The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
Categories:

Archives:
Meta:
April 2018
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
04/23/18
Peer Review Basis in Science. Should we have a questioning attitude
Filed under: Recent Posts, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 3:19 pm

Recently, Listened to a podcast that got me to thinking
about peer review in Chemistry.  Many of the people
I meet are so concerned about being an author of a set
number of publications as a basis for completing their
degree and for being considered a candidate for
subsequent positions.

Then, in mid career motivations can include:
make money, get promotions, grants and recognition;
get things right, publish or perish, demonstrate expertise 
and accomplishment.  [In the commercial world, publications
represent modest benchmarking for achieving goals.]
 
Steve Patterson interviewed Brian Earp  in a free flowing 
discussion that brings up the motivations for publishing
in scientific journals, replication, hypothesis testing
and peer review.

It is instructive perhaps to get an idea what happens
when an article is submitted for publication.  ACS and
Royal Society have tutorials on what is involved web
sites describing the process. … assuming it works properly.

The professional scientific process depends on this.  Just
like general publication conclusions errors can happen and
negative results are most often not presented.
Science is a slow process that involves error corrections,
application and refinement.  Perfect peer review will not
happen.  Earp opines that crowd sourced peer review of
pre-print articles might be an improvement over the
current situation.
.
See also.  
comments (0)
04/18/18
Chemical Enterprise Business Models. Considerations for Jobs
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:14 pm

Rarely, if ever, do Chemistry graduates ever receive formal
or informal introductions in chemical enterprise business models.

.
We think it is of critical importance as it shows is how individuals
and corporations learn and how its core values.(business purpose,
core culture, operational processes and policies) are demonstrated.
.
So many of the BS, MS and PhD / post-grads do not find a 
match to what they believe are their skills and interests.  They
might initially desire to emulate their advisers, but opportunities 
are often limited.  So, they look for start-ups and entrepreneurial 
opportunities.
.
Mike Kubzansky of Brookings provides a comprehensive view of
business models.  Heintz et al show how business models can be 
different in different cultures.  This is an important consideration
for it affects decision making from many angles.
Deloitte has predicted that chemical enterprises will benefit from
digitalization but as a whole are slow to incorporate them.  This 
is an area to embrace or at least consider when assessing the job
market.
.
Sangeet Choudary pictures families of business models.
-  flow from raw materials to finished products with customer
service to offer value to customers
-  exchange driven platform where groups of consumers and
producers aim to maximize value 
.
So two examples to make things concrete for readers.  Think
about the way we consume news.  Newspapers in the 20th 
century were from larger news organizations, printed at
central locations, hand delivered  and read cover to cover.
Mass distribution of video and radio complemented printed
media.  Now, we consume news mostly online via internet
and cable 24-7 and there is so much that news is continually
updated and corrected.  Because of this nature and the various
media formats and sources how businesses make a profit has
moved from coupons and ads to clicks and eye balls.
.
Photography is a second model that reveals the revolutions
from print format to virtual world which can be re-constituted.
Then there are many other factors like portable power, 
miniaturization and software versions and security.

comments (0)
04/12/18
Critical Thinking on Testing Result Statistics. Questions to ask
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:23 pm

As we use artificial intelligence more and more and depend
on machines for decision making, critical thinking becomes
more important.  In particular topics like false positive results
and limits of detection.  This was brought up earlier in a
highlight.

.
False positive concept is more involved and can be 
misused when we apply statistics to test results.   It indicates
that a given condition exists when in reality it does not.
This conclusion can many times result in unnecessary
testing and costs (both to clinical patients (anguish) and
monetarily).
.
The previous entry pointed out limits of detection series
by Deming.  Two other notable contributions– one on being able
to compare quantities resulting from different methods (
Mandel Sensitivity) and the second from establishing the
requirements of changing from one to another method.
.
My experience is where a physician recommends a 
prescription for a chronic condition based on analyte
readings.  The algorithm is designed to predict a per cent
likelihood of an outcome.  However, the clinical testing
is much more complicated with false positives entering
the picture.  Not all of the people have have a minimmum
value will reach that specific outcome.  This is not
revealed in the analyte results.
.
This leads to needing to ask more questions of the 
results and their “true meaning.”  Often the physician
will not assess these critical elements leading to over-testing
and over prescribing.
comments (0)
04/07/18
Letter Writing and Thank you notes.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:23 pm

After collaborating on a workshop I suggested to my
colleague that both of us contact the sponsor of
ours who recommended both of us for the role.

