From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

November 2015
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Trends in Technical Careers. Forecasting
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:49 am

Been reading Phillip Tetlock’s book “Superforecasters” since predicting
what will happen is something we often like to do in science.  As Charles
Kettering once said about his interest in the future ‘because the rest of
his life’ will be spent there.
Forecasting is hard work and can be learned.  People who do it well,
Tetlock opines, have a strong interest in information, a willingness to
adjust to new data, an ability to synthesize a view from various
perspectives, like a ‘dragonfly’s eye.’  They also pay attention to their
prediction compared to the actual result to learn from.

A rough process outline includes
    ‘unpacking’ the question into components
    distinguish between the known and unknown, while not leaving assumptions
    assess the question from an objective ‘outside viewpoint’
    put the problem into a comparative perspective, which downplays its
uniqueness and treats it as a special case
    explore others’ predictions for similarities and differences
    pay attention to broader predictions from wider sources [wisdom
of crowds]
   synthesize the information and compare to actual, learning what
can be done to improve

Example discussions:
The singularity where technological intelligence overtakes human abilities
is predicted to be in 2030 [Vinge ]  and 2045 [Kurzweil ].
 Interesting competitions in forecasting provide events for evolving

Watch-Outs. 90. Clarity on Global environment issues, Investments, and Critical Thinking
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:29 am

When you are in the presence of a forward-seeking,
thoughtful person, it grabs your attention.  The first
link for your consideration is an ECS lecture from
October, 2015.  If you want to see where STEM education
can make a difference, this is a must view link.

We are barraged with half truths about where we
should place our hard-earned savings, our tax deferred
investments and rainy day securities.  While I am an
amateur, I am struck by some things that more than
not consistently work and that fail miserably.  Two links
point these out on municipal bonds and MLP master
limited partnerships.

The third entry was debated between embroiled free
speech controversies
, skeptical views of online
credentials and an amazing saga of a runaway best
selling book.  I chose the last.  It might be that the
naming of the saga can give similar information for
all three, by just changing a few words.
SOURCE:  A. Heller, Electrochemical Society Lecture, 10-15,
Wealth, Global Warming and Geoengineering
S. Arrhenius recognized that sunlight was reflected by clouds.
How much the world will warm depends on managing the
global climate.  This ends a sterling lecture that informs and
projects what we can prioritize to make a difference for
our world.

SOURCES:  L. Saunders, WSJ 11-14-15, p. B7
A shock $24000 Tax Bill
A. Kuriloff, WSJ 11-5-15, p. C1
Surprise 2015 Victor: Munis
Laura Saunders hit the nail right on the head about unexpected
tax bills resulting from owning partnerships in their IRAs.
The article addresses UBITs, unrelated business income, in
the tax code.  All the comments support this report.
Where do we invest in?  The world is uncertain, the market is
in frenzy mode, will the Fed increase rates…
Kuriloff gives readers a current comparison and then in
an insert offers what to look for when investing in
municipals and what to watch out for.

SOURCE:  D. Benoit, WSJ 11-17-15, p.1
Some Train readers on wrong track
This is a case of mistaken identity in the modern era.  Search a
book by title and come up with a book with a very similar title
and get increased sales in the book.
Modern era– depend so much on search routines that can lead
to different, unexpected results.  The tie-in to free speech on
campus and online certification is that there can be a loss of
“critical thinking” in the current day.  We must guard against
this loss and help bring that back to public discourse proactively
and courteously.

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Wise Skills. Personal Growth Agenda, Resilience and Reflective Pauses
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:27 am

There are so many media entries in video, e-books and
podcasts these days that provide “secrets” to land
a job you might desire.  Mostly the contents are
recycled material that helps you become “qualified.”

Competition has increased.  Advice might offer getting
“ahead of the curve,” but how long in advance can you
have the newest item?

There are some honest fundamentals relating to the
human condition and psychological behavior  that
can be lasting skills that are useful in many areas.
Indeed, these skills give you an advantage over “qualified”
candidates who have the required “soft” skills and necessary
“hard Skills.”  To differentiate them we call them “wise
Skills”, like:
    Face-to-Face communication
   Audience Analysis
   Committed Networking
Midcareer people also develop capacities to discipline
their attention and perceive trends with intuition.

