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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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05/27/17
Trends in Technical Careers. Resources for Unpredictable Futures
Filed under: Recent Posts, First Year on Job, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:50 am

We have brought up Mlodinow’s book, Subliminal, that offers
that human’s memory faculties are faulty.  One suggestion is to
create a research notebook for yourself– it could be new business
ideas, new research projects, new and improved products…

.
We cannot sit still in this fast evolving world.  We have minimal
memory resources, until computers evolved and we can easily
store ideas, links and lists.  
.
This entry offers two trends worth noting that you may incorporate,
even if you are not currently engaged in fields.  Things are both
changing and unpredictable and it helps to try to be open-minded
both to new directions and opportunities.
.
DRUG DISTRIBUTION:  MALDI-MSI
Cornett offered an keen review of an approach yielding new 
insights into risk assessment of pharma candidates .  Matrix-
assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectral imaging is
used to visualize where in samples chemicals and metabolites
are distributed in model system sections.
.
Cornett indicates that this tool might be required to
inform decisions on regulatory submissions, as it offers
deeper understanding of pharmacology and toxicology.
.
NOVEL CHEMISTRY:  COMMERCE
Novel chemistry is found in patent literature, chemical journals
and offered by custom chemical firms.  If it were one and 
done, it would be not so special.  
TCI Tokyo Chemical Industries 
Co. Ltd., America
provides a substantial series of categories of ideas and resources.  
Here are several:
-  Glycoscience building blocks
-  Liquid Crystal building blocks
-  Pharmaceutical Ingredients
-  Review articles on various topics
.
The idea is to open up our resource notebook to various inputs
for continuous learning.
1 comment
05/22/17
Job Market for Career Growth. Think beyond the first position
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:34 pm

So often articles and blog entries talk about hiring trends
for recent graduates.  When I peruse them, it seems most
are either anecdotal (few specific examples highlighting
certain concepts) or statistical summaries that are often time
delayed from date of publication.

.
This entry looks at your second and subsequent positions.  So,
in another perspective, we can take a longer, career view.  
A career is a process, not an outcome, with many transactions
involving
     -learning new skills,
     -defining your strengths and building on them, and
     -articulating your values so that others will understand
and appreciate you and your contributions.
.
As scientists, commenters bring up the discussion of being
involved in a “profession.”  A nice description of a profession is
that of an occupation formed by setting up formal qualifications
offered by education, internship/apprenticeship and examination,
a regulatory organization which admits and restricts and has a
code of behavior.
.
Honestly, however, scientific disciplines, like chemistry, may not
be bound by discipline tracks
 when thinking about job markets.  
This may be less important when we look at markets for
our careers. 
Jan Osburn wrote a remarkable article on career mistakes
that hinder personal growth and happiness that we obtain from
careers.  I contend these apply to advance degreed scientists.  
.
Let me highlight five frames of mind that restrict the “real job market:”
1.  hold off pursuing positions of interest due to <100% match to
musts and wants [lack of confidence, weak in resilience, fear of
failure;  be willing to learn on the job and seek help]
.
2.  lack of self assessment knowing your strengths and what makes
you thrive and be constantly challenged and engaged. [engage
psychological and economic instruments outside of your employment
chain of command]
.
3.  fall behind in your learning curve of new skills and experiences
to those who extend themselves [could be in work environment and
professional/ volunteer organizations]
.
4.  fail to take an outsider’s perspective of your industry, organization
and department.  This can be a situation where you ‘coast’ for a while.
It is important to continue connecting and keeping up with your
network.
.
5.  miss opportunities to learn about branding your skills and abilities
and be visible in more than one organization.   In the information era,
this can seem to be trying things that are not immediately rewarded
in one organization, but opens up opportunities in another.
[no funding to attend a professional meeting;  become a volunteer, 
offer to assume organizational responsibilities, show that you can be
counted on] 

comments (0)
05/04/17
Listening. Mlodinow’s “Subliminal”
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Mentoring, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 12:30 pm

Mlodinow, in Subliminal, delivers a clearly written book that helps
us understand Listening and Remembering.  He explains that it all
comes from William Carpenter’s book “Principles of Mental
 Physiology” in which he told that human brains carry out three
things simultaneously–  autonomous functioning (without formal
thinking), conscious mental actions, and unconscious processing.