.
Within a day of the workshop I thanked AH for
suggesting me for a very positive experience in
the program.  Included in the letter were brief positive
details and a sense that I look forward to working
together in the future.
.
Two things of significance, one reinforces the importance
and the other the timing of writing the thank you letter 
at this time.  
.
IMPORTANCE OF IN PERSON COMMUNICATION
Sherry Turkle’s book: Reclaiming Conversations.
In our present time, digital technology, through FB, 
Tinder,  MOOCs, texting, email tyranny and shallow
online activisim is argued to lose certain human strengths
Turkle says we have adopted new technologies to gain
control, only to feel controlled by them.
.
LETTER WRITING MONTH:  APRIL 2018
Letter writing is a lost art and there are commercial
interests advocating the positive aspects of making
an effort to relate personally to another individual.
.
This is just the opposite of getting fired by text
message and everyone at a dinner table texting
someone else….
.
Interestingly, two people attending the workshop
contacted me afterwards and thanked me for helping
them find a position starting on their career path.
Those notes made all the difference!
comments (0)
03/27/18
Legal Issues. Promises and Reading Contracts
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:33 am

Please note:  Sklover’s Working Wisdom remains a leading
resource for us that I highly recommend.  Recent notes of
importance are highlighted in this entry.

.
PROMISES:  KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK
In a clearly written post, A. Sklover indicates two specific 
questions you should ask when offered a bonus, promotion
or something of value–(1) ‘when’ and (2) ‘what conditions
need to be met’.
.
Specific date or time frame is the only acceptable response.
.
Conditions that must be met should be under your control
and influence.
.
If this promise is part of a job offer, it needs to be inserted into
the offer letter.  If the promise occurs at another time, like
a transfer or termination, for example, clear email statement
with a return email confirmation of the negotiation request
is important to document.
.
LEGAL TERMS IN CONTRACTS
One item I have a basic understanding for, but have the
experience that when I asked too many questions, it raised
a red flag with the organization.  Do not waver, reach an 
understanding.
Incorporated by Reference“–  [flashing red light:  stop and 
check]
This formally includes more than one agreement between 
parties which may limit or remove protections for you.  It
is a flag to review each agreement and note the wording,
asking for clarity for your circumstance.
.
A second contract term is a new phrase.
Ambiguity Clause“– [yellow light :  caution]
Review every provision and understand this phrase mitigates 
any reward or limits outcomes for you.  Al Sklover points
out this can increase risks to you.

comments (0)
03/11/18
Absenteeism and Illness. Should you take off when ill?
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:46 pm

Two organizations that employed me had rules for
absenteeism.  One was quite strict in that you could
choose certain number of days off with pay.  Requests
should be made in advance.

