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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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03/15/17
Profeessional Behavior. Interview questions and post Interview Negotiations
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring
Posted by: site admin @ 4:37 pm

Yahoo had an appropriate article by Maria LaMagna
about the  consequences of lying in an interview when
asked how much you currently make.

This could happen in various interview formats…
screening, on-site, wrap-up with HR, or during
salary negotiations.   Preparation and research
are key.

In all cases tell the truth, as they may ask you to produce
a pay stub.  Alternatively it is fair to ask what is their
purpose. 
I feel it is appropriate to  state that salary is one
component of an overall compensation package.
While it is a gauge on your value to the company,
it is fair to point out that other factors may be equally
important to you…vacation, citizenship work papers,
insurances, location, travel requirements, etc.

1 comment
03/14/17
Change is “in the air.” Yuval Noah Harari
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:30 pm

What is my future like?  many are asking as we face an
uncertain future.  It seems as this was the case decades ago,
but it is more uncertain now.

What is the reason?  What are the drivers?
Harari has something to say about this.  Look at his TED Dialog
discussion.
.
1.  We have lost “our story”.  The narrative that describes modern 
life in the 21st century is not what previous generations’ stories 
were.  This is one of the major roots of upheavals seen around the 
world.
.
2.  Technology is bringing people together in many ways while
it separates us into many many subgroups.  The wealthy, in
information-rich positions, influence the decisions of authorities
and will take advantage enhancing  income mal-distribution. 
.
3.  National priorities have no connection to reality in many global
issues.  Job loss, despite all the rhetoric,  is not as strongly
influenced by immigration as it is by robots, algorithms and AI.
.
4.  Political leaders have very little influence to do good.  They
have great influence in doing bad and it is usually not one
individual responsible, because there are many supporters and
people of influence.
.
See some of the reviews of Harari’s work bring up several other
disconnects we observe and may not easily explained.  Knowing
what Harari describes 
allows you to define for yourself
the meaning of joy, satisfaction, happiness and help.
comments (0)
03/10/17
Visas. EB-1, EB-2, TN
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:15 am

Two recent communications provided thoughts for this
post on the complex visa issues facing international
technical professionals.

.
CASE.  EB-1, EB-2
One was from Southeast Asia who earned a Ph.D. and worked
as an industrial post-doc before accepting a permanent position.  
She learned that her firm was closing its doors and landed a
technical position at a leading international firm.
.
It was a positive experience for more than a year as her
direct manager and senior technical professional mentored
her through the politics of the product development group.
Unfortunately he is no longer there.
.
She finds that the work is challenging and a positive experience.
However, there are “people challenges” that are hard to work
through.  How long should she stay and what goals should she
set?
.
Pressure seems to be building up with the challenges.  We talked
about retaining benefits (401k, bonuses, promotions in title) 
seeking her working visa, and long term ambitions if things turn
out perfectly.
.
She pointed out that if she knew what she knows now, she
would pursue an employment attorney.  This attorney offers a 
free assessment of her case and guarantees if she self applies
for an EB-1 or EB-2, there is a money back guarantee.
.
CASE.  Canadian Visas
A second conversation was with a Canadian professional
working in the US as a post-doc.
Canadians are allowed to visit the US for up to six months 
(
182 days) per calendar year. Nationals of other countries
are allowed only 
90 days. You can accumulate those
days by one long trip, or an aggregation of several short ones.
.
The nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TNvisa allows
citizens of Canada and Mexico, as NAFTA professionals,
to work in the United States in prearranged business
activities for U.S. or foreign employers. Permanent residents
of Canada and Mexico are not able to apply for 
TN visas 
to work as NAFTA professionals.

.
$50 for the filing fee and $6 for I-94 fee. Pay at the border
at the time of applying for the TN Visa. Total Cost by Mail
 = 
$325 for Form I-129. See the USCIS website for the
latest fee amount.

.
Current U.S. laws and regulations say that Mexican and
Canadian citizens can stay in the U.S. in TN status for periods
up to 
three years. Even better, TN workers are supposed to
be able to extend their stays indefinitely, in three-year
increments, so long as they satisfy the requirements under
the TN program.

.

As a Canadian citizen hoping to work in the US, there are multiple
options that are available to you. Some relevant work-related visas
include:

  • HB-1 Visa-this option is available to individuals who at least
    hold a bachelor’s degree. The employer would have to agree
    to sponsor you and should file the appropriate paperwork on
    your behalf.
  • E1 or E2-if the business you plan to work for is 50% owned
    by nationals of your home country and it trades and invests
    in the US then this could be another option for you.
  • O Visa-if you have proven substantial contribution to areas
    such as education or science you may be eligible for this type
    of visa.
  • L Visa-this type of visa may be an option if you have
    worked for a company for at least a year and then wish to
    pursue employment in the US under another branch of the
    same business.
  • Green Card-if you have a master’s degree or work in a
    position that requires it, you may be eligible to apply for
    a green card to continue working in the US.