Three skills appearing on the horizon of skills that might
differentiate you from other qualified candidates are:
   having a personal “growth” agenda,
   resilience and
   inserting pauses into your NOW habit.

Taken from John Maxwell’s work seeking growth allows
you to see yourself and add value to you and your actions.
In his 15 Laws of Growth book, Maxwell lays out a
reasoning and a method to counter human frailties
in order to balance your life and improve relationships
and careers..the growth paradigm
   sees the big picture, prioritizes
   measures your improvements and applies

Amanda Ripley wrote about Rick Riscorla who may have been
the wisest hire Morgan Stanley ever made.  He was responsible
for emergency evacuation of employees in the twin towers
attack.  Ripley breaks down the psychological impact of
people facing disasters and pieces together what helps people
develop a “survival arc.” 
   Constantly measuring and improving training in ways of
simulating likely scenarios, like evacuations
   Develop and use “breathing exercises” in the face of startle
   Know that there is a way out, positive attitude is a force
multiplier and we can learn from positive and negative events.

Many can identify one of their weaknesses as procrastination
in the face of fears, uncertainties and doubts.  There is a
common understanding that our brains work in several modes
and that the thinking mode is slower reacting.  So when
we are in the middle of an action or reluctant to take action,
you can gain much by pausing to reflect on the experience
to learn from it.  Maxwell offers four I’s to spell out your
  Investigate - reflect and gain insight
  Incubate - ask questions, ask for help, help others
  Illuminate - allow yourself to internally brainstorm
  Illustrate - look for analogies and metaphors, as stories
can clarify.

1 comment
Undergraduate Majors. ITAR, Use of Contractors for Screening, Interviews
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Technicians, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 4:04 pm

More than thirty Chemistry field majors attended a workshop
Effective job Searching last Saturday.  The topics included:
Matching your skills and interests to the job market, Job
search strategies, Resumes and cover letters, Giving presentations,
Interviewing in larger organizations, Mock interviewing and
Resume reviews.

1.  More organizations are using recruiting firms to perform
screening resumes, screening interviews, and reference
They are adept at the process and are generally
not responsible for the final decision.  It is not ununsual for
the position to be temporary, but there are legal limits on the
length of temporary employment. 

2.  ITAR review to enter certain industrial sites.  Organizations
who design, manufacture and work with a number of government
agencies are required to comply with International Traffic in
Arms Regulations ITAR. 
Thus, if you are invited on site for
interviews you will need to bring along a birth certificate,
form of ID with your photo and may be expected to leave
your cell phone at the door
(no photos)..

3.  Problem solving interview questions are popular again.
These may require out of the box thinking.  They may require
how you might work with other applicants to solve a problem.
They may be time limited, may have no set answer and may
just demonstrate how you deal with unexpected situations.
We observed a mock interview asking:  how would you design
an emergency evacuation system for this building.

4.  It is hard to justify the one-page page length rule
of thumb
for resumes for all kinds of positions and applicants.
Each resume, however, does need to be targeted for each
situation using keywords.  It is an advertizing document for
you with a readable form and both computer and person
designed content.  It needs to be brief, concise and specific
with no errors.

5.  MBTI assessments were brought up several times as
helpful for preparation for your job search, for informal
meal interviews
and for audience analysis for presentations.

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Professional Behavior. Errors in Published Literature
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:38 am

Received a query about scientific literature and our professional
responsibility.  In our peer review scheme, it is unfortunate
when it happens but errors in presentation and accepted
interpretations can enter.  They occur and when they do
what is your responsibility.

“I have come across a paper published in a reputable journal,
[left out], in my research field….I noticed poor quality of the
paper, including lack of understanding of the literature, as well
as obvious, wrong conclusions which contradict the author’s
own figures…I think the peer review of this paper was not
rigorous enough…”
“Should I write to the journal editor…Do I have a responsibility
as a scientist.?”

The general rule of thumb for publications which you disagree
with like you apparently have is “Praise in public;  criticize in
private.”  If this is done then the group who is responsible for
the inaccuracies or misjudgments can publish a retraction.

