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

October 2016
« Sep    
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 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 
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/
1)  Is it legal?  private, in-house, outside association
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3)  Is it consistent with employer’s values, published and unpublished?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 exposure?
6)  Does the action help your personal career?
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 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 find you in transition.
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. 
For changes, new responsibilities and so forth, you are conferred
leverage if your boss calls you.  Sklover provides suggestions
for you to use.
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.
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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.

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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
as the older model (of globalization)
is less valid now as an important concept for

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
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.
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Applying Self Assessment Results.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:17 am

Honestly, there is a special combination of formal
learning, study and experience that allows us to gain
self knowledge from assessment instruments.  

What is still harder is to guide others to explore their
emotional make-up, values and behaviors.
It can be more of a challenge to offer intelligent people who 
are from different cultural backgrounds (international and 
educational training) to perceive the interpretative benefits.
Nonetheless we attempted to bring out interpretations 
of instruments that a graduate school class had taken and
apply it to achieve better teaching.  
Great teaching, the Economist cited Rob Coe of Durham
University is comprised of 
A - Your motives (and student’s motives)
B - interactions with peers
C - using time well
D - fostering behavior and high expectations
E - planned instruction with goals and strategies
F - pedagogical content
A is a function of our values.
B, C, D are functions of our behaviors.
E, F are functions of our specific training and experience.
So we reviewed MBTI ‘middle two’ preferences
that identified
ST:  getting ‘it’ right and efficiency 
SF:  service to others and improving people’s lives
NF: helping people fulfill their potential
NT: mastering knowledge and developing systems
These reinforce our behaviors and reflect our fears,
inhibitions and approaches (emotional side).
We used Tony Alessandra’sRelationship Strategies
to bring out the interpretations of the behavior instrument
scores.  There a several test identifiers that we linked to
the Alessandra model
“dominant director” = driving or dominance
“interactive socializer” = expressive or extroversion
“steady relator” = amiable or stability
“cautious thinker” = analytical or control
Commonly, our experience is that individuals do not have
just one behavioral preference identifier, but perhaps is
a combination of two.  The use involves hard work in
studying your self and others to develop approaches to
achieve positive outcomes.  This is important in critical
rather than casual interactions.
We did not find the “Values Instrument” giving unique
and helpful information for teaching excellence.  So, 
we performed 2 minute interviews with each student 
exploring motivation, mentors, influences on choices.
It was surely a different topic for this class.  I can
imagine it very hard for some international students
to walk away with a benefit other than the “take home”
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Trust 2. Elements of Communication
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Leadership, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:37 pm

This topic may apply to working in teams, dealing with
customers and managing challenging situations.  Three
useful concepts come out of Leonard Greenberger’s
soft cover book, “What to Say when things get tough“.

A.  He characterizes the need to prepare and craft communications
tactically as beginning in the 1980s when a new field
emerged that outlined three steps observed in communications–
- ignore a situation or problem         NO COMMUNICATION
- explain with facts as you see it       ONE-WAY COMMUNICATION
- engage people involved                   TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION
This approach recognized the emotional component.
B.  The strategies he reported can use four equations:

What counts is your audience’s perception of what is happening
and whether or not you are trustworthy and credible source of
See events through the eyes of others.

Facts do not equate to winning people over.  When people are angry,
worried and suspicious, they absorb and sift through information
with the emotional areas of their brains.

Life is divided between things that make you feel and things that
make you think.  This is hard for scientists and engineers to
fathom.  Situations seek reassurance and empathy.  Understand
how others feel, rather than offering facts.

To achieve success, remain positive.  Words used can often
embody the feeling.  But receivers may pay more attention to
nonverbal cues.

Use third party resources to provide supporting feeling and input.
It helps that they have higher credibility.  The closer to your target
audience is to your source the better.

                                                                    Weighting factors
Caring and empathy                                            50
Openness and honesty                                         10-15
Dedication and commitment                               10-15
Expertise and competence                                   10-15

Angry, worried and suspicious people pay attention not only to
what you say but also to what you do with your eyes, hands,
posture, clothing and other nonverbal cues.

Caring and empathy accounts for about half of the trust and
credibility judgments that people will make of you.    
 Telling relateable stories can be key.