As you can see, there are various avenues you could take to achieve
your desired results. To better understand your options and to select
the appropriate option, you should contact an immigration
attorney. 
Keep in mind, many of these processes take time to complete, so
you we want to be sure to choose the best option.

1 comment
02/27/17
Watch-Outs. 101. Economics influences, Spectroscopy in Archeology, Genomics / MS linking Gum disease to Arthritis
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:25 pm

In a blog we summarized three posts on Economics that are
critical to understand Rana Faroohar’s book Makers and
Takers.  A fourth entry went into “black elephant”
events which are very unlikely negative events that everyone
can see but feel that they cannot do anything about.
We point out here a video narrated by Matt Damon,
Inside Job” that is must see for everyone.

A second item is a very interesting piece about using 
spectroscopy on archaeological artworks.

Finally GENomics contained a piece about evidence
that a bacterium known to originate gum disease also
triggers rheumatoid arthritis using Mass Spec.

BLACK ELEPHANT - “Inside Job”
[available on Netflix] Many of us were directly or indirectly
affected by the financial turmoil of the 2000s.  Downsizing,
lower profits, stagnant economy, job loss, hard to find a new
position.
We think we have gotten out of that mirth, but this video
suggests we have only seen the beginning of it as 
nothing has been done to the perpetrators [Greenspan,
Paulsen, Bernanke, Summers, Fuld, Fed, the Huge
Wall Street Investment banks], the federal bureaucracy,
and the regulators.  They are still in an inept situation
with more to come.  
We only see things second hand and we need good leadership
to throttle the flow and trajectory.

 SPECTROSCOPY DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY IN 
ARCHEOLOGICAL STUDIES
SOURCE:  Biblical Archeological Review Mar/Apr 2017
T. R. Hanneken, Digital Archeological’s New Frontier.

The spectral signature of a pigment in one region can
be distinguished from a pigment with a similar appearance
from a different region.  Archaeological application devises
new techniques– low angle “raking”, reflectance
Transformation imaging and InsciptiFact Digital Image
Library which incorporates texture, color and non-visible
characterization of archeological pieces.
.
PROTEOMIC ANALYSIS LINKS ARTHRITIS TO GUM 
DISEASE
SOURCE:  GenEngNews 1-15-17 Proteomic Analysis used
to link RA to Gum Diseas
e
There has been a clinical association between periodontal 
disease and RA (arthritis) and both diseases triggered by the
same factor. Aggregatibacter Actinomyecetemconmitans
induces citrullinated proteins detected by mass spec.
Bacterial secretion of a toxin to kill host immune cells which
allows a flux of calcium  thus activating an enzyme that
promotes hypercitrullination. 
comments (0)
02/24/17
Career Path Choices. Preferences, Luck and Skill
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:28 am

This week we talked about what is valued and sought for in

individuals when they seek different career paths.  Then we
began a two part discussion of soft  2 [listing in comments],
hard and wise skills that benefit professionals.
We pointed out that much of our life is quite unpredictable
and that what we start out wanting, doing and behaving 
changes throughout our life.  An interesting piece in Quartz
reported on statistical data where in the past we could reflect
on anecdotal instances in changes.
In the short term there remains a consistency in our wanting
doing and behaving, however.  Here we might pose that Luck
and Skill arbitrate on what happens in our careers.
CAREERS  =  LUCK  +  SKILLS
                        LUCK = preparation + opportunity + attitude
                                       + action
                                                         / Hard
                                          SKILLS  -Soft
                                                         \ Wise
We suggested it is useful to set objectives, develop a plan
to achieve them and look for opportunities to be and act
professionally along the way.  Build your committed network,
ask for help, create and learn from “teachable moments”,
continuously learn, and be optimistic.
Two pieces of feedback from our class offered questions–
1- how can I network better?  What should I learn and practice?
[understand your current personal values, behaviors and emotional
make-up;  small talk, understand others’ make-ups and adapt
to achieve win-win outcomes] 
2-  it seems like the skills you list are just things to trick people on.
What is the basis for each item on the list, they wondered.
[real life often is a series of unpredictable events with little time
to think.  Thus our habits will determine our behaviors.  We wish
to figure out what our habits are modify them to be more effective.]
It is hard for some to learn that professional work is strongly
influenced by our cultural, personal and value-based habits.
It is often the case that how you do something is as important as
the outcomes that you achieve.  Sometimes the result is “pure 
luck” but as we know we “create much of our luck”.
comments (0)
02/19/17
Resume. Qualifications Statements.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Public Relations docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:47 pm