.
Importantly, attendance records were criteria for
advancement and ‘perfect attendance’ was clearly
and widely recognized and rewarded.
Thus, even when you are ill, with a flu or fever,
people were expected to come in, and ,if you could,
visit the company nurse who could dispense some
over the counter remedies.
.
Another employer left it to supervisors to decide whether
it was in appropriate to report not coming in to work and
exposing everyone to the spreading of illness.  Interestingly,
it was recorded but did not seem to make a difference in
assignments or promotions.  [We were to call the supervisor
and report illness.  As many sick days as needed were 
granted.  I do not know of any specific limit.]
.
Allison Doyle has written a nice piece about absenteeism
in the workplace, noting its costs to employers to be on the
order of half  a billion dollars.  Since absenteeism can cost
in productivity and revenue, time off for illness has varied
treatment and risks.  Many places seem to go the route of
PTO paid time off for vacation, special event or illness.
Others provide an annual number of sick days one is 
entitled to take.
.
Various medical organizations have investigated personal
illness and its impacts on the organization  and the individual.
While it may not be part of policy, one might argue a case
can be made to follow CDC guidelines for actions to take.
  -  encourage people to take preventative measures
  -  limit contact with others to avoid spreading;  even
stay home 24 hours when symptoms are real and invasive.
  -  supervisors should be proactive at every level in protecting
individuals and noticing symptoms
.
Recently, this writer was beset with a sinus like infection.
I limited contact as much a possible for as long as spreading
symptoms existed.  It meant sending condolences to events
I was expected to attend.  It is important to be the first
example of proactive behaviors and enforce similar 
recommendations on others.  It should start in the class
room and grad school research labs.
.
Then, practical policies of dealing with this perennial
issue of staying home when you are sick can be the general
policy, with appropriate checks and balances when 
appropriate.
 

comments (0)
03/02/18
Emily Post: Digital Profile and Networking
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:35 am

While Pier Forni leads the way, I believe, in helping us
see civil behavior in organizations and different
situations, the updated Emily Post book adds some
useful suggestions for what your digital profile includes
and pointing out problem areas.

.
Post indicates what each professional should consider
as components of their digital profile.  Update each 
regularly and keep them consistent..

*      complete and update Linkedin profile, with
appropriate recommendations
*      have a well maintained blog and website
*      have links to published content in your name
*      list membership on boards, charitable/ educational
groups and organizations
*      include awards and achievements
*      cite positive press 
.
Just having a solid digital profile is not enough.  Be 
aware of potential trouble areas, like:
*      privacy protections on Facebook
*      uncensored, overly personal
or controversial history
*      less than flattering photos tagged to your name
*      old media that does not reflect who you are now
*      unflattering press
Search your name and some name alternatives

Social Networking Tips
1.  Online privacy is an illusion.  Just about everything has
a digital fingerprint.
2.  Think twice about offering negative criticism online. 
Can be easily misinterpreted, especially in the absence
of facial expression, tone of voice
or nonverbal cues…
3.  Opinions will be formed on everything you post and
much can be taken out of context.
4.  You bear responsibility for online image

comments (0)
02/18/18
Watch-Outs. 107. Considerations Resumes for Post Doctorals
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:27 pm

Industrial positions are often the description I hear
from PhDs and post-doctoral fellow.  Honestly,
these professionals seek a position as a scientist or
engineer in business.  That means ironically that
they need to project a profit motive or problem
solving motivation in their background and interests.

.
As you probably know recruiters are bombarded 
with a large number of public relations packages.
So they use many times either a screening routine
or software ATS for uploaded documents that screen
the packages for keywords and words in context.
.
The recent issue of Money magazine has an article
What your resume should look like in 2018“  by
Kristin Bahler.  I agree with many of the concepts 
yet the interpretation is significantly different for
professionals with several years of experience.
.
Bahler presents things that business might be 
expecting for recent BS candidates.  It is altogether
different for Post-doctoral fellows in terms of content.
For them, there is a need to convert an uninterested 
reader to an interested professional reader.  Thus,
critical information about what professionals are 
expected to do need to be incorporated, like
 - ability and experience in a fast paced environment
 - experience winning grants writing proposals for 
different groups
 -  managing budgets and negotiating experiences
.
How do you represent this if you are a post doc with
more than a couple of years experience?
Consider creating a new addendum for your resume
package called a “List of Projects” where you list
project work, areas of leadership responsibility 
(often outside the technical realm) and interesting
projects that required you to do the extraordinary.
.
Some mention of List of Projects might be presented
in your Linkedin profile (which must be up to date)
and your web-page (which leading post docs will
have for an internet presence.).
.
Another conversation might address internationals
seeking employment in US.  So often, Visa issues 
cloud their futures.  One of the questions they might
pose during their post doc is to ascertain if the 
sponsoring organization will sponsor their visa 
application.   The range of potential employers is
limited if their Visa situation is problematic.  Can
they seek employment in a start up for which they
are well qualified?  Since start ups can fail and make 
them need to fall back on a back up job search,
sponsorship can be lost.  
.
It seems imperative to seek employment in large
organizations or government institutions where
the visa can be obtained with commonly more
certainty.
.
What might a post-doctoral application contain:
-cover letter
-resume (with reference to Linkedin profile)
-list of references (not part of resume)
-list of publications, patents and presentations
-research summary
-list of projects
    easy to read, error-free, neat looking,
    containing keywords
comments (0)
02/03/18
Robotics, Automation and Personal Protection.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:14 am