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Resumes. “Master” and Targeted
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:09 am

Yesterday I enjoyed a conversation with a resume reviewer
who has a senior level position in a government organization.
He shared several poignant remarks about his experiences
when he often reviews resumes to bring in candidates to
interview for technical positions.

He expressed disbelief that some resumes seem to be
unrelated to the “must and wants” described in the requirements.  To him, it seemed they were
applying simply based on their degrees.  
Some resumes contain typos or do not meet the specifications
listed in the instructions to authors.  Others list out extensive
biographies with many bullets unrelated to the description.
Some are three and more pages long and don’t realize how
their resume will be evaluated.  [They don’t read the 
evaluation criteria listed in the description.]
There are some positive things he reinforced that can be
useful tips for people who are in the job market.  Have
a master resume, but do not use it for your submission
as it is too long with unrelated TMI (too much information]
items.  Use a “targeted resume” for your application.
Why have the master resume?  Well, because you will need
a little more detail to include in your federal positions, like: 
 - month/date for starting and ending roles 
 - details on your personal history, military service, VISTA
city, state and ZIP of employers, hours per week worked,
level of experience via roles and responsibilities, reverse
chronological order, specific keywords in the description.
[see the above link.]
Master resumes provide a useful resource that each of 
us can use throughout our careers.  It is not what we 
actually submit.  It is a data resource that needs to be
regularly updated and refreshed … think about former
companies who have changed names, and addresses
of your references, keywords, list of projects some which
were shorter term and even incomplete.
Targeted resumes are “marketing documents” that may
be read by people who without the formal technical
background.  Appearance makes a difference, so avoid
using ‘fill in the blanks’ forms. and software that does
not always translate when uploaded.
(.doc, for example– .pdf or .txt may work better).
Honesty is always expected and it is easier to verify
things via the Internet.
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Watch-Outs. 99. Career Path overview, CEPI Epidemics, Lithium Batteries
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:00 am

Preparing for some engagements I came across
several interesting items that readers might like.

There is a You-tube by Anthony Goldbloom
(<5 minutes)that assesses future trends in careers.
 Related to this is an extensive article on an
enumeration of barriers to scientific career paths
by three authors in
Science and engineering fields play a out-sized role in
early identification of epidemics and investigating the 
source and developing therapies and preventatives.  A
new epidemics coalition was formed that readers should
be aware of.
As scientist,s every time we see reports of batteries catching
fire we ask can it happen to me.  We all use lithium batteries
in our everyday life.  K M Abraham has eloquently laid out
causes and prevention.  Read on.
SOURCES:  Anthony Goldbloom,
The jobs we lose to machines and the ones we will win
                   J. Belluz, B. Plumer, B. Resnick, 
The 7 biggest problems facing science…
Goldbloom in a TED talk reveals trends we all see around
us.  He points to a worldview that it would be fruitful to take
in overcoming robots, automation, computer-integration and
the Internet…prizing the human area of excellence which is
creativity and innovation.
Belluz, et al present a case that science observed from a 30,000
foot level has challenges related to 
(a) funding and funding sources and related biases
(b) developing new ideas and confirming by reproducing
(c) high integrity peer review
(d) how we interact and communicate to larger audiences
SOURCE:  Vaccines, The Economist, 9-3-16, p. 67,
Putting Shots in the Locker
We might be better served by open access reports in 
wiki and others (pay-walls!)
The WHO slides reveal a striking new organization for
the benefit of mankind striving for four goals
-response speed
-market security
-equity to all stakeholders
This is an organization that ACS members should connect
to and contribute.  It is a high value strategic organization that
is truly part of our organization’s mission statement.
SOURCE:  K M Abraham,
Exploding Hoverboards 
KM does a thorough review of the fundamentals of the controlled
release of energy in battery technology and who it can be 
compromised by materials, manufacturing defects and 
operational abuses.
This is applied chemistry at its best.
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Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, First Year on Job, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:12 am
You cannot fake trust, J. Smith wrote.  Covey points
out that trust is the highest form of motivation.
When trust is lost or not part of interpersonal connection,
less than what is set out as goals will result– for
individuals, teams and organizations.
So many times I have heard one person not being selected 
for something based on a comment that another lacks 
trust or did not feel someone was trustworthy.  
employee / boss:  confidence in you before promotion
team / manager :  belief in you to rely on your vision and
audience / speaker: are you credible and have a credible
                      message to act on your recommendations
Trust reveals faith in the honesty, integrity, reliability
and competence of another.
Two resources that may apply to situations are 
SUNY-Albany Center for Technology in Government and 
Phrases demonstrate demonstrate and expand trust.
SUNY-Albany provides trust elaboration in a more global
perspective.  I appreciated their defining three types of trust
1.  trust conferred by professional credentials and
reputation.  It may change based on more interactions.  
2.  trust resulting from familiarity and consistent
work-group, team or association (professional, business)

3.  trust resulting from adhering to legal or social
norms that prescribe and restrict behaviors and actions.  

