The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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04/09/21
How to deal with Job Offer
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:56 am

It is the middle of the ACS meeting.

I have attended more than a dozen Zoom presentations.  Yet I need to
share the following “bright note” that struck me:
.
J. T. O’Connell, “Never do these two things after getting a low ball offer”
1.  “Don’t take a low ball offer personally.”
2.  Avoid “Reacting with AFD [anger, frustration, disappointment] 
Instead, gather your thoughts, prepare a solid response and show your
mature approach and thinking.
.
Despite the lower offer, ask for two or three days to think it over.
.
In person or over zoom or phone, respectfully thank the offerer for the
generous offer.
.
J. T. wrote:
- honored that you chose me, admire what company aspires, agree
you area good fit
- this call is hard to make, offer features do not make your
minimum mark
- do not wish to waste time, trust if you are willing to work with me
to continue the conversation
.
She outlines three outcomes, yes, no and ‘approaching yes.’
If the firm adjusts its offer, they want your value.  Come to an
agreement, that both sides can be happy with.
.
Of course, ask for things in writing.  If there are legal restraints,
seek appropriate advice to protect yourself and word it precisely.

comments (0)
02/17/21
Chemical Enterprise and Surveillance Capitalism
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:54 pm

Computers, it was reported in 2020, quantum simulated a simple
chemical reaction.

.
John Pople and and Walter Kohn were awarded the Nobel for
contributions and developing the use of computers to understand
chemical structures with quantum mechanical concepts. (1998)
.
To my knowledge little has been described about the impact of
surveillance capitalism as described by Shoshana Zuboff on
the chemical enterprise.
.
Sure, we can order chemicals using computers, manage
accounting and monitor reactions by computers, but in many
realms from politics to social physics to organizational behavior
to raw economics, surveillance capitalism is dominating 
21st century life. 
.
It is commodification of personal data.  The
extension to chemistry where data is compiled and analyzed 
with computers is only a matter of time to find applications.  
5 comments
01/31/21
Virtual Meetings and Presentations
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:09 am

Oh! My gosh!
Recent issue of CEN had a page devoted to virtual presentations.
Were you left thinking:  what about screen sharing, What about file
sharing, what about “raising hands” and other details? [CEN 12-7-20,
p. 44]

.
I recall hosting virtual presentations for a class, holding classes
virtually due to snow closing, and attending virtual conferences
for various situations and groups.
.
While I recognize many constraints on CEN publications (ads,
graphics, font size, and layout), a brief search has discovered
a nice graphic for remote work,
tips for presentations ,
do’s and dont’s 
that may aid in preparations and execution.
.
Think about the program you use– Zoom, skype, google groups
Test presentation in advance and arrange for screen sharing 
arrangement.  (If some or all information is “dense” perhaps
send out in advance or arrange follow-up arrangement, like
google doc.)
.
Use a microphone, headphone and test elements in advance
with trial audience.  Either plug in power or fully charge,
have appropriate lighting, background, privacy settings,
no interference, even some questions set up in advance.
.
Plan for an agenda, arrive early and prepared, have a
clock in eye view, consider having hard copy with post-its
attached for remarks and call-outs.  Connect with appropriate
small-talk and situational introduction.  Note the use of a
mute key and avoid using keyboard or other distraction 
elements during the presentation.  Stay on time.
.
The presentation is for the audience.  How will you monitor
attention, response and feedback?  Will you seek questions
and comments throughout or at specific intervals?  Will
it be oral, will it be visual with text, will it be photos and 
graphics?  Have titles on slides that reveals the objective.
.
Your energy plays a role.  Consider standing if it helps.
That changes the dynamics of the camera and mic arrangement.
2 comments
01/16/21
Interviewing: Robin Roberts Master Class
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:05 pm

During the Pandemic quarantining I have been taking a
number of Master Classes.  At first I chose more than
a dozen about space, science, technology and economics.