When do you start advising workers, employees, staff
and visitors about safety?

.
Are you looking out for your own safety and the safety
of others in your environment– present intentionally or
unintentionally?
.
SLAS presents an important topic for discussion, as it
should, being a leader in the field.  Safety takes on a larger
dimension when robotics and automation is involved.
Going one step further, safety when dealing with infectious
diseases and disease investigations…
Going even further, safety for military and police in challenging
zones of chemical or biological warfare.
.
Scientists need to be aware and take a leadership role in
personal protection of all kinds.  See
.
ONET Roles Responsibilities - [job opportunities, training]
.
EHS Overview [Policy and Poster ideas]
Henry’s Suggestions
.
Safety equipment
.
NIOSH that point to:
  • monitor trends in injuries associated with robotics technologies;
  • evaluate robotics technologies as sources of, and interventions for, workplace injuries and illnesses;
  • establish risk profiles of robotic workplaces;
  • identify research needs and conduct studies to improve the safety, health, and well-being of humans working with robots and robotic technologies;
  • support the development and adoption of consensus safety standards; and
  • develop and communicate best practices, guidance and training for safe interactions between human workers and robots/robotics technology
See also.  
comments (0)
01/30/18
Job Search Workshop Discussions. Structure, Organization and Content
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 9:40 am

Two interesting email requests arrived in my inbox, recently.
One was asking for participation in a job search workshop
by a professional society local section.
The second was a request from a graduate student seeking
help with his resume.

.
INTERESTING WORKSHOP DILEMMA
We were away on a vacation that delayed our responses.
However, I sent a follow up note to a colleague who was
a recipient of the job search workshop note asking to speak
before talking with the assistant professor who was coordinating
the workshop.
TH and I spoke on a telecon to address our concerns and 
requirements before “meeting” with the prof and TH volunteered
to set up a Webex.
.
From this arrangement, several things emerged…
1.  email is not a useful vehicle to coordinating a program between
different participants.  It is so easy to misinterpret what is going
on.  It is much better to do it in person, if possible, by Skype
or as a last result, telecon, if the participants know and trust
each other.
.
2.  the resulting meeting request was misinterpreted.  In addition,
a follow-up first discussion was delayed.
TH asked for a webex time slot.  It was then felt that not everyone
responded to the professor…
The professor had urgent reasons for not being able to talk for an
unspecified time…
.
3.  The prof indicated his desired date is two months in the future
 on a Saturday, but provided a date for Friday.  This kind of
mishap can happen to any of us.  But it suggests some problems. 
On top of that there is a conflict with the Saturday date that
prevents everyone from participating.
.
BOTTOM LINE.  These kind of workshops need to be planned
4-7 months in advance with back ups for most critical items.
It is useful to have a team of organizers.  
.
PROVIDING HELP FOR INTERNATIONAL JOB SEARCHER
This personal consultation can be related to the workshop.
In a way, this is one of the key goals of what a workshop might
provide.
.
The initial email request asked for help writing a resume for
a job.  Well as we know it is critical to be both more specific
and have a strategy in mind for narrowing down options.
.
The first draft of the resume was sent as an attachment.  It 
revealed that the grad student was at “square one” of his
search.  He inserted some relevant data into an online 
resume platform without understanding the hard preparation
that needs to go into it.
.
A response email was sent with several attachments.  
The email pointed out that
- multi-colored, underlined, fancy documents are not
well received for technical professional resumes
- the application should involve a well written cover
letter and other documents that would positively
separate your application from the other applicants.
-  have a specific position in mind that provides the
keywords critical for inclusion in your documents
.
BOTTOM LINE:  The process, timeline and goals are
not defined.  So, as with the workshop planning, 
creating a workable structure and organization will
be as important as developing viable content.
.
INTERESTING FOOTNOTE:
Timing   2  
Academic world revolves around an academic calendar;
the rest of the world employs different time charts.  
.
Job searching is often a full time effort usually out of
sync with the environment you are in.
comments (0)
01/22/18
Watch-Outs. 106. Organic Synthesis algorithms, Optimism by leaders
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:53 am