This background can be instructive as it can inform how
trust results in different and cross-cultural situations.
Phrases and appropriate, following-elaboration that enable
trust include:
- ‘thank you…’ for attending, for reviewing, for helping….
- ’saying what is in it for the audience’
- telling ‘why I care about….’ 
- follow emotional beliefs with supporting, objective data
[not ‘cherry-picked’ data]
- listening carefully to another’s opinion and stating trust
in their judgment
- confirming that while you may not be expert on all things,
you have training, experience and willingness to learn new
things that enables you to offer a thoughtful perspective.
Other ways to foster trust include:
- follow through and provide early notice for meeting or
not meeting commitments 
- say “no,” when you mean no
- share what you know and don’t know

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Economics of the Chemical Enterprise.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Recruiters, Leadership, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:58 am

The global pace is speeding up.  To meet the needs and
interests of members and institutional stakeholders the
Society needs to incorporate broader and deeper aspects
of economics in the technical and scientific aspects of
the chemical enterprise.

Think:  mergers and acquisitions; government funding of
CDC, EPA, NIH, chemical research;  international trade
arrangements; patent implications for different industries;
water, power, recycling…
This post recognizes the development of sustainability,
green chemistry, and internationalization of programs.  
Other organizations [ 1 , 2 ] have pointed out deeper and
broader economic implications. ACS has an ongoing
to continuously update “historical” data for
We need to access disciplines that will continuously
FORECAST business cycles that affect the chemical
enterprise and describe implications to members and
Robert Colvile has described how 
- more attention is paid to one issue rather than the
gradual and incremental changes all around us
- flashy and superficial is promoted
- faster and shorter-lasting dominates
- ease of money, ideas and pathogens moving around
with less friction and checking means disaster can
happen before we are aware
- industries and companies can disappear with a click
of a network or computerized trading micro-second
- trajectories are nonlinear and interruptable
One strategic area ACS needs to grow and foster
is economic forecasting.  This blog has reviewed
Tetlock’s Superforecasting and it is appropriate to 
bring up the Good Judgment Project as a seed for how
the ACS might bring economic forecasting to help
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:43 pm

R.Nicholls and L. Stevens presented a case that listening
is an underappreciated and poorly instructed skill that
has many barriers.  

It is time to put it out front and center on this blog as a
skill all professionals need to pay attention to.  Just how
do we do that?

Also, it is incumbent on our educational system to
engage students in regular exercises that will be an asset
in all endeavors.
Nicholls and Stevens write about a University of
Minnesota approach that improves outcomes.  Notable
are four activities of the listener: 

  Engagement to have an idea what is coming and “think 
to conclusions and generating a summary statement
  Internal reflection about evidence, logic and 
interfering features
– emotions, background, completeness
  Active listening to bridge all information, data and 
pointing out what might not fit even at
intermediate points
  “Listening between the lines” to assess emotions,
nonverbals, and speaker editing and emphasis.

The authors provide some appropriate cases and
suggestions some of which may apply in your situation.

Then, Zenger and Folkman reveal what you and I
think what we should do and that those things are not
enough to be a great leader-listener.  As the key
requirement for being a leader is listening to others —
Key among them:

 - deliberate on the substance of the message
 - be alert to and observe all communication elements
 - awareness of cultural, physical and behavioral biases and
 - acknowledge and support deeply held features
 - respect in not trying to hijack the initiative of the
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Negotiations. 6. Calibrated “how” questions, “rule of 3″, Ackerman planning
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, First Year on Job, Leadership, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:29 pm

Reading Chris Voss’s book on negotiations convinced me
that we need to keep learning.  Don’t ever stop the process
of gathering new information from different sources,
especially experts.