In science we find disagreements based on our understanding many
times.  Science is supposed to be self-correcting in that correct
literature is cited many more times than incorrect literature.
Thus, often citated work is the bases for common understanding and
leads to acceptance. 

Then your responsibility is to NOT CITE the work in question.

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Watch-Outs. 89. Social Security Changes, ACS Unemployed Member benefits, Productive Habits, and Tax-free municipal bond investments
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:32 pm

Since the financial items out number the psychological
ones, we will start out with them.

Have you been paying attention to the budget agreement
Congress has passed on to President Obama?  It takes
away a Social Security provision that allowed retirees
certain benefits and could impact those nearing retirement.

A second financial item relates to a mislabeling of
of municipal bond yields.  Evidently bonds are offered
issued at a premium over par.  They are often called
before maturity.  Meaning– lower yields than labelled.

A third financial item relates to benefits to ACS
member who are unemployed.

The non-financial item is about a book describing
“productive habits” we all might benefit from.

SOURCE:  A. Tergesen,  WSJ 10-31-15, “New
social security rules to end key filing strategies

I sent my brother who recently turned 66 this article
that spells out the end of social security spousal
benefit upgrade for some retirees.  There is a
six month period before the regulations go into
effect.  This could be several thousand dollars a
year difference for those who are affected.

SOURCE:  J. Zweig, WSJ  10-31-15, ” How
Muni Bonds Yield 4% in a 2% World

Those investing in low risk, no tax municipal
bonds might be in for a shock to find the real
return is nearly half of what is advertized.  Zweig
suggests asking your broker or adviser to
reveal the “yield to worst’ on your municipal
bonds, adjusted for return of principal.

SOURCE:  T. Connelly, letter for the executive
director to members, 10-1-15
In this letter seeking our membership renewal,
each one of us 158,000 (~5000 less that last
number in memory), might benefit from the
“members-only benefit” of up to 3 years free
membership (not sure if it is sequential or
additive) if you are unemployed.  There are also
some benefits that you should ask for if you are
faced with such a personal challenge.  In our
new world of temporary or episodic employment
this might be meaningful.

SOURCE:  Peter Bregman, “Four Seconds“,
Harper One, 2015
Bregman goes into how we instinctively form
habits to live through our daily lives.  He breaks
them down into mental, relationship, work,
self-defeating, and what I call productive habits.
He spends effort on boredom, how we become
our worst critic of ourselves, perfection and

What I liked were his descriptions of “productive”
habits– taking a “4 second pause”  to develop options
when you face a problem, a 4-second pause when
attacked to ask questions [reducing tension in a
situation], a 4-second pause to establish focus each day,
to follow through and to prepare each day what are
short term and longer term priorities.

1 comment
Revealing Emotional Intelligence Class.
Filed under: Recent Posts, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:39 pm

Two dozen grad students attended a class on learning about their
emotional make-up.  They had been given assignments to complete
their MBTI profile and also asked to assess their values 3   and
behavior tendencies   3  .

Each one of these grad students is very smart and are
put into situations where they might wish to look smart
[leading a problem solving class, tutoring, giving seminars,

It reminded me of an article by Sue Shellenbarger of WSJ who
conveyed “the appearance of intelligence is [done] largely
with nonverbal cues… People get high marks when they talk in
simple, straightforward language with a lot of energy and
engagement.  Make eye contact.  Speak in a pleasant voice. 
Articulate words clearly, pause between sentences.  Listen
closely to others and be transparent about what you do and
do not know.”

Attempts to talk over people’s heads by using jargon, big words,
or complicated sentences will be quickly seen as a pose.  

Observing how the class was widely divided in terms of
MBTI preferences [10 of 16 MBTI subcategories were
revealed and confirmed by descriptions found in two books*]. 
Their different preferences view the world and decisions they
made with different lenses and criteria.   It was revealing and
several remarked that this puts a whole new view on working
with people.

* S. J. Scott and Rebecca Livermore, Confident you…2015, Kindle
   Isabel Briggs Myers, Introduction to Type, 6th edition, CPP
Inc., 1998

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Grant Writing for SBIRs/STTRs
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:25 pm

A collaborator on several projects recently shared some proposal
writing links when we were networking recently.  We had a
conversation a couple of years ago about proposal content.