Did you view the Netflix video on AlphaGo defeating
the top Go player in the world?  I saw it this week.  It

may be time for us to seriously consider using software
to design organic synthesis routes.
.
We live in a fast paced world with many unexpected
directions and influences.  One item that can keep us
moving forward is optimism from leaders in our 
organizations.  We highlight a whole issue of a 
magazine devoted to this. Fast Company.
.
COMPUTER ALGORITHMS FOR ORGANIC SYNTHESIS
Udit Batra brought up the topic of using computer
software to optimize synthetic route in Aldrichimica
Acta in a recent issue.  He highlighted Milipore
Sigma’s purchase of Grzybowski Scientific Inventions
organic software tool.
.
Derek Lowe wrote about this in his blog recently
that it has become more figuring out what to synthesize
rather than how to synthesize particular molecules
based on a discussion of an Angewandte Chemie 
article.
.
OPTIMISM IN LEADERSHIP
Think about what helps us move forward…optimism
is a force multiplier, as military leaders say….
Fast company highlights over a hundred ways
cited leaders supply leadership.  When I read
the methods most are what many of us would think
of ourselves.  Read through it to see how you feel your
leaders are providing leadership….
 - don’t overthink        - attach meaning
 - grow from setbacks - wow your customers
 - listen                        - let your actions speak for you
 - play nice                  - obey the golden rule
 - focus                        - nix multitasking
 - go the extra mile
comments (0)
01/17/18
Leadership 2. Strategic Thinking
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:38 pm

When you are in various career paths your
activities tend to place you in a silo of activities
to meet agreed upon goals.  You develop and
use tactical skills to improve things, to identify
things and to make or combine things.  You may
also use SPC or DOE to identify problems or
influences.

.
Leaders will do this.  However, they also develop
strategic thinking.  Jo Miller’s article,
3 Ways to be a strategist Rather than a Tactician
addresses some of the unique features of the
strategist and the tactician, including:
.
1.  Shift from day-to-day thinking to years ahead
     then work backwards from goals, like in a 
     synthesis challenge.
.
2.  Work with groups outside your limited chain 
     of commandLearn their SWOT (strengths,
     weaknesses, opportunities and threats) for longer
     term to see where there is commonality to 
     engage and collaborate.  Ask if you can help
     them?
.
3.  Look for areas to change for the better–
     transformational change.  Where tacticians
     chip away at goals and do not threaten
     the status quo, strategists involve change and 
     build new skills.
.
Thus, change your time horizon, broaden your
scope of influence, and seek out transformative
changes.  It is an article worth reading.
comments (0)
12/26/17
Learning Math and Science
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 4:01 pm

Recently perused another insightful book by Barbara Oakley,
called “A MIND FOR NUMBERS:  HOW TO EXCEL AT MATH AND
SCIENCE”, Tarcher Penguin, NY  2014.