Chris Voss really has the expertise that can be applied even in
simplest situations.  Watch
 - never say: have you a few minutes to talk?
 - instead say:, is this a good time to talk?
Get that other person to say “That’s right.”
Use the facts as the other person sees them.
Let me highlight several significant take-aways–
1. Calibrated “how” questions keep the negotiation going.  They put
pressure on your counterpart to come up with answers and
contemplate your problems when making their demands.
How am I supposed to..  How do we know…How can we….
How questions allow you to read and shape the negotiating 
environment.  You just have to know where you want the conversation
to go.

2.  3 kinds of “yes”:  commitment, confirmation, counterfeit

3.  Ackerman plan– set your goal, then first offer at 2/3 point,
calculate at three smaller increments
   use lots of empathy and different “no” strategy to counter, before
you increase your offer.
   use non-round numbers in your final offer
   after final number, throw in nonmonetary items

What was interesting was that Chris challenges many of the earlier
strategies in negotiation tactics.

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Graduate Student Orientation. Self Assessment
Filed under: Recent Posts, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:46 am

Some universities have a section of their graduate
school orientation that will involve self assessments
for each.  It is so important that this part of
technical professionals education is incorporated
as it is so often missed or at least delayed so that
reflection and use of the learning can be part of
their education.

Our session incorporated concepts put forward
by Tom Vanderbilt and Daniel Goleman on how
Myers-Briggs, Values and Behaviors instruments
might be used.  Vanderbilt clarifies that our
“likes” form our identity and often are habitual
and we may not have a “why” or words to describe
categories and choices under specific
Goleman brings up the psychology of interpersonal
behavior  that brings in self-knowledge and logical
understanding of others values, behaviors and “likes”.
Equal time in our session involved actual exercise
engagements to point out how differences can be
systematic with groups identified by MBTI.

 - Who likes “small talk”, working by themselves,
who gains energy from crowds.
 - Pointing out the difference between the
“golden rule” [treat others like we want to be treated]
and the

“platinum rule” [treat others like they want to be
 - revealing habits of J vs. P profiles [again without
reflection and considering “why”] in working on
projects due in a month. [early starters vs pressure
 - hands on activity of selecting, building and
explaining a group toy project that emphasized
using creativity.
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Trends in Technical Careers. New form of Light, Multi parametric analysis of cells and Epidemiology Careers
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:56 pm

We have a new competitor in science, technology and
engineering fields.  It is the Internet, computers and
automation.  We can be competitive in our careers if
we can do things that computers and robots are not
best at– creativity, originality, developing new 

hypotheses and interpretation.

If you are like I am you were taken by the news that
three Irish investigators reported interpreting the
behavior of light’s angular momentum.  It goes back
many years when lasers were originally reported and
how many important devices and technologies are
based on stimulated emission.

More and more complex systems are being
experimentally interrogated using high content screening
technologies..  John Conley has authored a insightful
review of important trends that new devices enable.
Finally, in discussing potential careers after graduation
with a computational biologist we brought up
epidemiology.  For a computationally astute scientist
this is a relevant and important career path that has
been brought to the fore by relevant high content
screening and computational estimation.  This 
is more significant in being cost and time efficient.

Ballantine et al have reported that light may be
characterized with a different property than wavelength.

There is speculation in how this can be applied. 

John Comley surveyed the field and projects where
developments and advances will come in computational
biology especially using confocal imaging where
CRISPR-Ca9 technology will be exploited. 

M. Marathe and N. Ramakrishnan outlined recent
advances and directions in their recent review.  
They wrote about future directions using synthetic
populations, social network sensors and data modeling.  
This work is of high value at CDC, MD Anderson
and Roswell Park
It is not accidental that physics, biology, biochemistry
 and computer science/mathematics is all brought
together in this entry.
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Professional Behaviors. Taste, choices and preferences
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:15 am

Scientific thinking has undergone an evolution in the Internet
age.  Science commonly rationalizes outcomes based on
each effect has a cause.