.
When we listen we hone in on specific utterances and fill in the
gaps with our unconscious.  It is similar to the way computers
capture images and store them as thumbnails.  Taking in certain 
‘pixelated’ data, allowing us to reconstruct by filling in the details.
.
Our memory on the other hand is known to be “faulty”.  We are
almost always never right with our recollections unless we take
special precautions to capture details.  People try to maintain a
story’s general form, drop and change others to make us be able
to tell stories “confabulating” choices we make in the dropped
details.
.
Thus, false memories  and misinformation is a common human
frailty.  With time we drop more and more information.
Mlodinow offers several examples one of the most striking is 
James Dean, President Nixon’s personal attorney, in his responses
in the Watergate hearings.  Mlodinow writes that Dean misstated 
and mixed up nearly every detail of the affairs in which he was
involved based on a comparison of actual tape recordings from
the Oval Office and the Watergate hearings.  At the time, we
were informed that Dean had a nearly perfect memory.
.
This goes to point out the importance of having and maintaining
a calendar, a professional daily diary, an ‘idea notebook’ and records
of key goals, accomplishments, master resume, and personal
records.
comments (0)
05/01/17
Business and Economics. Follow up to Sparteine articles
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:50 am

The C&EN article on (+) and (-) sparteine,  which had an
origin in “In the Pipeline,” talks about shortages of specific
chemicals.  Interestingly, this unresolved shortage is a
business of chemistry concern and something, as the C&EN
article portrays, that can be of interest to many scientists for
different reasons.  

.
It is an inventory and supply chain concern and thus there is 
an overlap with Economics that is the focus here.  Economics
characterizes how a business is run, whereas proverbial
‘business’ characterizes how to run a business.  In a discussion
in Yahoo, Economics uses algorithms to maximize profits,
determining the quantity of a commodity that should be made
and its cost to consumers.

.
While the end users focus on delivery and quality, there is
more to the economics side in terms of storage lifetime,
competing product lines for the same equipment, regulatory
and legal (patent) requirements and LCA. [lifecycle analysis]

 

1 comment
04/25/17
Publication Thoughts and Questions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 10:09 am

Meeting with many Ph.D. candidates who fret about
not having accomplished a series of publications in
peer reviewed journals is confounding these days.  
Why so?

.
What is the criterion for being granted a degree?
.
Can you publish just anywhere, not just in high impact
factor journals?
.
Is peer review of a journal article a justifiable measure?
.
What do we do in controversial topic areas when bias
can enter into decisions?
.
What do we do in the digital era which has replaced 
the papyrocentric model pre-1990?
.
RESEARCH AND HALF LIFE OF FACTS
Further enlightenment about the pursuit of “truth” is
that, as Uri Alon so elegantly described, research invites
us to go down a variety of ‘blind allies‘ before finding
a fruitful path.  The write up glosses over the learning
by failure and describes the “obvious” positive direction,
showing how novel and precise the idea is.
.
Samuel Arbesman looks back on the search for “truth”
and finds most being only half-correct as time moves 
forward.
.
So why is getting published in a journal so crucial?
.
I get it that graduate degrees are conferred by judging
work being of such quality meriting publication.  
Martin Paul Eve nicely describes the fuzziness of this
criterion since it could be published just anywhere after
rejections.  As we know, rejection does not mean lack
of value either. 
.
The peer review process is not exempt from bias either.
.
As we are into the third decade of the Internet era of
publication providing OA Open Access there are many
ways to both read and access articles and publish our 
work. 
.
This raises questions about what is a valid way of
demonstrating the level of expertise for a degree, even
for granting tenure and promotion. 
comments (0)
04/18/17
Watch-Outs. 102. Statistics and Radioactive Elements
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:48 am

You know, I am a strong proponent that scientific professionals
have a strong understanding of working with statistics and
perceive the hazards in our environment, that have good and not
so good effects on humans.  

.
So in our final class we talked about three features we should
look for in evaluating statistical data.  [I am always amazed that
their relevance is not emphasized in classes.]  variation, shape
and central tendency.
.
In our daily lives we are faced with statistics for nearly everything
and given “selective” interpretations to sell or convince us of various
positions.
- insure the data provides its sample size and range and variability
[small sample size, limited range, no measure of variation should
not be basis of a general position.]
- If the data is presented with many significant figures, it should
raise “red flags” in your mind.  [10,234,511.39 ?]
- The shape of the distribution of measure reveals critical insight.
[power law, normal, bimodal, skewness…]
- What is the appropriate central tendency representation?  Mean
if it is normal distribution…Other than that, questions are needed.
.
This leads to a link to be part of your toolkit for how to get “facts.”  
Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO, has researched USA
government statistics
and presents them in various forms.
.
There are two radioactive species in our environment that we
should be aware of some things.  One I encountered when I was asked
by a middle school student about a science project on radioassays.
That is when I learned about technetium.  Technetium-99 is most
useful as a radioassay measure for imaging internal organs.
CEN published a short factoid recently about this lightest, artificially
produced element.  ”Technetium cows” were developed by BNL
researchers and have been in use for more than 50 years in 
medical diagnostics and research.  In addition, technetium is a
by-product of U-235 decay and thus can be a valuable monitor
for nuclear reactor spent fuel rod decay and storage.
.
A second radioactive element is the gas, radon.  Radon is naturally
occurring in the environment and is attributed to be an effector of 
lung cancer in humans 
.  Radon decays naturally producing alpha 
particles.  Maps of the prevalence of radon in the US point to where
it is.  This should be a point of reference for us where we live
and work.
1 comment
04/13/17
Professional Behavior. Suggestions for Salary Increases
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:51 am