I enjoyed reading new ways to learn things, especially related to
our fields of math and science.  I like to compare other people’s
thought processes.  Barbara Oakley has given much thought
to this process :
.
 - Take pauses and breaks in my learning [so my brain makes
connections]
 - There is a concentrated and a diffuse mode [nice!  I can relate
to that.  Especially the thinking process while running or
driving to a place where I have been before…]
 - my working memory is now shorter, it seems.  It is about
4 items.  But what I can do is repeat the focused learning steps
and each time the process seems to be easier.
 - Chunking:  a key learning tool–.  Get to the key things you
want to learn and “chunk it” using the focused, concentrated
mode of thinking.  Chunks are built on focused attention,
understanding the basic ideas, and gaining the big picture.
 - Habits are based on 4 steps, adding one to Duhigg’s model:
Cue –  routine — reward — the Belief 
 - Memory tricks include:  combining things in different ways;
        use metaphors of natural, common, and usual things;
        repeat what you wish to recall;
        use stories and little memory sayings and songs.
        writing things down and say things out loud. 
 - it is more important how you think, than what you know.
comments (0)
12/19/17
End of Year Career Management. 2017
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:42 am
Thank you for reading the NESACS Blog for Career Management
and Development.  I appreciate your interest and following.  This
blog provides independent concerns, information on career paths,
directions on professional behaviors and job search trends and
recommendations.
.
This year we outline major subject areas covered:
         Professional Behaviors
         Public Relations Documents
         Historical Trends and Economics Influences
.
Professional Behavior.  Remembering Names, Faces
                                      Listening
                                      Travel, Arrangements
                                      Habits
                                      Stress management
                                                Dealing with Catastrophe
                                      Letter Writing
                                      Negotiations
                                                Salary
                                                Monetary Rewards
                                                Relocation
                                       Small Talk
                                       Ethics, Whistleblowers and Cassandras
                                       Financial Planning
.
Public Relations Documents.  Resumes
                                      CVs in Internet Age
                                      Self Assessment
                                      Publications
                                      Qualifications
                                      Nontechnical Training
                                                 Patents 
.
Entrepreneurs
.
Historical Trends          Cuts, Downsizing  
                                      influences
                                      Economics:  Future
                                      Career Path Choices
                                      
1 comment
12/11/17
Economics of the Chemical Enterprise. 4. What’s the Future
Filed under: Recent Posts, Leadership, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:24 pm

This blog post reflects the position that the ACS needs
to develop an on-going Subject area regarding the
Economics 
of our Enterprise, just like Chemistry and
the Law, the Environment, and Education.

.
A page in Tim O’Reilly’s book WTF:  What’s the Future”
describes the need…”The system is rigged.  Companies
are forced to eliminate workers not by the market of 
real goods and services where supply and demand set the
right price, but by the commands of financial markets,
where hope and greed too often set the price.”
.
A very provocative economist Sharon Belenzon, marks
the decline of corporate R&D by measuring the decline
of technical papers–
.
‘Corporations in the US are spending a diminishing portion of their R&D budgets on research. The share of basic and applied research in corporate R&D has tapered from 28% in 1985 to 20% in 2015. 

Corporate representation in the scientific literature is also shrinking. In an analysis of publications authored by publicly traded US companies in the Web of Science database, we observed that the annual average number of papers published per company fell from around 25 in 1980 to less than 10 in 2010. The drop was visible across a wide range of industries and most pronounced among firms with established research programmes, for which the number of publications fell by as much as 65% between 1980 and 2006.’
.
Detailed information and discussion includes:
1.  the decline of retained earnings
2.  using algorithms to make decisions
3.  intrusion of fake news, fake growth and bots to influence decisions
4.  use of polls with uncertain questions and populations and decision criteria
5.  professionals reduced to under 29-hours population

This is a critical topic for emerging chemists,
people indifferent stages of their careers and our 
professional organization aiming to serve its members.
comments (0)
12/05/17
Recommended Reading. 7.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:19 pm

Previous years’ lists

  Recommended Reading. 6,
  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.