N. Wagner, this time, shared letter writing for SBIT/STTRs which
is the federal governments seed funding arm for technology
development by small business who collaborate with research
institutions in Phase I and Phase II, bridging the gap between basic
science and innovation commercialization.

although called Letters of Support, these letters are really “Letters
of Commitment”! They are IOUs from your team members to the company.
It’s important to note that they are always addressed to the Principal
Investigator (PI) on the project or the Business Official at the company
– not to NIH. Let’s take a look at some of these letters and what goes
into them. - See more at:
Letters of Support are commitment letters addressed to the
Project leader, not to the funding organization, from
  key senior or technical people to join the company
  subcontractors -  on subcontractor letter headed paper.
  special consultants supporting the project
  commercial partners
  • A Letter from a Senior/Key person
    (including the PI) needs to be included if the person your company is
    planning to hire is currently employed elsewhere, but plans to join the
    company at the time of award. The letter will state that they will be
    employed at the applicant company at the time of award, and include
    their anticipated time commitment and role on the project.
  • Letters from Subcontractors need to mention clearly
    who at the sub-contracting organization is working on the project,
    clarify their role and time commitment on the project and the budget for
    the sub-contract. These letters must be on the sub-contracting
    organization’s letterhead. 
  • Letters from Consultants must specify their time
    commitment, the specific guidance they are providing on the project, and
    the compensation they are being offered by the applicant company. 
  • Letters from Commercialization Partners are
    typically part of a Phase II proposal. They are provided by potential
    investors, distributors, strategic partners, prospective customers,
    potential licensees, etc. Such letters must be “tangible,” i.e., they
    must demonstrate a market need and clear commercial path for the product
    being developed and the company’s ability to attract the right
    resources to carry though to successful commercialization. 
  • - See
    more at:

    They focus on the commercial potential, market, adoption
    by users or willingness to collaborate or offer funding
    support when the grant is awarded.  The most powerful letters
    are from opinion leaders, industry partners and venture capitalists.

    4 kinds of letters of support

    although called Letters of Support, these letters are really “Letters
    of Commitment”! They are IOUs from your team members to the company.
    It’s important to note that they are always addressed to the Principal
    Investigator (PI) on the project or the Business Official at the company
    – not to NIH. Let’s take a look at some of these letters and what goes
    into them. - See more at:
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    Communication without saying a word. Silent Influencing.
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Mentoring, Leadership
    Posted by: site admin @ 9:19 am

    Let me share some insights gleaned from recent eBook by
    Michael Nir, Silent Influencing, that offers meaningful
    guides enhancing our communications and interpreting
    others combination of verbal and nonverbal messages.

    -  Use a “cluster” of signals, gestures and “emblems” to
    provide clearer messages.  In other words avoid choosing
    to interpret one nonverbal element in interpreting another’s
    views, thinking or opinion.
    [”steepling one’s fingers” is a ‘gesture,’ while “stroking one’s
    chin,” as if thinking about something, is an ‘emblem’.]

    -  When there is an apparent contradiction between nonverbal
    signals and words of speech
    , many choose to find stronger
    meaning in the nonverbal signals.  Think of a person shaking
    his head “no” and saying “yes” with arms folded and eyes looking
    down to the ground.

    -  First impressions stick with us and our human tendency is
    to confirm our initial impressions, rather than keeping an open

    - It is possible to influence thinking, judgment and decisions
    by changing simple things like seating arrangements.  The
    surrounding environment can sometimes make a difference.

    - To overcome resistance or reluctance revealed by a silent
    and closed and distant person, engagement by enlisting
    support and handing them something to induce opening
    up, coming closer and agreeing to participate

    comments (0)
    Self Assessment Dilemma. Thinking overtaken by Technopoly
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
    Posted by: site admin @ 2:43 pm

    In preparing for a future class on assessing our personal
    emotions that effect our behaviors and decisions
    books came to my attention, that I wish to tell you about.