Many articles we find about requesting for salary
increments overlook the need to do three things– 

*  perform consistently well in meeting and exceeding your’s
and your team’s goals [time in grade is often insufficient],
*  gather critical information about pay, time in grade and value
to the organization, and
*  have a proposal for your continued growth plan and how it
contributes to the organization [it is helpful to have mentors
who are knowledgeable about the organization, policies and
culture].
.
One article offered:
 - separate salary conversations from performance review meetings, so
that you demonstrate you are not focusing as being money-driven.
 - know that a timely one-on-one can be helpful in supporting the
value you provide to the organization with a successful project 
completion 
 - ‘plant the seed’ for an increase before the organization’s budget
planning (article indicates 3-4 months, is that too early?) 
 - practice what you are going to say, plan for interruptions, and
have a back-up plan
comments (0)
04/08/17
Professional Behaviors. Teamwork with uncooperative team members and recalling emails
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:33 am

Our Professional Development class is interesting because
we can use feedback from class members for future discussion
items and exercises in class.

.
One feedback card read:  Could we engage in networking
conversations and elevator speeches from each person in class?
It is better than describing them.
       
>In subsequent classes we asked people to deliver elevator speeches
to their team mates [which should be done in all team situations].
Then when we brought in guest speakers, we asked each class 
member to deliver an elevator pitch to the guests.
.
A couple of other situations that are intriguing.  One class member
met privately and said she did not know what to do as her team
was unresponsive to requests to work together and complete tasks
on time.  We talked about it and in class performed an exercise. 
What can you do to work better as a team?  There are many excuses:
too busy, lazy, procrastinate, think the assignment is dumb….
>
  • plan ahead; discuss the work assignment
  • know yourself; study your teammates behaviors, values, likes
  • keep in touch; communicate, even over-communicate
  • offer help if others have trouble understanding/solving the assignment
  • Team formation usually follows easily recognizable stages, known as
    “forming, storming, norming, and performing.”
    YOU ARE EXPECTED TO GET TO NORMING QUICKLY
  • learn about your team-mates: their values, behavior, goals, time lines,
    honesty, promptness, caring; strength and weakness
  • When do you report to higher Ups?
  • Influence: consistency, scarcity, authority, trust worthiness,
    social proof
  • Work together, share ideas and don’t just divide up the work.
  • Use people’s strengths and interests to produce something that
    exceeds expectations.
  • Become familiar with due dates, put buffer between team
    deadline and final deadline alert people in advance
  • Givers succeed most, reciprocators are a close second
  • Adam Grant’s book “Givers and Takers”
.
A second class exercise was inspired by an incident where a class 
member forgot an attachment when sending an email.  It happens to
all of us.
.
The class came up with several and discussion ensued about how
some recipients might feel it revealed lack of attention to detail or
how you perform under pressure.  There are technological solutions
that we should know and use.
    Outlook
    Gmail, Virtu
    Attachments in Gmail
comments (0)
03/31/17
Where can grad students go for skills not taught in Universities
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Leadership, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 11:28 am

This is a story about two conversations.  The first is
one with a very accomplished senior grad student.