Maria Konnikova THE CONFIDENCE GAME:  WHY WE ALL
FALL FOR IT. EVERY TIME, Penguin Random House NY 2016

Thomas L. Friedman THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE Farrar
Stevens and Giroux NY 2016

Yuval Noah Arari HOMO DEUS:  A BRIEF HISTORY OF
TOMORROW
audio 

Robert Cialdini INFLUENCE THE PSYCHOLOGY OF
PERSUASION Collins division of HarperCollins NY 1994

William Strauss, Neil Howe THE FOURTH TURNNG:  AN
AMERICA PROPHECY Broadway Books,   NY 1997

David Livermore, THE CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE DIFFERENCE: 
Master the one skill you can’t do without in
today’s global economy,
American Management Association, NY, 2011

Adam Alter, IRRESISTIBLE: The Rise of Addictive Technology
and the Business of Keeping us Hooked,Penguin Press NY 2017

Rudolph W. Giuliani with Ken Kurson, Leadership, Miramax
Books Hyperion NY, 2002

Lisa Randall, KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR:  HOW
PHYSICS AND SCIENTIFIC THINKING ILLUMINATE
THE UNIVERSE AND THE MODERN WORLD
HarperCollins 2011

Robert Colville, THE GREAT ACCELERATION:  HOW THE
WORLD IS GETTING FASTER, FASTER  Bloombury London NY 2016

Michael Breus THE POWER OF WHEN:  DISCOVER YOUR
CHRONOTYPE AND THE BEST TIME TO
EAT LUNCH,
ASK FOR A RAISE, HAVE SEX, WRITE A NOVEL AND MORE,
Little Brown and
Company NY  2016

Alan Alda  IF I UNDERSTOOD YOU WOULD I HAVE THIS
LOOK ON MY FACE
RandomHouse 2017

Barbara Oakley, MINDSHIFT BREAK THROUGH OBSTACLES
TO LEARNING AND DISCOVER YOUR HIDDEN POTENTIAL
Tarcher Peregre Penguin Random House 2017

comments (0)
12/01/17
High Performance Habits. Burchard
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:24 am

Just finished a book by Brendon Burchard– High
Performance Habits:  How extraordinary people become that way, Hay House, 2017

that addresses a consultant’s approach to look for
ways for mid-career and later professionals to increase
curiosity and genuine self confidence.
.
It differs from the more common “instruments” that reveal
to you something about yourself– strengths, MBTI
values, behaviors, etc. providing
‘ideas about the correlation between motivation - high
performance and alignment with values, clear intentions
and higher purpose. It can help you figure out how to
redefine your goals to better align with your true
desires…
” [in a review…]
.
The short story that is valued to share what he writes on
developing influence and expressing courage.
.
Where early career professionals seek certainty,
others benefit from action steps they can adapt
to and separate emotions from feelings.  It is a
self-help contribution that some may find to provide
value.
1 comment
11/24/17
CV Content. In the Internet Age.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:34 pm

Innovations in the way we present ourselves, our
research and technical work should impact how we
format and what we include in our CVs for academic
positions.

.
General guidelines for having
  - the document be in screen-readable sized font,
  - your name on each printed page with a page number, 
  - keywords that reveal that you understand that you
meet requirements (musts/wants) of the position being
filled 
  - your experience section state accomplishments led
by action verbs offering ‘
gapped-statements’ in
parallel 