    - Peter Whybrow,  The Well-tuned Brain:  Neuroscience
    and the Life Well-Lived, Norton and Company, NY, 2015

    - Neil Postman, Amusing ourselves to Death:  Public
    Discourse in the Age of Show Business, Elisabeth Afton
    Books, Viking, NY, 1985

    - Neil Postman, The End of Education:  Redfining the
    Value of School, Vintage Books, Div. of RandHouse, NY

    I was curious to learn Whybrow’s take on how our brain
    works as we go through our daily activities and thinking. 
    We describe most routines as habits that seem to be a
    repetition from before and we go into auto-pilot to
    perform.  Intuition is based on implicit learning a pattern
    of facts, cues and events that we synthesize while going
    about our daily activities.  We unconsciously use both.
    The class intends to help discover them using MBTI,
    values and behaviors assessments.

    Research reveals that although human brains attain 90%
    of their size by age 6, it will take 2 or more decades to achieve
    functional maturity with different regions varying in pace
    and timing.
    To achieve self-command we must learn what drives us
    and accept that we are often ruled by the short term and
    habit, although intellectually driven, curious and self

    Humans sense the need for order in the changing world,
    an understanding of our place and purpose which imagination
    and traditions/culture offer “touchstones” and signify our
    values.  Postman, Whybrow asserts, reflected on a technopoly
    which represents an invasion into our imagination organized
    realm due to our now gadget-driven, time-limited, distracted
    world.  Education is no longer providing the basics to allow
    thoughtful questioning, open and adaptable curiosity to
    pursue learning.

    We have allowed our memory, values, curiosity and imagination
    to be outsourced drawn by hyperlinks, video clips, side-bars
    distracted thinking and superficial learning.

    Schools reinforce the culture of learning for economic utility.
    consumership and technology.  This reality, Postman asserts
    is a Faustian bargain… we gain a little and we lose a lot.
      - the advantages are unevenly distributed
      - while seeming simple, there is complexity embedded in
    each technology
      - new technologies replace older ones in a competition
    which speeds up and loses some of its benefits because
    of intellectual and emotional biases and financial incentives
      - it is believed that there is a common core with a global
    view, but there is too much and much has to be displaced.
    –arbitrary inclusion and exclusion results.

    comments (0)
    Watch-Outs. 88. Recharacterize Roth IRAs and Open Access Publication Alerts
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
    Posted by: site admin @ 8:11 am

    It is the beginning of the 2015 Fourth Quarter and the
    stock market has not been universally good this year.
    Not going into any of those details, but will point you
    to an article about some opportunities that certain
    technical professional investors might calculate for
    themselves using Turbotax of similar software.

    SOURCE:  L. Saunders, WSJ 10-3-15, “Why it’s prime
    time for Roth IRA

    Roth IRAs are the “gold standard” of tax sheltered
    retirement plans from which withdrawals are presently
    tax-free on untaxed gains and after tax contributions.
    The issue is in the short term past many investments
    lost value.  This article suggests Roth investors might
    undo Roth conversions last year or this year and
    avoid paying the taxon value that has “vanished”.
    Deadline is Oct. 15.  Comments might be helpful
    to peruse.

    SOURCE:  ECS Open Access
                       Alternative Article Impact
    Got my first email from ECS Weekly Digests from two technical
    areas that I signed up for.  They inform me of recent publications
    that this society reviewed and accepted.  Beyond my expectations
    was outstanding other services that will allow me to communicate
    better, learn new areas and deepen my understanding of the
    practical outcomes of scientific investigations.
    Sometimes cartoons in “digital libraries” can be outstanding
    in effectively communicating results, impacts and directions.


    comments (0)
    Business Resumes for Technical Professionals
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
    Posted by: site admin @ 10:12 am

    Although not defined as an ACS Career Path, Lisa Balbes
    has plowed new career ground in her “NonTraditional
    Careers” talks and book.  It should seriously be considered
    as Marinda Wu’s Vision 2025 Task Force identified these
    paths as Science and Engineering Management and
    Inspired Government and Industrial Roles where Chemistry
    training can have strong impact and lead to fruitful careers.

    How do you apply for such positions?  A colleague
    recently shared useful links to an online service
    and firm
    , that has roots to one of the “big three” business
    consulting organizations,– Oystir.

    Among its web offerings is a set of two articles aimed
    at creating your business focused resume, especially for
    business consulting.  So this could be of interest to mid-
    career and later career individuals who have developed
    significant track records.