The places where I was unfamiliar with the instructor
or topics were initially less of interest.
.
Then I decided to try Robin Roberts where she teaches
effective and authentic communication.  Am I surprised
by how much I believe she has something to say and 
great communication ability!  In her 6th lesson she reveals
in her unique way best practices to succeed in job interviews.
.
Some specific take-away comments were:
.
 - “make your mess your message”
.
 - “early detection is key” [for all ailments and problems]
.
 - “proximity is power” [you can influence your success by 
being in the right place at the right time.]
.
 - “Optimism is a muscle that gets stronger with use.”
.
Normal contracts for Master Classes are a bit pricey ($150- 
185 unlimited number of classes for a year   This is my 20th
class and my wife has viewed half dozen in 6 months).  There are
reasonable cancellation policies if you wish to discontinue.
See for a realistic review.
[I have searched for ways to view just this one class and
have not discovered any.  There may be a youtube file
that you can locate, however.]
2 comments
01/10/21
Career Management. Multi-career Paths
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:10 am

An email reached me about changing career paths
[from Zackary Crockett].

.
I will try to find a viable link
This can happen to many of us who are trained as
a scientist where technology takes a
hockey-stick-like shift in what methods and areas
of expertise are favored and successful.
.
Your mindset is your key to success, I can attest.
After grad school, I desired to apply myself to an
area where “the rubber meets the road”, practical
areas–  To work in industry
.
After doing this for several decades, in electrochemistry,
applied solid state and polymer chemistry, photography,
statistics, I learned from a national lab researcher that 
later in his career he sought areas where he noticed “gaps”
where he could bring knowledge and experience to bear.
It was a deciding moment.  My targets changed.
.
One area that is not mentioned in the Crockett story is
changes in your health and outlook, as our careers 
extend and our “perceived expertise” and creativity
might not fit our roles.  Nonetheless, I recommend the
article for it may help you.
comments (0)
01/07/21
WOW Factor How to Progress in Job Searches
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:41 am

During a career discussion with a Ph.D. who is figuring out
what to do next and what it takes to succeed, we talked about
“wow” factors of candidates that separates outstanding candidates
from good, yet unprepared, candidates.  [I use this term to be
kind to unsuccessful candidates.]

.
What is the “wow” factor and how can candidates achieve it?
.
Forbes described it in a Young Entrepreneurs Council discussion recently. 
-  go the extra distance and trying new avenues pursuing goals
      Curiosity
-  developing new interests by reading and with mentors
       Enthusiasm
-  adjusting to new realities while learning from the past
        Adaptability
-  while they may not grasp the culture of the interviewer, understanding
that culture fit will not be based on real skills on paper but attitude
and assertiveness
          Culture Fit
-  being a self starter and willingness to take direction while adding
in originality
           Doing the right things when no one is looking
=  getting things done in timely basis with a profit motive
           Work Ethic
-  being humble yet having self knowledge about strengths and
weaknesses
             Strengths and weaknesses, what are you doing about it
-  be able to describe your accomplishments in perspective
.
Realize that each one of us needs a tailored elevator pitch tuned to
why you want the position and you are a good candidate.  Also,
have personal reflections revealing wow factor elements that shows
who you are by your behaviors
2 comments
12/28/20
TIP: Linkedin Use during and after Pandemic
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 4:12 pm

Read a purposeful NYTimes articel by Charlette Cowles

that point out what professionals can and should do 
in Linkedin to help you meet your goals.
In a typical fashion for community networks, she lists
this Microsoft acquisition urges members to remain
active, whatever their current and future situation.
She advises to include true representative entries
into sections– photo, skills, certifications, active
networking, practice interviews, …
See for example.. 
                            2  
                             3  
comments (0)
12/08/20
Career Management 2020.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:35 pm

Following is a summary of this year’s entries with links.

You can find 2019 Career management HERE .
TIPS   Opt-In Notification Alert
            Recommendation- Things to NOT carry with you
            Detecting Software FAKES Photos, Movies
            COVID related issues and suggestions
            Senior Checking Accounts at Credit Unions
            Recommendation:  That Used to be Us [book]
            Passport Renewal Scam Alert
            Communicating Your Science
            Job Loss Follow Up Actions suggestions
            Independent Academic Consultant suggestion
            Academic.edu suggestion
            
Chemistry Genealogy
Bromine in the 21st Century
USA Jobs.gov  Suggestion
Electrochemistry in Space
Resumes.  Objective Section Suggestion
Recommended Books. 9. 
comments (0)
11/20/20
TIP Avoid Agreeing to Opt-In Notifications
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:53 pm

Chris Krebs has gotten appropriate notoriety for being fired recently.

