The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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07/11/19
Hot Buttons. 3. Women in Scientific Leadership Roles
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:12 am

In the days in mid-20th century, women were a smaller fraction

of class members of math, geology, chemistry and physics classes in
many departments.  This population dynamic resulted in fewer
women in scientific leadership (decision-making) roles.
.
Implementation of programs to reach more representative faction
of balance in leadership can benefit from thoughtful attention, like
Melinda Gates book 
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World
She argues that there are unseen benefits by broadening the equality
balance.  While many organizations feel it is nice to do but do not 
sense the “pipeline” permits more of the perceived minority.  In
fact it is quite analogous to people of non-Americans natives in
emerging industries– their different approaches and perspectives
offers great benefits. 
It often starts with men and men in families.
.
Ms. Gates writes about how Bill Gates driving his children to 
school a couple of days a week moved other families to share
the transportation task in their families as well.
1 comment
06/23/19
Hot buttons. 2. Online Presence
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 6:47 pm

You are in a faster evolving situation, Readers, than even a
decade ago.  Besides needing to learn the latest and critical
tools, trends and factoids of chemistry, biology, physics,
geology, math, statistics and software, the digital world is
transforming at an alarming, hard to keep track of pace.

.
Eight critical elements for your online presence include:
1.  security - your personal information, including purchases,
apps used, websites visited are critical to accumulators.
  - delete unused apps
  - review spp permissions, keep them current
.
What do you share and post online?  Avoid exposing
photos, security settings, banking-investment-biometric
data and log-ins
  - With your associations changing your social networks,
friends and contact lists will evolve.  Periodically review.
  - Post only about others as you would have them post
about you.
 .
Do you protect your digital devicesAll are hackable.
Have an action plan for infections and malware.  [I 
regularly purchase AV software, but also use my home
owners insurance rider for computer issues
.]
.
  - use multiple passwords
  - check your social media privacy setting;  they change and 
are different on different devices
  - check for https://  and tools
.
2.  Personal websites
It is incumbent on nearly all readers to consider and continuously
update their personal website.  It is not a resume or CV and
offers things outside your professional boundary and deeper
meaning of you (In mine I list my genetic genealogy and my
professional academic genealogy.)
.
3.  Marketing
Whether you are a student, post-doc or employed in
industry, government or academia, the internet is the leading
element now in marketing.  It is both”push and pull,”requires
that technical professionals become a student of the continuously
evolving discipline of marketing
.
4.  Research
In the digital age, it is replete with the expansion of uses.  Mobile
tools are personal assistants in too many to name ways.  It includes
remote control of simple and complex devices.  Research tools.
.
Digital tools permit visualization and simulations.  Computational
power incorporates statistics.
  - from an early age, engage and pursue beneficial uses and solutions
to practical problems.  Learn from others.
  - practically bring statistics into your daily, professional and practical
existence.  Others are doing it to you.
.
5.  Networking and Communication
.
6.  Chemical Information and Government Resources.
Too often academic institutions seek originality and avoid
resources that are publicly available.  It can be a missing
link to discovering or disproving hypotheses.  
  - explore how Chemical Information resources can work for you.
  - Federal resources and reports are available through 
databases and search tools.
.
7.  Publishing
Many societies and commercial publishing firms have been the
mainstay of scientific and technical publication the 20th century.
It is steared by technical reviewers and editors.
The 21st century sees the Internet providing free, open
access publication that is overtaking slow to evolve print
organizations.  Textbooks are fair game.
  - Adapt to the new world of Open Access.
.
8.  Business, Economics and Non-profit organizations
  
4 comments
06/14/19
Watch-Outs. 110. H3+, High Pressure elements, Retractions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:07 am

One issue of C&EN contained several noteworthy items.