    Several take aways from Writing Tips:
     - Be specific and crisp using keywords to deal with ATS
    Applicant Tracking Systems
     - Target your resume and cover letter, showing you know
    your value-added skills, in sections recruiters focus
    (the Profile or Summary section)
     - Prioritize and select most significant items of
    experience, development, affiliation, and accomplishment

    Often times your background may not be an exact match
    to the business position.  So, you need to state your skills
    and strengths that will lead you to be successful in an
    “elevator pitch”- like Summary
    rather than an Objective
    statement.  Then, Belani and Mark work through an
    exercise to help construct the Summary.


    comments (0)
    Trends in Technical Careers.
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
    Posted by: site admin @ 7:10 am

    Years ago, I attended a futuristic talk about the hydrogen
    economy before it was “in fashion.”  This post links to
    an important environmental article discussing safe handling
    of hydrogen

    New material science and surprising properties of
    light are reported in a recent issue in the photonics

    Open Science publication from the ACS comes with
    Central Science.
    SOURCE   L. Gallagher, American Laboratory September,
    2015, P. 14, “Safe Handling of Hydrogen in the Laboratory
    In addition to materials of construction, design and
    specific procedures, inert gas handling facilities
    are essential to purge and dilute and gas monitoring
    protections and alarms must be installed and tested
    regularly.  See also safe handling procedures.

    Hydrogen based micro-economies will emerge just as
    Tesla charging stations are proliferating.

    SOURCE: Photonics Spectra, Sept. 2015
    Graphene can be functionalized into a light emitter
    by strategic incorporation of boron.  Nano-optics and
    Spin properties of light are also highlighted in recent
    issue photonics Spectra.

    SOURCES:  Interview with C. Bertozzi
                          Table of Contents
    Carolyn Bertozzi is a visible leader who heads
    organizations and publications and presents her
    case of pursuing careers in chemistry.  Here also
    is a notable effort in an open access journal.  Wish
    to see more of this as it is the wave of the future
    and a way that society publications can compete
    with commercial publications.

    comments (0)
    Trends in Technical Careers. CRISPR, The Economist ‘Briefs’, Negotiations
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
    Posted by: site admin @ 8:24 am

    Let me tell you about a recent exchange with a job seeker.
    He asked, ‘hey what do you think of hirelifesciences?’   To
    which my response was, ‘Sorry, that is not one I have worked
    with.  When I visited it I noticed it lists companies and
    locations, but I did not see how people are compensated,
    how recent the listings are and the business relationship
    to client companies (is it part of a society, for example).’

    I went on to describe websites listed in the blog left column
    and indicated that most jobs are not advertised.  They are
    found through networking and direct contact with people.

    I recently heard about a field that may have large impact–CRISPR.
    Take a look at a short video worth our learning about.  Related
    information for job seekers is a business article on firms
    involved in this business
    .  Did you notice how the idea connections
    were made– not through a google search or a screening of lists
    of positions, but through making business-technology-career

    Have you seen the series of unsolved scientific mysteries in
    The Economist?  Each of the six reveal factoids connected to
    a lead story in fascinating stories.  Here are the first four

    Their challenge is to paint an interesting landscape to a
    broad readership.  One, these should be interesting topics to us.
    Two, there is something to learn in how the stories are told and
    illustrated.  Third, if there is some way to connect our work to
    these articles it provides a nice context to our work.

    Negotiation Process was the topic of last week’s seminar.
    Interesting possible items that might be considered were:
    school loan repayment (Federal positions offer this) and “fair and
    reasonable compensation” when a new position has higher deductible
    insurances or rates.  See Barb Safani.  It is critical to consider the
    “overall” compensation package and implications of bonuses and
    incentives on taxes.

    If you are asked to sign documents, you could inquire if they
    will compensate you for having your lawyer review it for you.

    Negotiations. 5. Tools, Preparation
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, First Year on Job
    Posted by: site admin @ 8:07 am

    Many seminars on negotiations will either emphasize the Harvard
    or provide examples not directly focused on the
    audience’s near term perceived needs.

    Talking about negotiating a roof repair after a chimney pointing
    process does not strike students who are graduating and looking
    for a job.  They don’t pick up the relevance.