The second conversation is one of a series with
a department of chemistry chairperson.
.
Ph.D. LACKING NEEDED SOFT SKILLS
Almost Dr. Smith (not his or her real name) wanted
to talk about a situation in which she finds herself.  She
has received several promising offers, only to be rejected
after providing references.  She has learned from a reliable
source that the reference supplied the information that her
writing skills were not up to acceptable standards, whereupon
the offer was pulled.
.
She asked what can she do now?  Learn by various means–
reading for style and formatting, specialized training to write
for specific audiences, and practice, of course are several 
possibilities.  Shouldn’t the grad school provide that for her?
.
The answer is generally, not in today’s climate.
Second conversation, now.
.
PROPOSAL TO CHAIRMAN TO OFFER PRACTICAL
SKILLS TRAINING 
[Bring a solution, when you ask about a big concern you
have.]
When the new chair was installed I went to her with the
concern that many graduates do not have essential writing
skills and other “Soft skills” that we need to be successful.
What are some courses, programs of study, and tutoring
assignments (shadowing, draft writing, editing, reading)
that are offered or can be offered?  We will bring it up to the
dean, was one response.  
.
Another time, post-docs are people without support,
representation or a voice.  What can be done to help their
case?  That is up to the individual PI was the response.  I reflected
on several national labs, medical schools and NIH programs
and received the feedback.  That is not something I can do.
.
I pursued:  Why not?  some of the ideas are nice, but I would
be stepping on people’s [departments] toes and it is imprudent
to do here.
Another reason is that I can not impinge on the time they are
working in the lab.  They have so many distractions and
commitments as it is.  To add another requirement would take 
time from the research work that needs to get done.
.
So, it goes.  Outside speakers emphasize it is important to “get 
out of the lab” and learn extra-curricular skills through different
activities, internships and volunteer roles.  Most students immediately
reflect that their boss would not like them doing that.  Most say
they feel pressure to be in the lab 7×12 getting results.
.
While I receive consistent support for Professional Development
 activities in summer and both semesters, I am only one and
so much more could be done to make a difference.  What we
do is as much or more than is offered in other R1 institutions.
Please send in ideas and concepts working in other institutions.
I look forward to them.
 
2 comments
03/25/17
Professional Behavior. Influence and “Pre-suasion”
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:26 pm

We have written about using emotions in our
storytelling
 especially related to trust, by Brene
Brown.
.

Robert Cialdini has offered convincing theories about
the psychology of influence.  His latest Pre-suasion
is highly recommended in offering ways to understand
how we are influenced and might be able to express
ourselves better.
.
Cialdini presents “pre-suasion” as frontloading attention
by altering audience members associations with what we do
or say next.
  - privileged moments:  tuning in to times when audience
is most receptive
  - channeling attention using attractors and magnetizers
  - ‘I link, therefore I think’ - creating or building on
associations
.
Influencing examples:
Agenda setting theory-  media rarely produce change by
presenting compelling evidence;  more likely persuade
indirectly by selecting issues and facts and excluding
unfavorable items.
.
Forced confessions have a history going back to the 1692
witchcraft trials appearing in many trials, Chinese Cultural 
Revolution ‘convictions’, and Joseph McCarthy Communist
Party affiliations indictments 1950s.
.
Neidert Core Motives Model of Social Influence
Stage 1:  cultivating a positive association, using
“reciprocity” and “liking” in a meaningful, unexpected and
customized way
Stage 2:  reducing uncertainty, using authority and social 
proof to provide priority to a course of action
Stage 3:  motivating positive action, sealing the action
to move ahead.
.
Where Influencing is used in marketing: 
1. media traffic reports as programming space editors
2. naming of supplements and nutrients sounding like
derivation from natural products.
 
1 comment
03/14/17
Change is “in the air.” Yuval Noah Harari
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:30 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The spectral signature of a pigment in one region can
be distinguished from a pigment with a similar appearance
from a different region.  Archaeological application devises
new techniques– low angle “raking”, reflectance
Transformation imaging and InsciptiFact Digital Image
Library which incorporates texture, color and non-visible
characterization of archeological pieces.
.
PROTEOMIC ANALYSIS LINKS ARTHRITIS TO GUM 
DISEASE
SOURCE:  GenEngNews 1-15-17 Proteomic Analysis used
to link RA to Gum Diseas
e
There has been a clinical association between periodontal 
disease and RA (arthritis) and both diseases triggered by the
same factor. Aggregatibacter Actinomyecetemconmitans
induces citrullinated proteins detected by mass spec.
Bacterial secretion of a toxin to kill host immune cells which
allows a flux of calcium  thus activating an enzyme that
promotes hypercitrullination. 
comments (0)
02/19/17
Resume. Qualifications Statements.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Public Relations docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:47 pm

A question came in:
“Hi Dan,

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

 - Proficient  having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude

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

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

Hope this helps.
Regards,
Dan

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

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

Expertise also falls along a continuum.

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

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

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


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

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

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

 From Dennis Brown:

Ideas 5 and 8 are applicable.  Remember online marketing is
the current state of the art.  Job seekers can use this tool 
for “push Marketing.”
  use of keywords
  involvement in groups
  online presence
  links 
  connection to “hubs
1 comment
01/25/17
Entrepreneurs. Nonobvious trends and CCA Cooperatives
Filed under: Networking, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:12 am

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

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

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

Riding on a flightI learned about CCA Global Partners which

has a remarkable corporate mission and business model to help
entrepreneurs.  The web site boasts more than ten divisions
of fields they enhance by bringing folks together involved
in related enterprises.
Sometimes seeing what works in one field helps progress
in your area.
 
comments (0)
01/10/17
Resume Trends seen in 2017
Filed under: 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: 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: 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.
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