The first of three was appropriately tri-hydrogen ion reported
a half dozen years ago by Michele Pavanello in Phys. Rev. Lett.
The story about the incidental discovery of the spectral
profile led to identification of this ion’s significance in
interstellar chemistry. (p. 18 of issue)
.
Martin Rahm’s group continues to reveal interesting changes
in properties of elements at higher pressures.  It changed 
my thinking just like hyperconjugation did when I was
an undergraduate.  You mean elements have different 
reactivities at higher pressures!  Wow.  (p. 11 of issue)
.
The article on retractions caught my attention (p. 16)
since that is related to a significant topic in my 
Professionalism course.  We had exercises, both intentional
and unintentional, on ethics, behaviors and what to do
if you observe something.  Plagiarism heads the list of 
root causes of retractions and one item that the article
missed that is quite important is that there are truth telling
plagiarism detection software that are free and have
a cost that everyone who writes for an audience should
be aware of.  Several instances I have remarked on 
assignments that the work looks like a copy from 
another author, would you like to put things in your own
words?
comments (0)
06/03/19
Hot buttons. 1. Motivation underpinnings Financialization and Laws
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:35 am

This entry starts a new dialogue called “hot buttons.”

This first button is “Motivation”.  I found it curious what
Ladders” articulated on this topic, that for:
  newbies (1-2 years) -  “new skills or new knowledge and self
pride in accomplishing a task”
  individual contributors (3-7 yrs) - “frequent communication
with higher ups” and value 
in work life balance [whatever that
evolving concept means]
  mid-career (8-15 yrs) - “contribute to their organization’s
overall mission, goals”
  sages (>16 yrs) - being able to and in a position to ‘get
things done.’
.
It seems that business schools have influenced “motivation” as
Kellogg’s School program attests.  Their program offers finding
two or three personal drivers from five — 1- accomplishing meaningful
goals, 2-being part of a collaboration, 3-gaining status, 4-directing and 
controlling your activities, and 5-being part of a larger effort.
.
This blog recognizes these academic elements.  There are
two subsurface realities in our capitalistic system that need
to be realized. 
Reality 1 money-profit- and advantage dominates the economy
of the chemical enterprise.  It is a big business.
[Think of bankruptcies, mergers, patent infringements, and
technology generations.]
Reality 2legal contracts and laws of commerce in different
societies projects a ‘larger than life’ influence on results that
happen.  [Mores in societies evolves over time…think of race
and gender equity.]
Few of my mentors shared this with me early in my career.


 
comments (0)
05/26/19
Gig Economy. Scientific Writing Editing Review
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:12 am

Say, you have strong technical writing skills in English.
Say, you have time (more than 4 hours a day) and credentials
that clearly show proven skills in improving technical
communications.

.
Well, there is a need, that some societies promote, is available
It is an interesting avocation for some, but I am not advocating
it.  As I contacted an excellent technical writer to seek her 
“take” on this proposal.  As an article by Joanne Chen observes,
while many people look at on-site reviews for determining
a purchase decision, objective assessment from a trusted 
colleague will do better for you.
.
I shared Enago’s offering with Lisa Balbes and bring up several
of her noteworthy comments.  The remuneration is sub-standard, 
sometimes it is not equitable and not timely, the feedback on
performance can seem arbitrary, without recourse..  Other,
online reviews also point out caution.
.
She wisely points out that payment in advance and individual
contracts with stated expectations can avoid many troubles.
comments (0)
05/20/19
Job Loss, Job Search and Retirement
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 10:58 am

Now looking in the rear view mirror on this, it is possible
to offer a perspective.