A question came in:
“Hi Dan,

Can you tell me again the differences (e.g. particular years’
experience) between adept, skilled, proven track record in and
proficient? Thanks.
Regards,”
RESPONSE:
These “lead in” phrases are common introductions into
skill qualifications and Highlights section of a resume. 
 - adept;   a person who is skilled or proficient at something.
they are adept at kung fu and karate”
adept, expert, good, practiced, proficient, skillful, skilful(adj)

 - Proficient  having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude

 - Proven track record is last and only relates to things like sales,
managing projects where you have metrics to describe the results- 
budget, time, results, people.
 - Experienced in can be used for software or running equipment.
When you do more- design, develop, implement, and solve
problems with, Experienced is not strong enough.

 It is a sign of low skill to repeat the same one more than once. 
That is why we have several to choose

Hope this helps.
Regards,
Dan

Additionally under unique situations certain individuals can be
“experts in…”.  Daniel Levitin has written about who can be
described “expert” in “A Field Guide to Lies...”:

The term expert is normally reserved for people who have
undertaken special training, devoted a large amount of time to
developing their expertise (e.g. MD, pilots, musicians, athletes.)
and those whose abilities or knowledge are considered high
relative to others’.
As such, expertise is a social judgment and relative.  …

Expertise also falls along a continuum.

Individuals with similar training and levels or expertise will not
necessarily agree with one another, and even if they do, these
experts are not always
right.

Experts are often licensed, or hold licensed degrees, or are
recognized by other authorities.

In science, technology and medicine experts’ work appears
in peer-reviewed journals or on patents, recognized with
awards, running or starting a company or amassing wealth.


Expertise tends to be domain-specific and typically
narrow.
comments (0)
02/10/17
Professional Behavior. Winter Travel and Communication
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 10:05 am

It is that time of year again.  Remember the challenges last year?

We learned about negotiating with hotels and airlines to minimize
the impact of east coast snowstorm causing travel hiccups.  Maybe
I was overconfident when it happened again this year.
With two presentations planned for Pittsburgh on Friday and
Saturday I booked flight and hotel leaving Thursday and returning
Sunday.  The storm struck Thursday cancelling flights.  I should
have looked at the path and factored in leaving earlier, say one day
in the week, arriving Wednesday.
SWA was helpful in allowing my one day later flight enabling me
to arrive in Pittsburgh to partially be able to meet my commitments.
However, it never occurred to me that the plane I was to fly out
on Friday am needed to arrive Thursday.  It did not.  So my flight
Friday morning was cancelled just like Thursday morning due to
the storm.
Now I had to cancel hotel reservations and work with my colleagues 
at the other end to determine what could go on in my absence.
Expedia was willing to help.  First with changing the initial plans
from a 3-night stay to a 2-night stay.  Then, cancelling the reservation
due to weather created flight cancellation.  But, I had to provide all
information 
that Flight 622 was cancelled on Thurs. and Friday
due to the plane not arriving and there was no substitute available
that was available. 
Lessons:  Possible storm caused delay or cancellation of flight–
change my reservation to leave one day earlier, not later than when
the storm hits.  
              You can not get charged for room if you have all the facts
at 
hand when you call to cancel the hotel reservation.
               Have all the cell phone numbers ready to call to deal with
the 
situation promptly.  Call as early as you can to avoid last minute
surprises.
comments (0)
02/05/17
Linkedin Updates. Dennis Brown Suggestions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:03 am

 From Dennis Brown:

Ideas 5 and 8 are applicable.  Remember online marketing is
the current state of the art.  Job seekers can use this tool 
for “push Marketing.”
  use of keywords
  involvement in groups
  online presence
  links 
  connection to “hubs
comments (0)
01/31/17
Small talk suggestions. Patrick King tips.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job
Posted by: site admin @ 4:10 pm

Reading a book that you may wish to get your hands on.

That is if you are interested in improving your “small
talk” skill.
I know I am.  So let me tell you more.  I am visiting several
friends and new acquaintances and am looking at how I can
improve my “connectability.”  We have brought up the critical
nature of this “co-curricular” practice”.
Patrick King wrote “The art of witty banter…” that offers
ideas that are encapsulated in three acronyms for different
circumstances.