The notoriety is for standing up to bombastic misbehavior and
practicing strong professional leadership in the cyber command.
in issue 17 he writes,
Website publishers who sign up with PushWelcome are asked
to include a small script on their page which prompts visitors
to approve notifications.   In many cases, the notification approval
requests themselves are deceptive — disguised as prompts to click
“OK” to view video ma
terial, or as “CAPTCHA” requests designed
to distinguish automated bot traffic from real visitors.

But many users may not fully grasp what they are consenting
to when they approve notifications, or how to tell the difference
between a notification sent by a website and one made to
appear like an alert from the operating system or another
program that’s already installed on the device.

This is evident by the apparent scale of the infrastructure
behind a relatively new company based in Montenegro called 
PushWelcome, which advertises the ability for site owners to
monetize traffic from their visitors. The company’s site currently
is ranked by Alexa.com as among the top 2,000 sites in terms of
Internet traffic globally.

comments (0)
10/31/20
TIP: Things Recommended Not to Carry with you
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:58 am

Fidelity Investment  provided an appropriate list of
personal documents and card that one should not carry
around on your person.  Losing them can be more than
uncomfortable.  And, we know how anxious we feel when
we forget or lose our wallet or purse…

.
Included items on the top of my list are:
  password cheat sheet
  blank checks
  passport card
  birth certificate
 . 
Some of these are not easy to replace.  One strong recommendation
is to scan front and back of all items in your wallet or purse and store
pertinent items in a secure location where you can gain easy access
(including what to do if lost numbers and addresses).
comments (0)
10/20/20
TIP Software defects in FAKES
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:58 am

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/10/us/manipulated-media-tech-fake-news-trnd/

We need to be aware that various actors can manipulate
audio and video files for their purposes, not truthworthy.
The article helps us see how to detect defects.
Worth reading and learning.
1 comment
09/21/20
TIP COVID Related Issues Directions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:21 am

Read a timely contribution from Al Sklover, labor and 
workplace legal expert on Navigating Covid-19 related
Issues at Work.


He describes:

A. Request Information about the Workplace Safety
Measures Your Employer is Taking for Covid-19

B. Request an Exception, Modification or
Accommodation for Your Covid-19 Related Health or
Family Circumstances

C. Request Information, Forms and Procedures to
Take an FMLA Leave of Absence for Covid-19
Related Health  or Family Circumstances

D. If You are not Going Back for a Covid-19 Related
Reason, Consider Using an “Involuntary Resignation”
Letter to Preserve all of Your Options

E. If Applying for Unemployment Benefits, Explain
the Safety and/or Health Reasons You Are Not
Returning

F. If You are not Going Back for a Covid-19
Related Reason, Consider Requesting a Severance
Package

As always, Sklover’s blog contributions are most helpful.

comments (0)
09/14/20
TIP Senior Checking Accounts at Credit Unions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:35 am

We were at the last checking book for our credit union
account.  On the top of the book is a reminder sheet to
order the next checks at an email address.  So I went
through the filling the form exercise and it would charge
me more than $30 for plain checks.

.
That seemed much to high.  So I phoned the credit union
office.
.
Sandy, the representative , asked for our ages and determined
that seniors do not have to pay for new checks when ordered
through them.  I googled senior checking accounts and 
determined that this is a common practice.

.
As you approach your senior years and your parents do,
contact your credit union and ask for senior checking account
checks.
comments (0)
09/09/20
That Used to be US
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Mentoring, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:38 am

Have you heard of that book?

No, well, I am here to tell you you are missing out on a real ice-breaker
of a nonfiction written by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum.
For decades there has been a struggle between the American economy’s
desire to constantly increase productivity and the desire to maintain
blue-collar jobs.  We watched

 - as more machines and cheaper workers replaced
American manual laborers
 - as loss of blue-collared jobs were
compensated for by creating white collar jobs
 - as we see the hyper connected world
threaten white collar jobs

We do it by inventing new white collar jobs, which requires
more start-ups and better education.