    Yesterday’s seminar audience felt that negotiations begin
    when they are presented an offer of interest.  Surprising.
    Work and research must be done well in advance of the
    position offer to define priorities, leverage points,
    cultural influences and even words to indicate “no”.

    The seminar also provided tools and how-to-express
    things in three practical-to-their-needs stories.

    1.  AfterActionReview and T-Chart
    2.  Checklist

    3.  Negotiations can happen at different times than a job offer.
    Most people realize they will have 5-20 jobs in their career
    and some they will need to change when their job is eliminated.
    Being able to express and use use Appreciation to influence
    the tenor of negotiations  can make a difference.

    -  “I am flattered that you thought of me, but I am afraid I
    do not have the bandwidth…”
    -  “I would very much like to, but I am over-committed…”
    -  “no, but”.. another time or situation.
    -  “let me check my calendar and get back to you…”
    -  focus on the trade-off:  what are we sacrificing if we…
    -  to seniors or leaders:  “I would be glad to, but which of the
    other projects should I lower in priority…”
    -  “you are welcome to….;  I am willing to….”
    -  “I am not able to do it, but so and so can…”

    Watch-Outs. 87. Asking for referrals,Detective mindset, Salaries, Patent Reform
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Leadership, Observ. Trends
    Posted by: site admin @ 12:52 pm

    Recently several requests for connections to people have come.
    It is interesting that some seek referrals far afield from STEM
    in areas, like Medical Science Liaison and Patents and law. 
    The relationship the requester has and the shared feeling
    of reciprocity, of willingness to give back generously, must be
    communicated both in the request and in the following reply.
    Comments on one’s wording are shared.

    A strong post from B. Sucher is linked offering that we
    be a “detective” when seeking career opportunities.  This goes
    for people fully in the job market as well as for professionals
    in their current position who sense some uncertainty in
    future directions.

    One common thread in our capitalist society is wondering
    how much salary compensation different positions offer. 
    A web resource guide is linked to assist you.

    Since federal legislators have missed opportunities to deal with
    inequities and huge increases in patent infringement claims,
    many states are creating measures to limit “patent trolling”
    and other legal bottlenecks.  It is worth keeping a finger on
    the pulse of these to be able to understand some questions to
    ask should you be involved in a related case.

    BONUS LINK:  Giving good presentations

    SOURCE:  R. Roberge, The best way to ask for referrals;
    A. Doyle, How do you ask for a referral ;
    Getsidekick, How to ask for a referral
    For people I know and have a recent or long term connection,
    it is usually a pleasure to share names who could be excellent
    resources or have valuable information or connections.  The
    problem comes with requests with scant connections.  They,
    honestly, have to do more to have me work for them.  Their
    letter of request, if in an email, might only be an email reply
    with links, if they don’t take the time to build a relationship and
    enhance the connection.

    Then, after the reply, a prompt ‘thank you’ is in order.  If it is
    not done or done in an appreciatively timely manner,
    the next request will either be slowly responded or
    less detailed and thought-inspired.

    SOURCE:  B. Sucher, Do you cry wolf?
    Billie offers that in our environment we need to ascribe to
    the habits of the best detectives to be successful and offers
    over 30 behaviors.  The ones that jump out for me are:
    communication and listening,  observational skills and
    putting pieces together.

    SOURCE S. Malanga, WSJ 9-4-15 “States move to do-it-
    yourself patent reform

    There are wiser people battling over this issue and like in
    wars the victors will write the final story.  It is worth
    looking into this if you live in VT, MN, NC and
    skimming Law360 blog.

    Be aware that it appears several sources are cutting back and
    using the same output/survey result.

    comments (0)
    Entrepreneurs. Business model for new ventures
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
    Posted by: site admin @ 5:41 pm

    Entrepreneurs should consider new business and marketing
    model described in Robbie Baxters book “The Membership

    Second description by the author.

    We all experience this model in societies we belong to or
    consider and use internet tools.

    comments (0)
    Transitions in Careers. Professional Behaviors. Internships
    Filed under: Recent Posts, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
    Posted by: site admin @ 7:33 am

    Internships can provide excellent interludes where we experience
    what it is like in an organization (conversations, interactions,
    , assignments) can perform new and goal oriented work
    (goal-setting, application of know how and knowledge),
    can meet and work for a short term mentor, and see how
    things are done in another setting (culture).