HPM                         SBR                          EDR
draws on memory,    focused on topic       focused 
experiences and                                          on exploring
opinions
focused on you
History -                    Specific                     Emotion

Philosophy                Broad                         Details

Metaphor                  Related                       Restatement 

==========================================
H
   reply to comment
using personal experiences on a topic
this reminds me of…
what a coincidence…..

  personal stance on a topic
I always enjoyed….

M
   metaphor
there was a famous quote ….
this allows for a subtle change of topic
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

S
  ask to go deeper, more specific

B
  ask to springboard into subtopics

R
  explore into tangential topics
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

E
   It seems to me you feel ….  You are…. Other people’s emotions

D
   define the details
what were they wearing…
how was the weather…. How did you deal with it…

R
   employ 5 Ws to complete a restatement
is this what you mean?….

comments (0)
01/25/17
Entrepreneurs. Nonobvious trends and CCA Cooperatives
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:12 am

One of the requests from one of the new students is “how
to get involved in entrepreneurial ventures.”  It got me to
thinking about things we could bring up.

Two interesting concepts that we can point out is Nonobvious
2017 and Cooperatives for entrepreneurs.
Rohit Bhargava gives thoughtful tips on 
finding nonobvious 

trends
before they take off.  This is something that should 
interest entrepreneurs.  He suggests ideas for trend curators:
 - be curious:  ask why, continuously be in learning mode
 - be observant of the small details of organization
 - attend to various ideas and hold back from fixating
 - pause and think through things;  avoid jumping to results
 - be elegant in expressing things

Riding on a flightI learned about CCA Global Partners which

has a remarkable corporate mission and business model to help
entrepreneurs.  The web site boasts more than ten divisions
of fields they enhance by bringing folks together involved
in related enterprises.
Sometimes seeing what works in one field helps progress
in your area.
 
comments (0)
01/15/17
Watch-Outs. 100. Negotiation insight, Title IX-Parental Leave, Continuous Personal Development
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Leadership, Mature professionals, Technicians, Legal matters, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:19 pm
INTERVIEWING AND NEGOTIATIONS
MONEY12-2016  Trends in 2017 (Job Market)
In negotiations it is not unusual for you to be asked
“How much do you make now?” and Something 
like, “What are your salary expectations?”
.
Recent ideas have materialized into legislation in
MA where it is no longer legal to ask about salary
history for in-state positions.  Note, too, that a later
paragraph states the law takes effect in 2018.
.
The article offers a response to the salary query–
“.. personal practice to keep salary confidential, as
my research has provided employers compensate
qualified employees with a salary between $xx
and $xy, and your being a leader I would not be
surprised to hear from you in the upper portion of
that range.”
.
PARENTAL LEAVE GRAD STUDENTS, POST-DOCS
L
inda Wang CEN 1-2-17, P. 23-4 PARENTAL LEAVE
Let me shout out about Linda Wang’s meaningful
article in the first issue of 2017 CEN on parental leave.
With the continuing trend of very long graduate
school tenures followed by one or more post doctoral
stints those wishing the fulfillment of family life
either learn too late that certain people or organizations
frown on or discourage distractions from their goals.
I dare say there can even be blacklisting or not offering
strong recommendations as noted in 
Mason’s fine
article on Title IX
.
CONTINUOUS PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
What can we do to remain employable throughout
our careers?  We do not think about that until often
it is too late.  It is in the present that we carry out our goals.
You should choose positions that provide personal satisfactions
day-to-day so you stick with it.  Engage in activities that 
have outcomes that coincide with your personal longer
range goals.
.
Early on in your careers you should realize that doing the 
same things over and over is self limiting.  You need to 
bring to bear what is emerging in the larger employment 
market (artificial intelligence, computation, robotics) and
seek out and complete career focused education, experiences
and certifications.  The Economist highlighted observations
and some trends.  (1)Self examination leading to Curiosity
is critical to continually learn and
(2) knowing your learning style and adapting content to
meet your style for long term application and near term
demands is your responsibility.  
Large questions remain, namely,
(a)does the training and knowledge get recognition and
reward for the time and expense?  
(b)Will there be experiences, skills and abilities that will
be useful where I am now and/or in other organizations?
.
ACS seems to have a working model for continuous
education and needs constant input for what would benefit
members.  How can we better offer soft skill development?
is one specific area, for example.


comments (0)
01/10/17
Resume Trends seen in 2017
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:38 am

While many observations are continuing themes, the
following should be noted before newer items:

  1.  Avoid formal pre-built cut-and-paste templates.  
Although reviewers do seek out specific sections and,
importantly, keywords.
   2. Apply for each position with a specifically tailored
document that is truthful and consistent with other
online documents. 
   3. Avoid over highlighting, overuse of caps and
different typefaces and colors.  
Use black and font sizes 11-14 without serifs.
   4.  Make your resume scannable, reverse chronological
order.  Some sites may have specific formats required for
submission.  Check in advance.
   5.  In US, avoid personal information not pertinent to
the position…birthdate, national origin, religion, hobbies, etc.
.
HEADING.  
-  include Linkedin and twitter addresses
-  advise using gmail or hotmail email, rather than university
-  clean up or make facebook and/or other personal accounts
private.  They will be searched.
-  on line presence is becoming your resume
.
QUALIFICATIONS
-  include specifically relevant skills for your field and position.
-  soft skills are of questionable relevance
-  There is an open debate about using Objective section.  It can
be valuable  early in your career, with little experience, or if you
are changing career paths.  
Different kinds of positions look for different pieces of
information that characterizes your key attributes that qualify
you for the opening, like summary, profile and highlights.
.
EDUCATION
-   cut out unnecessary information.  provide schools relevant to
the application… degree granting institution, major and year. 
Linkedin may provide fuller listing.  Your goal here is brevity and
relevance.
-   guideline is generally 1 page for each 10 years.  No more
than 2 pages.
.
EXPERIENCE, HONORS, AWARDS, AFFILIATIONS
-   these reveal accomplishments, the key measures supporting
your second section and your candidacy.
.
So many times we see over-the top adjectives and the expectation
that degrees and publications are qualifications.  I found
jobscan.co an interesting tool to compare what ATS might find
when scanning your resume.
.
I have seen some newer formats, but have not seen whether
they have been generally accepted.
1 comment
01/04/17
Critical Thinking and Reading 2017
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 10:39 am

`How do you figure out appropriate information that is important
and verifiable, relating to your interests and goals?
.
We can subscribe to publications.  Does that provide what you need?

We can view broadcast media or skim Flipboard or other “news
aggregators” or subscribe to twitter feeds for our philosophy matching
sources.
.
We all have limited time and viewerships.
.
I offer three critical things
- Ask good questions,
- Set your short and longer term goals
- Pay attention to “cognition
.
ASK GOOD QUESTION
A good question is not concerned with a correct idea.
A good question cannot be answered immediately.
A good question challenges existing answers.
A good question is one you badly want answered once you
    hear it, but had no
inkling you cared before it was asked.
A good question creates new territory of thinking.
A good question reframes its own answers.
A good question is the seed of innovations in Science,
    technology, art,
politics, and business.
A good question is a probe, a what-if scenario.
A good question skirts on the edge of what is known and not
    known, neither
silly nor obvious.
A good question cannot be predicted.
A good question will be the sign or an educated mind.
A good question is one that generates many other questions>
A good question may be the last job a machine will learn to do.
A good question is what humans are for.

GOALS- Think through your “purpose”
   1- Do you like what you are now doing?
   2- What do you feel and think you want to do?  Like is not
enough.  Purpose is about setting up a direction and a path
and pausing and allow back up plans and ideal case formulation.
   3- Can you do what you want?  Know the difference between
your wants and what you are competent at.  Understand your
priorities and values and your organization’s priorities and values.
   4- Have you define your next and following steps involving
awareness, action and accountability
   5- Who can you depend on for good, reliable advice?  Who
will tell you the truth without involving their personal interests?
   6- What are you willing to re-pay, offer up and return?
   7- What do you to learn or gain experience in?

COGNITION
It is useful to consider the words we use.  ’Truth’ is most often
not strictly absolute, black and white.  Yet there are certain words that
do not trigger the outcomes we desire.
NEED  very few things “need” to get done.  OFFER, maybe, WHAT
DO YOU THINK ABOUT… or HOW DOES THIS SOUND…
CAN’T  you probably can.  In reality, there are multiple or opposing
“can’s”
 EASY  This is a way to describe other people’s jobs. Notice how
many times that speak about their jobs as easy.

“Cousins” of these words are everyone, no one, always and never.

1 comment
12/27/16
Job Polarization, Black Elephant events and Cognification
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:34 pm

It is amazing to realize the rapid changes in career
management factors we face.  Psychology, economics and
computer-automation-robotics-artificial-intelligence-and
-inference are longer term factors for our careers.  