construction 
and
  - sufficient information to evaluate your academic
credentials and accomplishments (your thesis and adviser,
titles of presentations, patents and articles)
.
are certain.  Just as the essential need of a signed cover
letter that cites all the documents in your package.
.
Reviewing so many documents usually means that
they are in electronic form and items should be digitally
accessible.
.
While several references suggest Purdue’s Online
Writing Lab and registration in ORCID, please
consider the Rice University listing which nicely
provides items to consider including as topics.  
In addition to those, it is now important to include
web-pages, blogs, open access articles on both technical
and topical interest, Internet commentaries, and
appropriate communication contact points (texting,
twitter, 
etc.).
.
More and more academic position applications will ask
for teaching philosophy, diversity statement, research
proposals, list of publications, patents, and presentations
 and list of references.  All of the information should be
appropriately integrated to support each other.
.
Of interest to many academic positions is seeing your
contribution and participation in “service” to department,
university and field of endeavor and presentations to 
organizations  and audiences outside of your main field.
.
Special mention should be made about CVs for outside
the US.  If you are seeking positions in Europe, you should
develop a CV in the Europass format.  (See also
1 comment
11/17/17
Professional Behavior. Dealing with Catastrophic Challenges
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:34 pm

We recently observed close friends living in CA who lost
their home and most of its contents to wildfires.  Another
friend was overtaken by back pain making it difficult to
work.  A third friend lost her husband suddenly.

.
These are hard things to face.  So is losing one’s job and
other “black elephant” events.  
.
This entry offers some ideas for actions you can do
at separate stages in your career.
.
EARLY CAREER
 - develop a detailed “master resume” [  2 ], develop a
credible internet presence 
 - monitor daily your credit card and financial records,
noting unusual events.  Have an action plan ready–
 - have an 
action plan ready for losing credit cards, cell
phones or cars
.  Don’t wait for the unfortunate event to happen–
have paid up insurance, contact numbers organized,
detailed information to provide 
 - record retention file guidance retention
1 year:  payroll stubs, bill statements
6 years:  income tax records and related forms
7 years:  critical slips, statements and cancelled checks
Permanent:  investment records, pension papers, insurance
policies, contracts, personal-  birth certificates, military,
marriage, divorce, adoption, naturalization and citizenship
real estate
 - always enroll in substantial disability insurance
.
MID-CAREER
 - continue all the early career record-keeping
 - formulate a document location spreadsheet, what is in
your safety deposit box
 - have a list of people and institutions with their contact
information for banks, brokerages, lawyers, physicians
 - formulate a will, powers of attorney, and care for
children:  instructions who would raise them in your
absence
 - organize important family photos, papers and records
 - take the initiative to ward off identity theft 
.
CLOSE TO RETIREMENT
 - visit trust attorneys and determine who you would like
to represent you
 - interview and work with a financial adviser
 - organize a checklist for what to do when a loved one
dies [see comment]
 - wealth transfer planning
2 comments
11/12/17
Letter Writing. Importance of tailored, precise and respectful letters
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:31 am

One of the leading skills that we take away from our
experience, education and learning from others is
“articulating thoughts” in letters.  Notice the specificity
at the end of the sentence.  [Many sources point out
that articulating relates to speech, lucid is more to
tuned to writing.]

.
Articulating thoughts in writing means that there is a
specific goal for your letter, whether  
  showing your 
interest in a specific position 
opening
, stating the significance of a 
research paper
you wish to submit to a journal editor
, or filing an interest or complaint with an authority
figure.
.
Lindsey McMahon encapsulates barriers to lucid
writing identifying four hurdles:
 - cultural differences:  while it is easier to describe 
international professionals working in American 
enterprises, I have found manufacturing organizations
have “time critical” focus that is not present in R&D,
for example.
Observe and pay attention to words used and timeliness,
intent and action.
.
 - verbs, active/passive voice and word order:  
interpretations and meaning can vary from person to
person
.
 - finding the right term:  so often loss of specificity
can lead to undesired outcomes
.
 - anxiety can lead to including unrelated information
due to uncertainty.  Joining organizations like 
Toastmaster International may prove to be a growing
exercise.
.
In most cases good letter writing open doors to many
opportunities as well as the goal for your writing.  
Keywords, knowing how letters are received and 
recorded (sometimes documents are screened by 
software before humans scan them), and who and
how letters are addressed (formal is more often
appropriate) are take-aways for good letter writing. 
See also.
 
2 comments