EMPLOYERS SEEK
Workers who can think critically, who can tackle nonroutine complex
tasks, and who can work collaboratively with teams located locally and
globally.
Critical thinking has become the basic price of admission.  Look for
proven ability to innovate.
Innovation is more than conceptual thinking.  It comes our of working
with the problem.  Working with the materials, on the line, seeing a
problem and devising a solution.  Every employee is part of the
process of continuous innovation.
EDUCATIONAL TRANSFORMATION REQUIRES WHOLE 
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT.
Graduation from high school is not enough.

Six improvements are proposed:
1. better teachers and better principals
the quality of an educational system can not exceed the 
quality of the teachers.  A principal recruits and retains great teachers.

WE NEED A NEW EDUCATIONAL ACADEMY MODELED 
AFTER MILITARY ACADEMIES.
Great teachers make the difference.  Colorado can be a model
for educational improvement
Education needs its “Tuskegee Moment”- prove that children can
compete with the world’s best.

2. more involved parents that demand more in children’s education.
3. politicians who push to raise standards
4. neighbors who invest in schools even if their children are not there.
5. business leaders committed to raising educational standards 

FRIEDMAN AND MANDELBAUM URGE
As globalization and IT merge, expand and advance, old
categories of developed and underdeveloped will disappear.
The world will be divided between high-imagination-enabling
countries that encourage and enable imagingation and
those countries that simply fail to develop people’s 
creative capacities and abilities to spark new ideas and 
nurture their extra special features.

Add to the three R’s of education– reading, writing and arithmatic
with the three C’s–  critical thinking, effective oral and written
communication, and collaboration.


comments (0)
08/26/20
TIP Beware Passport Renewal Scam
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:50 pm

Several sites recommend looking in to your passport expiration
date.  If less than a year, now it may be a good time for there are
concerns that delays may be in store.

.
One of us was close to that timing and googled passport renewal.
She went to the site and printed the form with her data.  At the
bottom of the page was a form to pay a fee.  ALERT.  There is NO
fee for the passport renewal form DS-82!  She paid it and learned
that it was a scam.
.
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/07/avoid-international-travel-document-scams
.
Our immediate action was to contest the credit card charge (which also
had a foreign transaction fee included.  This is a further sign that it is
a bogus charge.).  Please be alert and not deceived by this.  
.
There is a fee for a new US passport and renewal.  [$110′  It is
sent to the passport renewal address.
3 comments
08/25/20
TIP Communicating Your Science
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:43 am

It is not enough to do good research on topics of interest and
importance.   You need to formulate a strategy to present your
work so that it is read by a wider  audience and referenced
as a meaningful contribution.

S. Muransky contributed a thoughtful piece on considerations
https://axial.acs.org/2017/04/24/highly-read-chemistry-research/
including:

-  attractive title”\
-  storytelling introduction providing implications 
-  broad access (I am a supporter of open-access.  Also, provide
independent links in your online presence sites to google docs,
for example.)
outreach (this is not often promoted in science communities.)
The author wrote:
“…seek out readers.  …Reach out to potential audiences…
It is important to take the time to help a general audience 
understand the bigger picture of whatever you do …social media,
local media, professional media.”
Broad outreach can yield interviews and support future attempts
to scientific collaboration and application.

  
comments (0)
08/11/20
TIP Job Loss Follow up actions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 4:58 pm

We are into the 6th month of the Pandemic that affects
all industries and the chemical enterprise, including
universities and funded research.  While I could list several
things to do,

The ACS does a creditable job in the following link.
https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/careers/jobsearch/jobloss/coping-with-job-loss.pdf
Please consider three related things regardless of what stage
your career is in?
  1.  Be prepared for a job loss or unexpected job change.  
Regularly line up your public relations documents and digital
presence.
  2.   Continue to learn new skills and expand your abilities
new and emerging areas, in-demand strength areas and areas
where you know or have been advised you need improvement.
  3.   Extend a helping hand to others.  Let them know you are 
there for them.  Work hard at it, as it is amazing how much this 
will mean no matter where you are in your career growth path.
[mentor others, offer strong recommendations, promote people
for honors, awards and honorary designations, if you are authoring
a technical journal article consider mentioning recognition of 
a teacher or mentor]
1 comment
07/15/20
TIP Independent Academic Consultant
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:39 am