Let me list some specific examples:
.
ROUTINE TASK AUTOMATION 
Computer capital supported by financialization (where highly
leveraged loans to automate functions with software and 
robotics ) puts middle skilled workers in precarious straits.
[Read:  recent graduates with no experience or internships.]
.
Those who do non-routine work (low-paid, unskilled and
richly paid, highly skilled) are in demand.  We see this Job
Polarization in many situations with supporting elements 
being stagnating wages and reallocation of roles from 
specialization to variety of roles with less specialization.
.
Thanks to advances in deep learning and AI, computers can 
perform not only manual but also cognitive tasks better and
faster than humans.  This augers the result that highly trained
specialists are replaced by internet enhanced software, a
specific example is radiologists since much of their work
are “routine cognitive tasks.”
.
BLACK ELEPHANT SITUATIONS
In my day it was the Arab Oil Embargo that set us in a path
for alternate energy sources, energy independence and electric
vehicles.
.
Tom Friedman in his recent book Thanks for Being Late. wrote:
” A black elephant is a cross between a black swan, a low
probability, unanticipated event with enormous ramifications–
and the elephant in the room, a problem that is widely visible to 
everyone, yet no one wants to address, even though we
absolutely know that one day we will have vast, black-swan-like
consequences.”  Ocean acidification is an example.
.
Black elephant events can provide a once in a lifetime opportunity 
or the end of the line for industries (think chemical photography), 
companies, and directions in our careers.
.
 COGNIFYING AND CONTINUOUS LEARNING
Adding AI to various tasks enables us to do more at lower cost and
higher efficiency.   Add AI to laundry to tell washing machines to
adjust to the contents of each load as directed by the clothes (sensors).
.
AI added to chemistry can aid discoverability and optimization by 
performing virtual experiments to reduce the number of lab
experiments to reach a goal.  Think of the way Netflix and Kindle
come up with customer recommendations.
.
This is cognifying.  All cognition is specialized.  In this continuous
learning process we need to work with AI and robots and let
these tools take our routine tasks and help us dream up
new work that matters.  There are four classes of jobs:
.
1.  Jobs humans can do, but robots can do even better.
highway driving, tax preparation, routine x-ray analysis,
pre-trial evidence gathering, etc.
.
2.  Jobs humans cannot do, but robots can.
remote locations, hazardous environments, monitoring,
then signalling an alarm.  Jobs that would not be done without
robots and sensors.
.
3. Jobs we did not know we wanted done.  
.
4.  Jobs only humans can do– at first. 
creativity (on what we should do), new situations, one of a
kind roles.
Our human assignment should be to keep making jobs for
robots and software.
comments (0)
12/20/16
Undergraduate Resume Review
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 2:52 pm

HL and I had an interesting discussion about a job
application for a pharma position.  We arranged the
position via email where we asked and sent draft resume,
musts-and-wants and the job description.

It is important to realize that each cover letter, resume
and contact network association needs to be targeted
and properly researched and framed
.

What kind of position is being pursued?
What specific skills or experiences will be expected?
What are your specific skills/ experiences that may apply?
Who do you know who might help and provide a reference?

The position seeks BA/BS with some senior research
experience or an MS.  The skills sought are LC, MS and
working with bioassay prep and data analysis.

It is a stretch to have a senior undergraduate having
these, but our discussion proved that HL had good
experiences that could be of  interest.  HL had done
a semester of undergraduate monomer synthesis research
in junior year.  Quite interestingly, HL had completed a
semester research abroad where detailed discussion
revealed working with and troubleshooting LC-MS and
data integration systems for study of metal binding to
synnuclein.

It is now a challenge to create a document that points
out the specific instruments and work done both abroad
and as a junior.  What keywords were used in the job
description?
  Find a way to articulate HL’s work using
those or comparable terms.  Experienced reviewers will
 notice!
We talked about the big difference in working in a
research lab where things constantly go wrong or need
maintenance and calibration compared with doing an
analytical course lab experiment where everything is
pre-ordained and set up.

Then we spoke about another element– who were HL’s
references?  Has HL spoken to them about interest in
the position?  Can each one of three provide “good
references?  Does the reference know anyone at the
firm?  Can HL get to meet or speak with the possible
network referral to learn more about the position, hiring
manager, and company situation?

Does HL have a quality Linkedin page?  Let’s look.
What will be critical things to provide realizing the
first use might be for this LC-MS bioassay role?
What keywords, content and organization should the
Linkedin profile have?