.
One of the key things is to join and participate in professional
societies.  This was a strong recommendation of a former
boss at Exxon Research, Jim Amick.  Our conversations led me
to pursue roles that might provide experience in leadership and
networking.  It was not broadly spoken about at my first two
positions and it was not easy to get approval to attend meetings.
.
Yet when my turn for facing the music of job loss came,
it was my good fortune that managers encouraged me to 
attend a national ACS meeting to participate in the job clearinghouse.
That led to several interviews and offers.
.
Weathering the storms of corporate life is mostly being in the
right place at the right time, by good relationship and
skill building.  Accepting roles that are not part of my formal
background did stretch employment longevity.  But looking for
volunteer opportunities 
for the common good– chairing meeting
sessions, reviewing articles, 
volunteering as local section member
at national meetings and then
learning from successes of others
Then, help others pursue their career aspirations.
.
As I saw happen to even the most talented colleagues, cut backs occur.
Through no fault of their own I saw many people get “sacked” and 
pick themselves up and resume their career somewhere else.  My
content here is to bring up end of career observations, as are described
in Mark Miller’s article and podcast.  [LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!]
.
 - Center for Retirement Research (BC) found 37% retire earlier
(55% fail to reach age 66 target)
 -  one quarter of loss of jobs due to health (UMichigan,
Sanzenbacher)
 -  Workers 55 and older:  unemployment rate 2.6%, but long term
unemployment of >27 weeks, is 26.6%,  [that is, if you get laid off,
recovering is less likely]
 -  Sporadic income is hard to manage, but expecting to reach your
retirement goals set early in life, is getting harder and harder.
.
Pointers from Mark Miller
1. Assess your health and employment statistics in viable fields, as
time goes on.  
2. Create interim plans including health care insurance and alternate
income streams that match outflows.
3. Fees and costs of retirement accounts.  Look for financial advisers
who pursue your goals [interview several and don’t just depend on
robo-investing]
comments (0)
05/08/19
Tax Law Change. Relocation and “Gross Up”
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:32 am

Al Sklover shared one of the impacts of the 2018 tax law
change that allowed the mega wealthy a tax cut is to tax
as income any relocation reimbursement by employers.

.
The article recommends that new or relocated employees
ask for “grossing up” that is having extra sum of compensation
to pay for the taxes due.
2 comments
04/17/19
Habits. Top four that enhance your self esteem
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:06 am

Many times authors write about and speak about habits that
will help you be successful.  As we come to appreciate,
winning and “success” are fleeting until the next event in a
competitive world.

.
I enjoy much of what David Brooks writes in his NYT
editorials.  One of the latest is about 2 mountains we face
in our lives–

“If the first mountain is about building up the ego and
defining the self, the second is about shedding the ego and
dissolving the self. If the first mountain is about acquisition,
the second
 mountain is about contribution.

On the first mountain, personal freedom is celebrated
keeping your options open, absence of restraint. But the
perfectly free life is the unattached and unremembered life.
Freedom is not an ocean you want to swim in;  it it a river
you want to cross so that you can
plant yourself on the other
side.
.
So the person on the second mountain is making
commitments.  
People who have made a commitment to a
town, a person, 
an institution or a cause have cast their lot

and burned the 
bridges behind them. They have made a
promise without 
expecting
a return. They are all in.

.
I can now usually recognize first and second mountain people.

The former have an
ultimate allegiance to self; the latter have
an ultimate allegiance to some
commitment.”
.
Supporting this are habits that build self-confidence and
lead to commitment. [taken from ]
1.  delay celebration and develop a ‘reserve capacity’ to persist
2.  make choices and have the mental agility to have a back-up
if first choice does not work
3.  organize details, set priorities and understand root causes
of shortcomings
4.  be kind even in the face of rudeness, bitterness and
unhappiness

1 comment
04/14/19
Artificial Intelligence. Best Jobs and Predictions
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:36 am

Readers of this blog might look at recent reports for: 

   looking for best jobs
.
  companies are predicting when employees will quit
IBM Watson and GM have a “predictive attrition program” which
assesses employee flight risk and offers proactive steps to retain
those employees.
Career path assessments and key employee skill area predictions
are also AI targets..
Ginni Rometty predicts AI will change 100 % of jobs in the future.
.
Suggestion:  While it is nice to track trends, finding what
is likely to happen in the future and how to prepare for it
is better for our futures.
  
comments (0)
04/12/19
Update on Financial Record-keeping
Filed under: Recent Posts, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Technicians, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 6:13 am

Fidelity Investments highlighted a Kiplinger article suggesting how long to keep hard-copy and/or virtual files of financial records.