NOT REAL Career Management Alert

Received an email recently that you might delete as

not in your best interests…
FROM  

mirhashah4@gmail.com via gmail.mcsv.net 


 ”Hello there,
 
Hope this mail finds you in the best of your health.
I am Mirha Shah, an independent academic
consultant. I provide assistance to higher-education
level students in the articulation of their dissertations
and thesis. I connect them with the published
scholars of their fields.

These scholars help you out in:
Moreover,….”

This is the second recent scam this blog alerts you to
be aware that it seems to be spreading at this uncertain and
potentially devastating time in our careers…
comments (0)
07/04/20
TIP Academia.edu
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:35 am
I get bombarded with you have been cited  notices
in one of my email accounts.  Then I received a half
off subscription email.  This is so common these
days, so I checked into it and share…
Is Academia Edu legit?
It is not. It is a for profit site, who managed to register the “edu”
domain name. They will take your papers (submitted for free)
then sell access to those papers to other people. They also
bombard you with “you have been cited x times” emails but
then you are blocked from seeing who cited you until you pay
a fee.
comments (0)
06/25/20
Chemistry Genealogy
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:47 pm

As mentioned in the last post, something that may be of interest
is for us chemists to learn about our heritage, our familial
heritage.

.
My Academic Genealogy follows the academic paths of my 
senior thesis adviser, Bob Alendoerfer, from SUNY Buffalo, and 
Ernest Grunwald, doctoral thesis adviser from Brandeis University.
.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/18f7-TzTzrYsf3Ro5LlaBWFQNmwsIFg6X/edit
.
My career path information is provided in the Linkedin.com
format, there.
Also, my career path found me involved in a number of
projects and departments for Esso Research/Exxon Research/
ExxonMobil and Polaroid Corporations, the University of
Connecticut Chemistry Department, and as a career
consultant/workshop presenter for American Chemical
Society.
Notable are:
Esso/Exxon   
     -Advanced Battery Project   Zinc Bromine Flow Batteries
     co-workers:  Bhaskara M. L. Rao, Paul Malachesky, Richard
                            Bellows, Tom Whitney, Augie Venero 
                                                 Lithium Ion Batteries
     co-workers:  B. M. L. Rao, M. Stan Whittingham, Bob Hamlen,
                            Joe Shropshire, Bob Thomas, Al Groman
     -Solar Photovoltaic Project:  Polycrystalline Silicon - Solar
     Power Corporation
      co-workers:  Jim Amick, Paul Maruska, Tom Feng, Amal Ghosh
      -Shear Thickening Fluid Technology for Oilfield Problems
      co-workers:  Don Siano, Evelyn Drake
Polaroid           
       Negative Manufacturing:  Silver Halide Emulsion Production
       co-workers:  Ed Brandenburg, Bob Woeller, Mike Riebe,
                             Mary Viola 
                                                  Lafayette Project
       co-workers:  John Cabral, Jackie Pires, Jack Horrigan, Nimi
                              Natan, Sandy Levine, Don Preissler
                                                  Six Sigma Projects
       co-workers:  Chuck Page, , Brad Pires, Barry Mahoney,
                             Freeman Chen, Emil Cuiczak, Mike Young,
                              Bonnie Ferreira, Project Bridge Teachers
                                                   Health, Environmental And Safety
        co-workers:  Dick Chandler, Dave Morreale, Mike Walters,
                              Sean Riley, John LeFevbre,  Tony Pisano, Dick
                               Chutoransky  
University of Connecticut
       Department of Chemistry
        Colleagues. collaborators:  Amy Howell, Steve Suib, Patrick
                               Gordon, Doug Adamson, Marisha Godek, 
                               Chris Eustace, Brenda Eustace, Lisa Balbes 
                               Emilie Hogrebe                               
1 comment