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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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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)
11/20/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Omics and Panomics
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:37 pm

Genome, proteome, epigenome, metabolome,
pharmacogenome and dozens of other fields of study involve
chemistry.  They all relate informally to the characterization
of molecular entities in biological fields translating into the
structure, function and dynamics of organisms.

Wiki sketches the word suffix origin.
Omics International pulls together open access publications
and conferences aiming to taking science, engineering,
technology 
and management of biological fields and disseminate
broadly.  Panomics is a more inclusive term for interaction with
all biological functions within a cell and with other body
functions by combining data from targeted tests, global assays 
with other patient-specific information. 
.

Pharmaceutical enterprises face complex networks in understanding
and developing therapies for diseases.  More systems wide biology
based approaches
(-omics) provide one of the directions to develop
predictive and actionable models
 
So we see this in the evolution of epigenomics, lipidomics,
and lipoprotein proteomics.  Recently, interesting reports of
the human connectome project which studies how the brain is
wired and how this wiring relates to brain function by
integrating many 
diverse sources.
This -omics factoring should be looked for in reports of newly
developed approaches like CRISPR/Cas9

comments (0)
11/15/16
Undergraduate Job Search Workshop.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Technicians, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 1:31 pm

Last weekend we were part of a team presenting a job search
workshop for undergraduate chemistry field majors
at UConn. 
It was well attended and provi ded resume reviews and mock
interviews in addition to four topical discussions tuned to this
audience’s needs.

Four discussion areas from the day workshop are presented to readers.
 1.  Thesis or non-thesis masters is a graduate school option that was
new to many.  The thesis option involves a specialized project with
a professor.  It can require a longer term of study due to the research
in your domain.  The non-thesis option often involves a mini project
or a comprehensive exam to meet the requirements of the degree. 
The exam is taken after you have completed certain courses.

Choosing the thesis option can allow you to receive an assistantship
during your program.

Some fields prefer the thesis option as it allows a learning by doing
a new project to come up with outcomes.  If funding is limited, a
project reaches an end or facilities are not available the non-thesis
option
can be preferred.  Some fields, like geology, have reported the
non-thesis option has advantages as reported a Colorado School of mines.

 2.  Some firms reportedly use Jobvite to facilitate hiring.  People
have reported problems uploading their documentsJobvite specifies
that resumes need to be Word or “unlocked PDF” file formats
and that after uploading to populate application fields, you need to
use the attach button to include part for your application file.

You need to follow uploading instructions to the T.  Some instructions
include word limits, some seek a specific number of writing samples,
and others have specific deadline dates .

Barbara Safani points out that many people make the mistake of
taking their formatted Word document and uploading it into a text
box
on a company website.  Formatting is lost.  So it is prudent to
follow the specific job search instructions.

 3.  Traveling to an onsite interview can be a challenge.  Ask for
specific directions
to specific gates before you go.  Know who you
are to meet and their telephone number
in case of a delay, expecting
to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled first meeting time.

Interestingly a number of companies now require following ITAR
regulations
.  Thus to facilitate the special ITAR badge bring your
passport with you if you are an international candidate.

 4.  I was surprised that my colleagues felt it was fine to ask about
salary during the onsite interview
.  This might be the case, if you
had a very promising position in hand or were working in a good
position already.
You should always be ready to respond to a salary requirements
question
or what has been your salary in the past three positions…
There are pitfalls for coming in low or coming in high.  So, a response
to that query would be here is a range and you would consider any
reasonable offer where you can make a difference doing something you
are good at.

comments (0)
11/11/16
Listening. 2. Five aspects to focus on
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, First Year on Job, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 4:21 pm

This post reports on a class given graduate students on
Listening Skills.  It was inspired by Nichols and Stevens,
yet the concepts described by Brenda Bailey-Hughtes and
Tatiana Kolovou
were built upon with practical exercises
which were specifically reviewed for teachable moments
and subliminally presented for different learning styles.

The class contained an international audience.  We have learned that
some  non native English speakers found  other behavioral 
psychology topics challenging.
Listening, filled with practical exercises giving examples of how 
we need to focus and 
how we selectively listen to people focusing on one aspect or
another.
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Yet we have have to listen to many aspects:
 - details and specific facts
 - understanding the big picture
 - evaluating the content
 - observing and understanding nonverbal cues
 - empathizing with the speaker
.
The audience was encouraged to focus on improving their two weakest 
aspects and develop specific plan to make improvements.  Standing out
were pay attention to the “big picture”, nonverbal displays and 
hijacks that limit our rational thinking and attention.
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11/03/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Optics, Spectroscopy and miniaturizing instruments
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:15 pm

Do you feel amazed each time you read about new advances
where one of the fundamental components is optical?  I am.  
Optical fabrication and materials  play a central role in many
things we do– practical every day, engineering and scientific.