There are rules and boundaries and limits and established facts.
That may be for the physical world.  Does that also survive for
humans, for teams, for what we like and what we may choose and
Scientific work can offer results, interpretations and predictions.
There is a logic to this line of thinking.
Recently, I read TomVanderbilt’s book, “You may also like: Taste
in the age of Endless Choice
” that raised more questions than answers
about the dramatic evolution we see in our imperfect, more
unpredictable world.
In a scientific world where we work with teams, customers and 
suppliers, it is a challenge to deal with the concept of human tastes.
They can be quite different than habit and cause-effect processing.
We can also think of our own “tastes” in light of some things
Vanderbilt wrote that
- our preferences most often depend on things we like in frameworks of
- tastes seem to depend on situations, circumstances and locations
- we choose and change choices and call upon a story for an explanation
[not the other way around]
- taste is comparative and adaptive
The Internet has brought about an explosion of the use, expression and
growth of our tastes, A/B testing, and recommendations.  We see this 
from Facebook, to texting photos, to Netflix as everyone can have and
express opinions which may or may not affect our thoughts.  We live
in a world of limitless choices so it behooves us to consider 
1.  shortcuts come at a price in what we think we like
2.  choices of words and meanings can bias thinking and feeling
3.  express why you like your choice/preference and it helps to consider
developing categories as our brain is a pattern matching processor
4.  it is easy to fall into the trap of ‘easy likes’ especially if we morph
what we see into something we think we see because we like.
5.  related to this is we like what we remember even if it is not true

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Watch-Outs. 98. Disappearing Impact Factor, Irrevocable Trusts, Linkedin Profile
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:39 pm

Various publishers promote journal impact factors JIF to
measure ” the importance of articles by the number of  times
an article is cited.  This measure in light of the continuing change
of technical literature is changing and deemed less significant.

Did you know you can change irrevocable trusts that you create
with your attorney when (1) tax law is revised or cease to exist,
(2) family circumstances change, (3) errors exist in the the documents?
 This is a document professionals should know about and
decide if and when it fits in your financial plan.

Linkedin profiles have not and should not replace resumes.
They are part of your professional presence and a
link is offered.

Ewen Calloway summarized recent discussions on the use of
journal rating and previewed articles in various fields that
suggest it going away.  Worth looking at.
Trusts are often created to save paying federal estate taxes in
relation to a specific tax law.  There are, according to Cody,
Cody and McCarthy, five ways trusts can be modified:  (a)
have a judge restate your intent, (b) adjust pay-out options
to current situations, (c) change the terms of the trust due to
unforseen circumstances, (d) invoke a trust advisor  without
going to court, (e) consider another “do-over” trust.

So, if you find a need to modify your trust, or you waiver
in creating an irrevocable trust, there are things you should
know to help you.

Robert Hellmann wrote that resumes and profiles have many
of the same information.  But a resume helps us obtain interviews
and the profile does support the interview screening process
and much more.   Hellmann proposes an active profile approach
in your job search.
Don’t indicate openness to opportunities in your Headline
Don’t put unemployed or looking for a job in your profile
Do consider using more informal language than the targeted

Hellmann’s article is worth taking seriously in your career

BONUS VIDEO SERIES:   The Australian series “The Future
of Water
” is definitely of high value to view.  Each segment
offered incredible insights into the bigger picture.  I was
very surprised by the underground reservoir in South
America that was recently defined.

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Bayesian Thinking. Use of Slack for Project work
Filed under: Recent Posts, Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:26 am

Innovation, experimentation and support from
leaders are often the keys to bringing progress.

As we have mentioned in a recent post, simply 
listing pros and cons is not the most effective 
way to move ahead, or, for that matter, make decisions.

Look for countering information, add more factors
and categories… Then apply the Bayesian logic of probabilities.

This is an example of critical thinking to consider.
Recently I had a conversation with a small business
in high tech who applauded “Slack“.  What he said is
that it has revolutionized his teams’ fun, focus, and
Let me share how Slack is project management 
“mindfulness” from his blog.

 The suggestion here is this tool is one that can be broadly
applied and due to ease of use widely adapted.   It is like
using shared cloud storage or using search engines.