    My career had three “internships”– two in a medical school
    biochemistry lab and one in am NSF Center of Excellence
    program.  That was then, now interns need to be more proactive,
    especially near the end of their internship experience.

    In fact, I suggest doing AfterActionReviews of your
    internship program and keep it in your Master resume
    portfolio.  AARs are recognized as a knowledge transfer
    and retention tool for capturing implicit and tacit pieces.
    [See Knowledge Management.. Administrative Services link]

    For those early in their careers, it might be useful to start with
    - outlining all the tasks and assignments, completed and
    - communicating in person
    - seeking feedback on areas of improvement
    - asking for longer term connection with people in
    your thank you communication.

    People in your junior and senior years [REU programs and
    such] and in your graduate career level are advised to display
    the maturity of performing AARs, drawing conclusions and
    offering reverse mentoring.

    Detailed description of AARs:  S. Salem-Schatz, D. Ordin,
    B. Mittman, “Rapid Post-Project Assessment

    comments (0)
    Mirroring during coversations and interviews.
    Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Mentoring, Mature professionals
    Posted by: site admin @ 4:42 pm

    Have you looked at Fay Vincent’s editorial about the importance
    of mentors
    in his career path?
    Fay Vincent was a commissioner of major league baseball, known
    for upholding justice and defending all of baseball’s stakeholders,
    not just the owners. 

    I was reminded of this recently as two job seekers contacted me
    about (1) assessing their behavior in interviews (2) what to do
    better in the next interview (3) calling to mind a specific behavior
    that might enhance their candidacy.

    One was interviewing with someone I know well.  So, I know the
    styles of both interviewer and interviewee.  Both are quite capable
    and impressive individuals in their own rights.  So, I suggested (3,
    above) that the interviewee really pay attention to the interviewer.
    It is a process often referred to as “mirroring” and is a nonlinear
    programming  NLP instinct of relating to a conversation or interaction
    partner by observing and listening closely, then responding in kind
    with similar words, behaviors and mannerisms.

    While I will not be able to do a trial run and observe the mirroring,
    as we are in a trusting mentoring connection, the action will appropriate
    and meaningful.

    As a mentor, we can find ourselves in the situations where we are asked
    to assess interviews (1 and 2, above)after the fact and recommend
    improvements.  It is an inexact science at best.  We suggest performing
    AAR After Action Reviews to help with the process.  While it might
    be done soon after the interview, a couple of days later can still be fruitful.

    When we discuss this, because emotions and recall are directly involved
    reviewing and discussing the AAR should be done in person to allow
    follow-up questions and clarifications and trial-and- improve restatements.

    So our initial attempt for meeting fell through, so we will aim to do
    a conversation via Skype.

    comments (0)
    Transitions in Careers. Professional Behaviors. Things to do Leaving a Position
    Filed under: Recent Posts, First Year on Job, Legal matters
    Posted by: site admin @ 9:18 am

    This blog has commented on considerations for resigning
    from a position
    .  An outstanding resource is Sklover’s
    working wisdom blog which offers “best in class” information,
    consideration of alternatives and strategies from a legal

    Recently, S. Schellenbarger authored a piece in WSJ about
    the topic focusing on communications, exit interviews,
    notice time and flexibility, and emotional situations

    R. Knight offered some “reality check” factoids on the matter.
    She stated the relative high frequency of leaving one firm
    and moving to another (BLS, every 4.6 years) and that it is
    a critical transition point to adopt professional best practices.
    In addition,
      1.  not only 2 weeks notice but who and how to tell them
      2.  Linkedin considerations.  [This may be subtly different
    now that Linkedin has a new service to connect people within
      3.  Tell one and the same story about leaving and where you
    plan to go next to all.
      4.  Despite hard feelings or rough edges, express gratitude
    in words, actions and future commentary.
      5.  Send thank you notes and be a strong ally.

    S. Heathfield wrote a cross-reference checklist from the
    HR point of view.

    The On Money blog carries more advice.


    1 comment