What started out as a request for a resume review, morphed
into
 - job description study,
 - revising a draft resume highlighting key experiences
 - critically thinking through references and the roles they
assume (and, also including a reference list in the PR
submission
)
 - critically thinking that a professional presence is
expected (Linkedin profile and working on that)
 - outlining and drafting a cover letter for submission
 - seeking out people who could be referrals for the
position application; 
six other important steps.

comments (0)
12/15/16
End of the Year Career Management. 2016
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:52 pm

Three top line topics have appeared this year:
1) Evolving trends in technical careers
2) Professional Behaviors that can help you
3) High Need for New Division in ACS– Economics
and Chemistry [Not only short periodic webinars that
are at 30,000 foot level and CEPA] 

*Trends in Technical Careers   
   Protein Binding, Quaternary Structure, Thorium Reactors
   Drug Resistance, Crowdsource Funding, Teamwork in High Risk Goals
   New forms of Light, Epidemiology, Cell research  
   Photonics and Si-C chemistry
   Omics, Panomics
   Optics, Spectroscopy and Miniaturization

*Professional Behaviors
   -Learning to Say “No”
   -Listening Skills          Activities of a Listener
                                        Focus elements
   -Trust                           Highest form of Motivation
                                        Elements of Communication  
   -Ethics                          Legal elements
                                        In Decision-making

*Economics and Chemistry
    New Division Proposal
    Need for “Forecasting”
    Superstar Organizations
    Financialization

 

comments (0)
12/13/16
Preparing for Decision-Making. Ethics
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 10:31 am

Reading a blog entry by B. Perlmutter, reminded me of
a section in the second class of our Professional Development
class.  What I like about it is that he  creates a nice context
and story about factors we need to consider in making
decisions. 

Our class offers fewer steps and a template to consider
classroom exercises that students might face now and
will possibly face in the future.
Template steps:
1  determine the facts
2  identify the stakeholders
3  identify the ethical choices
4  make a decision
5  double check the decision

Perlmutter frames his process and story in terms of situations
and risks to reputations in a golf tournament.  Early in his
ethical process, he points out recognizing ethical problems,
even before knowing the stakeholders, interests and
alternatives. 

At first, this order of process steps is not one better than
another but a different perspective about something
scientists and engineers are not often trained to think. 
Ethics can be ambiguous and relative.  In Perlmutter’s
perspective, ethics needs to be considered earlier.  I
think this can be good and a point of emphasis.

Not long ago, this blog offered a legal perspective of
ethical decision-making
.  It appears different than the
first two in that it asks questions about legality,
reputation and consistency with values.

We need to understand that different people will
make a case for processing their thinking.  Forni
I think states it best and has me thinking Perlmutter
says it best for me.  Forni  outlines the urgency to
develop and place good thinking habits as
a priority.  Good thinking makes having thought,
having thought leads to a wider range of viable
choices;  Good choices offer the chance for good
decisions that lead to a good life that lead to
happiness. [paraphrased].

Perlmutter’s process is documented in the
comment.

2 comments
12/06/16
Recommended Reading. 6.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:57 am

Previous years’ lists
  Recommended Reading. 5.
  Recommended Reading. 4.
  Recommended Reading. 3.
  Recommended Reading. 2. 
  Recommended Reading. 1.

.
This year I will attempt to link readers to discussions of some of the
books that follow in this blog.
1.  Ed Catamull, CREATIVITY INC. OVERCOMING THE UNSEEN
FORCES THAT STAND IN THE WAY OF TRUE INSPIRATION 
RandomHouse NY 2014
.
2.  Robert Gates, A PASSION FOR LEADERSHIP, AA Knopf, NY  2016
.
3.  Brene Brown, RISING STRONG Spiegel and Grau, NY, 2015
.
4.  David Livermore, THE CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE
DIFFERENCE: MASTER ONE SKILL YOU CAN’T DO
WITHOUT IN TODAY’S GLOBAL ECONOMY, American
Management Association, NY 2011
.
5.  Elizbeth Charnock, E-HABITS THAT YOU MUST DO TO
OPTIMIZE YOUR PERSONAL DIGITAL PRESENCE
, McGraw Hill
NY 2010
.
6.  Alan M. Webber, RULES OF THUMB:  52 TRUTHS FOR
WINNING AT BUSINESS WITHOUT LOSING YOURSELF
,
Harper Business, NY, 2009
.  
7.   DanAriely PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL, , Harper Collings
Publisher, 2008 Revised and Expanded Edition:  The Hidden Forces
that Shape our Decisions  
.
8.  Charles Duhigg SMARTER FASTER BETTER: THE SECRETS OF BEING
PRODUCTIVE IN LIFE AND BUSINESS, RANDOM HOUSE, NY, 2016
.
9.  Daniel J Levitin THE ORGANIZED MIND THINKING
STRAIGHT IN THE AGE OF INFORMATION OVERLOAD,
Dutton, NY 2014
.
10. Tom Vanderbilt, YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:  TASTE IN AN
AGE OF ENDLESS CHOICE
, Alfred Knopf, NY, 2016
.
11. Chris Voss NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE: 
NEGOTIATING AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT


HarperCollins 2016
.
12. Robert Colville, THE GREAT ACCELERATION:  HOW THE
WORLD IS GETTING FASTER, FASTER  Bloombury London NY 2016
.
13. Zackary Berger MAKING SENSE OF MEDICINE: 
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN DOCTOR GUIDELINES

AND PATIENT PREFERENCES,
Rowman & Littlefield Lanham  2016
.
14. Kevin Kelly NEW RULES FOR THE NEW ECONOMY
RADICAL STRATEGIES FOR A CONNECTED WORLD, 
Penguin Australia 1998
.
15. Kevin Kelly THE INEVITABLE:UNDERSTANDING THE 12
TECHNOLOGICAL FORCES THAT WILL SHAPE OUR FUTURE
,
Viking NY 2016  2  
.
16. Joseph Ellis, THE QUARTET:  ORCHESTRATING THE
SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1783-1789, Knopf 2015
.
17. American Heritage, A SENSE OF HISTORY FROM THE
BEST WRITING FROM THE PAGES OF AMERICAN HERITAGE,
Houghton Mifflin,, Boston, 1985  
.
18. Rana Foroohar MAKERS AND TAKERS THE RISE OF
FINANCE AND THE FALL OF AMERICAN BUSINESS,
 
Crown Business NY 2016
.
19. Thomas L. Friedman, THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE,
Farrar, Stevens and Giroux, NY 2016

comments (0)
12/01/16
Economics of the Chemical Enterprise. 3. Financialization
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:28 am

Reading a powerful work by Rana Foroohar, “Makers and
Takers
,” that explains the strong undercurrent that drives
the visible trends we see in offshoring, in automation, in
uneven distribution of profits and benefits.  It is what she
calls FINANCALIZATION.

ECONOMICS BACKGROUND
The first entry into Economics highlighted the need for the
ACS to engage “Economics practices,” like true forecasting
and principles that members can truly benefit from.  Older
practices of “reporting old news” is insufficient for a true
professional society
The second Economics posting pointed out observations of
limited startups and further concentration bigger firms
driving short term profits, bonuses for C-suite, and shareholder
dividends/ share-price.
.
WHAT IT IS ABOUT
This posting on Makers and Takers who are
  M: people, companies and ideas that create real economic
viability
  T:  users of the evolving dysfunctional market based systems
that aim to enrich themselves without resulting consequences

The Takers  implement “FINANCIALIZATION” that push 
outsourcing, not thinking about challenges to supply chain, 
and promote flash trading and computer-generated algorithms
used in complex securities resulting in market crashes.

Another longer term result is that the labor practices of Wall Street
are being imposed on the nature of employment and kinds
of workers used everywhere.  ”Wall Street values not worker
stability but constant market simultaneity.  If mortgages are
not the best thing, let’s get rid of the mortgage desk and we will 
hire them back in a year.  They are ‘liquid people.’”

Besides decreases in lending (to support start ups and new ideas),
and increases in trading and debt securities (rising debt and
credit levels stoke financial instability;  debt fueled finance
has become the saccharine substitute for growth),  we observe
the mounting monopoly power of large financial institutions
that dominate allocation and are causing even the most successful
ventures to take on debt, reduce regulation and influence legal
code changes.

This is a readable book that illuminates much of what we are
experiencing and ACS members need to know about.

comments (0)
11/27/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Photonics and Silicon-Carbon Evolution
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:25 am

As we look to intersecting fields with the chemical enterprise,
photonics continues to make enormous strides.  Related
fields include optomechanics [interaction of EM radiation and
mechanical vibrations], opto-atomics [in precision time-keeping,
metrology, etc.], and polaritonics [carrier is polariton].
.

My exposure and, perhaps, many readers is with photochemistry
energy levels and quantum mechanics.  With the advent of
lasers, emitting diodes, nonstoichiometric compounds, 
nanomaterials and devices, a wider range of materials, devices,
timeframes, meta-structures and forces/particles emerges as
significant.  Photonics opens a wider range of career paths and
suggests attention to SPIE news and developments.  SPIE is
also a leader in the open-access realm of technical publications.
.
Note the digital library and upcoming conference is available.
.
So much of the origin of photonics is silicon based.  In addition,
the natural abundance and similarity of silicon to carbon
coordination bring up a question to the curious– what about 
silicon and silicon-carbon based evolution?
.
A recent Science publication highlighted in an article in
CSM points out how bacteria isolated from Iceland’s hot
springs have enzymes that efficiently form C-Si bonds. 
This brings us back to some chemistry.
comments (0)