We in Chemistry should be leaping to use this in our
smaller groups.  Share your experiences and learnings.
Remember a negative outcome is often more useful in
the long run and not a “con!”
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International and Business Focussed Resumes. Updates for 2016
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:16 pm

With several requests for career paths outside the US
and in non traditional technical roles, we learned,
advised and compiled useful documents for each:

Industry Jobs for PhDs

Business focused resumes:

International resumes:

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Preparing for Career Paths in Graduate School.
Filed under: Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:59 am

The seminar on the titled topic highlighted three
key areas that people in grad school can focus on
in addition to items successful predecessors pointed
, namely:

  - get out of the lab and meet people from different 
backgrounds, for the degree alone is not enough
  - develop critical thinking skills that will help
writing communication, audience analysis in dealing
with different audiences and 
  -  be on positive terms with your advisor and committee
members so that they want to be allies for you in your
career for the long term.

The first TOPIC area was GRIT.  That is perseverance in the face
of challenges.  Angela Duckworth has pointed out its value
and ways we can gain this formidable character element.
We see this essential in all career paths.

The second area was TRUST.  
Trust is an unmistakable key allowing teams be effective and
successful.  We had a true life story about how a manager
in a company micro-managed a professional repeatedly
returning to find out results.  It was done to the point of
indicating a lack of trust and commitment.  
Trust between all levels in an organization or in a partnership
is something we can learn and be able to foster and recognize.

The third was bringing out the concept and examples of
Bayesian thinking to develop as a critical thinking tool.
We had a working example and then lively discussion
how this is applied in a job search where a person accepted
a temporary position.  Then he navigated unemployment to
receive four interviews and multiple offers helped by
the short term position experience.
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How do you apply for a position?
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:05 am

An email came from Lee the other day:

“guidance on contacting a job poster before sending a resume”

which seemed curious. 
  Was it a poster session? 
  Was it a position seen on a job board? 
  Did it ask to upload the resume to an online address?

We clarified things over the next few days.  He read an
attractive job board posting on Linkedin for a firm that would
make sense for his career path.

But, we know you help yourself in obtaining an interview if you
can be referred by an employee or better yet the hiring manager.
To do that Lee might informally contact an employee who is
part of your network or extended network and pursue at
least an ‘information interview.’   It would possibly allow a
‘networking interview’ as well.  [Parts of the Interviewing
, see the side bar for details on each type of interview]

My suggestions to him included:
  1.  CONTENT It would be important to formulate the public
relations documents incorporating keywords that will be sought. 
  2.  FORMAT If you can speak to someone who does interview
for the company you can ascertain if there is any specific
elements and style resume reviewers prefer.
  (business style
focus, chronological, technical focus, research summary,
particular cover letter, Europass format for international, etc.) 
  3.  Does he have network members who work at the company?
Has he spoken with the network contact about the position?
(Think about possible win-win situations– employee referral
can lead to a bonus for the employee.)
  4.  Liz Ryan wrote a nice piece how Linkedin can assist the
job search process of narrowing down the companies, finding
hiring managers, learning about the culture and interview
expectations you may encounter.  This too could lead to a
pull marketing mechanism since you might be able to curate
your Linkedin profile to be picked up by recruiters.
  5.  Plan a follow-up campaign that includes thank you notes,
talking up the network participants, modifying the PR documents
as appropriate, setting a timeline for follow-up communication
and including it in the cover letter.
  6.  Do detailed research on the firm.  Patents, business results,
investment insights.
  7.  Enter total information into your job search spreadsheet
that tracks all communication.


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Negotiations. What might you do dealing with Intimidation
Filed under: Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Leadership, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:14 am

We had an interesting problem dealing with a vendor who wanted us
to commit “right now.”  It is a situation that can happen broadly in
many employment scenarios.

James Baker provides situations where you might feel manipulated
in making decisions–
1- pressure with deadline:  question how real the deadline is, test
the parties motivation and propose what will be best for both
2- pressure with competitive price, vendor or approach:  ask for
details on the quality and terms of the competition.  Look for other
features you offer or provide.
3-  missing person to be consulted or limited authority:  ask to meet
with the person who has final authority or find out who makes the
final decisions regarding delivery, price payment, exact details of
the work.
4- moral appeal:  what is underlying motivation, indicate you are
looking to be fair with all and create good long term relations
5- good guy/ bad guy:  understand the manipulation and understand
that your requirements and needs are included
6- name dropping or association of related situations, number of
other clients, or similar customers.

Intimidators will use every trick they have and know.  When they
find it will not work, they will become friendly.  It is just another
“face.”  We need to find a way to convert them into someone who
we can reach an agreeable outcome with.

Another good resource is provided.

1 comment