The first reference is in Photonics Spectra magazine which
gives major milestones in optics fabrication.
The second is a link to a compact review of real world applications
and methods of applied spectroscopy.
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The third is a link to a review on miniaturization driven by reduced
costs and space impacts combined with advances in microelectronics.
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OPTICS FABRICATION
SOURCE:  History of Optics Fabrication  2  PHOTONICS
SPECTRA  Vision History
What this sketch outlines is an 800 year acceleration of development
especially over the last half century.  This is part of a review by
Marie Freebody .  It can be overlooked  as so many devices 
combine optical tools with spectroscopic and multi-laser 
sources and computer integrated sampling.
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REAL WORLD SPECTROSCOPY
SOURCE:  Annual Industrial Trends Spectroscopy  
Nice appropriate review on some of the latest developments
including Total-reflection X-ray Fluorescence, Laser-induced
breakdown spectroscopy at small scales, rapid cancer detection
FT-IR and peptide folding using laser-Raman.
3-D imaging and continuously increasing complex NIRS
applications were reported and cited.
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ADVANCES IN MINIATURIZATION
SOURCE:  V. Balaram Spectroscopy 10-16
Current Advances in Miniaturization of Analytical Instruments
Most are aware of Moore’s Law and its influence.  Miniaturization
of analytical tools is allowing scientific investigations in a number
of realms, including space exploration, geological studies, 
environmental sensors and redundancy to increase the validity 
of measurements.
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10/31/16
Kevin Kelly and The Inevitable.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:45 am

One of the books that was on my desk recently was
Kevin Kelly’s, The Inevitable that talks about trends
and expectations of the world we are surrounded by
and influence our moods, behaviors and thinking.

.
I was struck by his ideas that are based on how the Internet,
algorithms, wireless-instantaneous-sharing-free-copying
and unconscious human attitudes are influencing us.
.
KK also can lead us to interesting websites to expand
things further.  Not all of it is comforting to read and 
ponder.   In a sense it is open access networking and
mayhem where the last utterance or image dominates 
in an unfiltered and non-curated way.
He calls some rules out for blog readers yet the comments
offer:
‘whatever kind of renaissance you call it, is no different.
The destiny is ultimately dictated by the dominant forces
of political economy and not by the sophistication of
technology or networks themselves.’
1 comment
10/26/16
The Inevitable and Recent Article about Moving to the Cloud
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:46 am

The recent article in CEN on Cloud Computing in the Pharmaceutical
industry
was on point for the some of the trends that Kevin Kelly
pointed out in his recent book The Inevitable.

.
Essential things that readers of the CEN article should be aware
of that Kelly documents include:
  1.   Existence in the digital realm is chiefly MAINTENANCE.  The
more complex the gear, the more attention it will require.  Upgrade
this and you need upgrades everywhere.
   1.a.  The cycle of obsolescence is accelerating, you will never have
time to master anything.
    2.   There are ERAS of this Internet Cloud Computing.  Think about
how we employ hyperlinks, interrogate large data troves, carefully
curate processes and “platforms.”. [Platforms favor services and access.]
     3.   Great QUESTIONS create new territories of thinking and lead
to the need to FORECAST with more possible outcomes.
.
Readers are encouraged to pick up and read Kevin Kelly’s book that
looks at the unrecognized present and optimistic future integrated
via cloud resources. 
 
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10/23/16
Trouble Finding your Career Path
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:59 am

Tom Friedman on Meet the Press restated the current situation
many job seeking technical degree individuals face.

[Hard to locate in a hour-long program.  So, the statement
is cut-and-pasted into the COMMENT section.]
He has been writing about this for several years.
1 comment
10/19/16
Legal Issues. Ethical questions, Critical Reading of contracts, Reporting personal matters
Filed under: Recent Posts, Legal matters
Posted by: site admin @ 8:38 am

Al Sklover offers insights that are unparalleled in the open
access world.  SEE EMPLOYMENT LAW blog link on the left.

