hundreds of
informative and distinguished
professionals and grew as a professional
scientist.  The more I gave, much
more
did I receive in benefits and experience.
.
The mid-career span was quite stressful with long, variable
hours, many
unexpected problems with complex causes, business challenges—take-overs,
mergers, change of managers and business objectives, and bankruptcies.
[Be thankful, express appreciation and optimism.]
.
I started interviewing for ‘other positions’ about five years
after graduate
school.  Learned thant not having the experience
and training for managing
and leadership slotted me for only entry level roles.  I perhaps stayed too long
for career  advancement purposes at my applied research positions.  That
was
my background and I did not ask for specific opportunities (Maybe I should
have.).  Staying longer in organizations does provide pensions at the end of
my life span (not a lot, but of some value.  Bankrupt company yield PPGC
insured retirement.  Otherwise, I made some poor investment decisions and
some productive ones.).

MID-CAREER DEVELOPMENTS
.
Rather than exploring permanent positions, which many of my
contemporaries chose and were successful choosing, I pursued professional
society support, participation and leadership roles in mid-career.  In one
situation, I wished to attend a conference 50 miles away
and was unable to
obtain management approval. 
I volunteered to assist workshop AV and
projection in exchange for
registration.  Soon I was offering
workshops
and offered registration, room and board compensation at meetings
around
the country, as long as I could get time off from work.
.
Another experience involved a dinner with department faculty where
they
explored offering a graduate level course. 
This led to a decade of productive
activities near the end of my career.  Dozens of former attendees, students
and
consultees have reached out for various support roles to advance their
goals.

CONCLUSIONS
.
There are few things in a technical career better than

achieving your goals.  One of them is
having your goal helping others
maximize their skills.  Another is realizing we are one of a small
group
of people  with a common thread
holding us together.   We do not know

what is in store for the future.  We can
project and guess.  There are
many people
who have freely given of themselves to me that have
made all the difference.  I want to do the same for those who follow
me.
.
Second-guessing choices:  No.  I put 110% effort into each of my 
commitments and try not to have regrets.  I have a habit of creating
back-up plans in case we need to go in a different direction.
.
Suggestions:  Volunteer for different roles and responsibilities,
especially in professional societies.
.
Study successful people and learn their habits.  Read biographies.  

Learn and adopt worthwhile habits.  Continue to develop communication
skills. in various media.       

comments (0)
12/29/18
Recommended Reading. 8.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:01 am

1  Norman E. Rosenthal,
THE GIFT OF ADVERSITY:  The Unexpected
 Benefits of Life’s Difficulties, Setbacks and Imperfections.

2.  Ray Dalio  PRINCIPLES Simon and Shuster NY 2017

3.  Edward De Bono SIX THINKING HATS; Revised and
updated Little
Brown and Company Boston 1999
 

4.  Peter Post EMILY POST THE ETIQUETTE ADVANTAGE
IN BUSINESS 
PERSONAL SKILLS FOR
PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS William Morrow 2014 

HarperCollins NY

5.  Robert Sapolsky, BEHAVE:  THE BIOLOGY OF HUMANS AT OUR
BEST AND WORST
Penguin Press NY
  2017

6.  Amy Chua POLITICAL TRIBES:  GROUP INSTINCT AND THE FATE OF
NATIONS
Penguin Press, NY 2016

7.  Sherry Turkle RECLAIMING CONVERSATION:  THE POWER OF TALK
IN A DIGITAL AGE, Penguin
NY 2015

8.  Michael Breus THE POWER OF WHEN:  DISCOVER YOUR CHRONOTYPE
AND THE BEST TIME TO
EAT LUNCH, ASK FOR A RAISE, HAVE SEX, WRITE
A NOVEL AND MORE, Little Brown and
Company NY
  2016R

9.  Daniel Pink WHEN THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF PERFECT TIMING

Riverhead Books NY 2018

10.  Malcolm Nance THE
PLOT TO HACK AMERICA Skyhorse
Publishing NY 2016

11.  Steve Sashihara, THE OPTIMIZATION EDGE:  REINVENTING DECISION
MAKING TO MAXIMIZE ALL
YOUR COMPANY’S ASSETS, McGraw Hill NY 2011

12.  Peter Bruce Andrew Bruce, PRACTICAL STATISTICS FOR DATA
SCIENTIST
O’Reilley Media 2017

13.  Malcolm Nance THE PLOT TO DESTROY DEMOCRACRACY Hatchette 2017
NY

14.  Yuval Noah Harari 21 LESSONS FOR THE 21st CENTURY,
Spiegel & Grau NY 2018

15.  Carl Zimmer A PLANET OF VIRUSES 2ND EDITION
University of Chicago
Press, Chicago London 2015

16.  Steven Brill TAILSPIN: 
THE PEOPLE AND FORCES BEHIND AMERICA’S
50-YEAR FALL-  AND THOSE FIGHTING TO REVERSE IT, Alfred
Knopf NY 2018

17.  Jaron Lanier TEN
ARGUMENTS FOR DELETING YOUR SOCIAL
MEDIA ACCOUNTS

comments (0)
12/23/18
End of Year Career Management. 2018
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 4:31 pm
Thank you for reading the NESACS Blog for Career Management
and Development.  I appreciate your interest and following.  This
blog provides independent concerns, information on career paths,
directions on professional behaviors and job search trends and
recommendations.
.
This year we outline major subject areas covered:
         Professional Behaviors
         Job Search and Resumes
         Economics and Financial Entries
 Trends
.
Professional Behavior
Ghosting, Cat-fishing and BUMMER
Hacking, Cyberattacks
Chronotypes
Decision Making
Spam Messages
Absenteeism and Illness
Timing
Job Searching and Resumes, Profiles, Letters
Digital Formats
Good Companies List
Contract Work
Changing Jobs
Conversations in Digital Age
Letters, Thank yous
Digital Profile
Search Fundamentals
Mid-Career 
Economics and Financials
Takeovers and Mergers
Harari and Future AI
Business Dominance, Meacham
Finances, Index Card
Finances, Credit Score
Business Models
Trends
Viruses
Patents
Perovskites, Statistics, DNA
MCCree, AI
Go File
Peer Review
Safety with automation and AI
1 comment
12/22/18
Professional Behavior. Terms for interviews and social media recruitment
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:48 pm

Professional responsibility requires that we have some idea of
terms that are used in relation to interviewing and internet and
social media searching.

.
“Ghosting” is a term describing applicants and current employees
who are impossible to reach in our tight job market.  As most early
career professionals now find many openings, it is incumbent on 
them to communicate and provide updated reliable contact 
information to recruiters.
While the article by C. Cutter views it from the recruiters’ perspective,
many of the comments and my experience is that companies more
often “ghost” candidates after contact and do not offer availability
to candidates.
.
Catfishing - behavior in social networks using senseless rejection, 
belittling, and sadism.  It is used by network profiteers to enact
behavior modification.
.
“BUMMER” is a term coined by Jaron Lanier who discusses the
pros and cons of social networks which are implemented to 
search of positions and inquire about employees.  BUMMER is
an acronym for Behaviors of Users Modified and Made into
an Empire for Rent.
.
BUMMER represents statistical algorithms that calculate the
chances that a person will act in a particular way.    The overall
population can be affected with greater probability than can any
single person.
.
Lanier outlines the components of BUMMER           
               A – attention acquisition leading 
               B – butting into everyone’s lives
               C – cramming content down people’s throats
               D – directing people’s behaviors in the sneakiest way
               E – earning money from letting the worst assholes secretly
screw with everyone else
               F -  fake modes and faker society

Fake people are present in unknown vast numbers as  Bots,
AIs agents, fake reviewers, fake friends, fake followers, fake posters,
automated catfishers.

About Social Media
.
Social media is based on “engagement.”

When people get a flattering response in exchange for posting
something they get in the habit of posting more.  It is the first
stage of an addiction that becomes a problem both for individuals
and society.  Significant aspects of increasing engagement include
randomness, economic
motivation without responsibility, and
adaptability. 

The benefits of networks only appear when
people use the
same platform.  [Think apple iphone, messaging, facetime,
and apps.]  Once the
app starts to work you are stuck with it. 

These are called “lock-ins” and they are hard to avoid in digital networks. 

We are carrying devices suitable for mass behavior modification.

We are crammed into online environments controlled by few
centers guided by
business models that involves finding
customers ready to pay to modify someone
else’s behavior.

New companies measure whether an individual changed their
behaviors
and the feeds for each person are constantly tweak
to get behaviors to change.

comments (0)
12/03/18
Good Companies List
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:40 pm

You know, it is hard to come up with a list of firms to
consider applying to.  Sure you can go to your placement
services, whether academic, commercial or governmental,
and see who they cite.

.
You can go to fields of specialization where previous people
from your area have landed positions.
.
You can take recommendations from mentors who may have
current knowledge.
.
As we are seeing, what is important to some people is not as
important to others.  I recall when I began my search, all I
heard was that finding a good post doc was critical after 
grad school.  Then, I had a mock interview with a mentor 
who offered a unique idea of looking for energy related 
fields (now this was in the 70s, just before the time of the 
Arab oil embargo in the US).  So when I was involved with
screening interviews, I accepted all that were offered and I 
could request.  Then part of my decision process involved
determining energy companies.
.
These days business aspects are paramount.  Which firms
have good management, philosophies and practices?  The 
WSJ determined a ranking of 752 firms using Peter Drucker’s
criteria of doing the right things well.  It is well worth taking
a look at the criteria and perhaps digging into the listing to
determine where you might search.  
.
It is true that other factors besides this play a role for each 
of us and that we need to define them– company culture,
location, specific fields of interest, and so forth.
.
When I perused the list at least half of the top 50 are technology
intensive companies and there are some firms that I had not
known before.  This is valuable and should be of strong 
interest to you.
Look at a number of the companies listed and go to their 
websites.
[Even get a copy of the 12-3-18 issue of the WSJ.]
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