While nearly every item I review from him could be brought
to your attention, this entry highlights three:
  -6 questions to raise on ethical dilemmas
  -mental framework for critical reading of contracts and handbooks
  -Dealing with uncertainty in personal issues 
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SIX QUESTIONS TO ASK - ETHICAL MATTERS
Sklover ethical
While we do not wish for anyone to face such situations, it is
helpful to point out the guidance Al provides in the above.  When
you find yourself in an ethical deliberation consider six resources/
inputs:
1)  Is it legal?  private, in-house, outside association resources
2)  Is it consistent with employer’s policies?
3)  Is it consistent with employer’s values, published and unpublished?
4)  Does it advance employer’s long-term goals?
5)  Would you be comfortable with personal exposure?
6)  Does the action help your personal career?
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CRITICAL READING - CONTRACTS
Sklover parse document
The referenced entry deals with non-comptete and non-solicit
agreements, yet it opens up the valuable process of “critical
reading” of documents which you are subject to.  It is not as
much a ‘loophole search’ and more of tactics lawyers use to deal
with other lawyers who construct broad language to cover
every conceivable instance.  Those trained in the law and who
practice “critical writing and critical reading” can be allies when
dealing with circumstances which you find yourself..
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PERSONAL SITUATIONS - HOW AND WHEN TO TELL
Sklover Guidelines Pregnancy
              Negotiation Leverage during employment
              Negotiation Medical
In each of these situations, while it may not seem so, negotiations
to achieve win-win outcomes is all parties desired end.
For pregnancy, there is an excellent exposition of tactics when 
a woman learns her family/personal circumstances change.  
There are no hard and fast rules, but there is a process. 
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For changes, new responsibilities and so forth, you are conferred
leverage if your boss calls you.  Sklover provides suggestions
for you to use.
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Addiction is legally called a disability and thus covered by
statutes.  Many employers will have employee assistance programs.
It is still in your best interests to be aware of legal protections
and tactics that help create a process to move forward.
comments (0)
10/14/16
Mentoring Connections Seminar. Informal and Formal
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 7:59 am

We (M. Godek and I) asked our seminar group:  
What might you seek from a mentor?
Some answered one or two of the following–
   Where are your career directions moving?  Where are you now?
   What are your visions and aspirations, strengths, weaknesses
and how to relate them.
    In addition, suggestions to build soft, technical and wise skills
    Navigate the organization, explore new ideas, new career path
    Expand your committed network, build confidence.


Who is responsible for setting up a “mentoring connection”?
   To many it was a surprise to hear “You are!”  Sure many
organizations set up formal mentoring arrangements to achieve
goals for the organization.  Not specifically to meet your personal
questions  or goals, intentionally, and their metrics reveal that.
    It is imperative that you assume responsibility for the mentor,
roles, goals, timing and how to move it forward.
   A ‘take home message’ is that there are formal and informal
mentoring connections.  While the formal are set up by organizations,
include training, last for a specific period and are designed to
benefit the organization;  informal ones involve people who
may not have formal training, offer long term rewards for
both and benefit both partners in a win-win arrangement
that is two-way.

We differentiated Coaching, Teaching and Mentoring
    -gain or improve a skill, performance driven COACHING
    -discover and acquire knowledge, theoretical, practical, 
experiential, laboratory, plant-wide TEACHING
    -2-way collaboration, guidance and perspectives in challenging
situations, relationship-based  MENTORING
This opened many audience members’ eyes.

Then, with many questions and stories, we discussed
characteristics of good mentors, how to meet and invite 
a mentoring relationship that is win-win.

Here is a link to the session feedback.

comments (0)
10/10/16
Economics of the Chemical Enterprise. 2.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:18 pm

Ten years ago R. Jones edited a series of factors
giving rise to the apparent trend involving the 
globalization of chemical enterprise industries.  
We have urged ACS in this blog to report and
follow the Economics in the Chemical
Enterprise 
as the older model (of globalization)
is less valid now as an important concept for
members.  
.

We observed that globalization is less
significant now and plays much less of a strategic
role as superstar companies that use an array of
qualities.  They have distinctive cultures and
traditions that many academic centers are little 
aware of, including seeking and following top 
talent (stretch assignments, accelerator 
experiences, and crucible roles) and keeping their 
focus on a long term vision (by modifying their 
shareholders’ voting rights) and managing finances, 
legislation and financial markets.
.
The Economist reported on recent trends in its
article as a new age of corporatism giving rise to
consolidation to stay on top “hoovering up talent,
buying patents and investing in research.”  We can see
this leading to problems ascribed to concentration of
pay, technology, top execs and vast amounts of
information.
.
In an interesting related piece in Cheeky Scientist Blog
is the five corporate departments that PhDs should know
which are critical to a company’s success.  While most
know “companies have R&D, Marketing and Sales,”
few realize also critical to success are finance, supply
chain and information technology.
.
I suspect these are all new to Chemists and Engineers
and this reveals the need for further education in these
and traditional areas that have further evolved.
1 comment