See here .
Surprises include:  Keep for 3 years records of spending using withdrawals from health spending and 529 accounts.
                               Keep for 6 years records of self-employed business income and expenses.

       Keep indefinitely records of final tax returns.  (I guess this is where it might be handy to have something like Fidelity Investments, FIDSAFE .) 
                                Keep Home purchase and home improvement documents, taxable account investment documents
1 comment
03/27/19
International Travel. New requirements
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:36 am

Are you planning international travel in the future?

.
I know when I was in grad school, the situation came 
up that had me travel to several European countries.
Emergencies happened and we had to cut it short.
.
An article, Think you only need a passport? 
WSJ  3-27-2019 by Scott McCartney
should be read, as it includes great trips:
 - make sure your passport is valid for at least another
6 months from the end of your travel
 - carry extra passport photos with white background.
[remember AAA offers photos– free for some members]
 - carry at least $50 cash for on-the-spot visa fees
 - register with the state department’s Smart Traveler
Enrollment Program STEP for contact with updates
 - carry a copy of passports, itinerary, birth certificates,
medical prescriptions, credit cards  in case of loss.
 - plan a contact near home who knows where you are
and can help in an emergency 

comments (0)
03/25/19
Plan S. OPEN ACCESS Journals
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:27 pm

Another area of interest to readers might be journal articles,
where to publish and availability of publications.

.
I searched the ACS evolving policy and viewed the page .
.
This is an area we should all take note of in consideration
with what is occurring with the rest of the global scientific
community aiming for Open Access by 2020.  See details.
.
I was tuned into this by an editorial in Interface by Jannuzzi
who linked to Richard Kiley at University College London
who wrote about the aim of “Plan S” to ensure research that
is publicly funded to be openly available.  As a species we 
face climate change, epidemic preparedness, major disasters.
He wrote of the Liberian government not being aware of
research of the potential impact of an Ebola outbreak. 
If research was openly available and acted upon, some of
the thousands of death could have delayed to their normal
course.
.
There is a sizable cost for ACS members to participate in
OA open access.  We can influence this by voicing what is
being done in proactive societies giving its members a
competitive advantage.
comments (0)
03/16/19
On-Line Platforms. Suggestions from Clint Watts
Filed under: Recent Posts, Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:15 pm

Clint Watts, former FBI agent, wrote a recent book “Messing with
the Enemy” and offers some helpful suggestions.

For your work on Platforms:
1.  Ask whether the benefits outweigh the costs.  Try to
minimize social media.
APP:  Use Moment to monitor your time commitment.
2.  Pop or drop our preference bubbles. 
Know why we ‘like,’ tweet  & share items
3.  Listen or read those who oppose our preferences. 
They provide the needed
reconnaissance for opposites.
4. Pick experts who are good critical thinkers. EOA
  A. they have experience in their field and in the topics they
discuss
  B. they have many observations in their field
  C. they go through a deliberative process (analysis)
to arrive at conclusions.  Structured evaluation, ask questions.
.
About where you seek and obtain your news, consider the abbreviation CMPP
.
Competency- source capable of knowing, gathering, and understanding
the information they provide
.
Motivation- why is the source providing the information
.
 Product- type of information- audio, print, online, video, social. .
Each type conveys different meaning and
impressions of reality.
.
 Process of collection-  were sources primary or secondary. 
Was the data selected to favor a position?
Is contrary data considered and tested?

comments (0)
03/09/19
On-line Platforms. Subtle repositories of metadata
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:53 am

As a twist on topics the blog shares, I wish to bring up
an intriguing book that I recommend you read–   ’Zucked-

Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe’ by Roger MaNamee,
Penguin NY 2018.
.
Unwittingly, many of us may be the fodder of metadata for
high tech internet operating organizations and platforms.
Then, we further participate and are entranced to follow
what the AI directed algorithms prescribe.
.
McNamee writes that the internet technology world follows
predictable patterns.  He points out technology has two rules
of thumb– Moore’s law about integrated circuit packing
density and Metcalfe’s rule about the increasing value of
any network being proportional to the square of the number
of nodes (or members). 
.
These result in a philosophy:
-make things appear to be free, effort-less and friction-less 
to make networks and connections engage more often and
build on habits that evolve into addictions
.
-promote a libertarian philosophy that prioritizes individuality
over the common good.  Individuals feel good about ambition
and greed.  Disruption, being first and winning becomes an
effective strategy.
.
The author highlights the role of the vision, value system
and connections a group of leaders, he calls the “Paypal
Mafia” have succcessfully promoted.  [Named are P. Thiel,
E. Musk, R. Hoffman, M. Levchin and J. Stoppleman]
.
McNamee shared the finding that MoveOn.org president
described where FB and Google feeds no longer are subject
neutral but are biased to deliver likeable content and headlines
to engage emotions.  [Ed Pariser]

A real stand out the book offers is a segment on B J.. Fogg
and Persuasion Technology that Silicon Valley firms employ
to compete, grow and prosper.  the result is that the software
designer creates the illusion of user (you and I) control, when
it is the system (and AI) that guides every action.  FB and Google
now include behavioral prediction engines that anticipate our
thoughts and emotions and offer high quality targeting for advertisers. 

2 comments
02/23/19
Professional Profile. 6.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:24 pm
Profile:  Senior Supervisor Immunoassay disease detection.

- What do you say when asked about your personal style and responsibilities? 
I would say my personal style is pretty easy to work with and always trying to
accommodate others reasonable requests within my ability. My responsibility
I would say it’s really to help others, either it’s the upper management or my
colleagues. 
- Are you challenged?  What stresses you? 
I’m definitely challenged at work, but I welcome that as it gives me a sense
of accomplishment. As with any projects, finding and managing resources can
be pretty stressful, but I think our team are doing pretty well so far.

- Describe your title, how long you have been in your role and your most
enjoyable responsibilities and tasks. 
I currently hold a supervisory role and I enjoy very much working with my team
to meet our targets and present our work together to the cross functional team.

- How did you land your current position?  Do you continuously keep an open
mind to changing positions?  How long should we stay in our positions? 
I started as a scientist role in my current company and was approached by my
current boss to work on a special project that expands our companies current
portfolio, which I thought was and still is pretty interesting. As my experience
grows, I always think about the next step, for which I have continuous dialogue
with my current boss.

- What do you believe aided you in being awarded your position? 
Not afraid to take on really challenging but low visibility tasks.

- Have you refused an offer that you think you should have taken?  What were
the factors in your decision? 
Yes, long term professional growth was probably the biggest reason I decided
to refuse. The offer I refused was definitely a much better short term offer, but
I think I made the right decision.

- What opportunities and challenges do you see provide growth for you? 
Right now, gaining experience in resource and project management is the
biggest learning opportunity for me.

- What are ways that you go out of your way to expand your network? 
So far, I think not being afraid to ask for help and others advice has helped.

What comments do you wish to make for people who are graduating or
planning on moving on in the next year? 
Keep an open mind, what you do after graduating may be different than
what you studied for 5+ years. Be prepared for the interview and know your
audience before your presentation, expect questions on anything you put
up on the slides, sometimes it’s the small details that trip people over.

comments (0)
02/11/19
Professional Profile. 5.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:04 am


Profile: Policy & Advocacy Fellow at Society for Neuroscience


- What do you say when asked about your personal style and responsibilities?

In terms of overall work, I like to be given a project and work independently, while knowing where to go for help if needed. It’s also very important for me to know where my work fits into the overall mission of the group, and that we all work together towards a common goal- that is usually very motivating for me. I also typically enjoy being given a great deal of responsibility in my work, as I take that as a sign of trust and therefore try to achieve the goals at hand as best I can. I try to utilize these principles in my current job, where I am part of a great team and also feel that I am given enough freedom to learn, explore, and manage projects and assignments. We have plenty of meetings about various aspects of the work, which is very helpful. I enjoy the group interactions as well as the independent work.  


- Are you challenged?  What stresses you?

I’m challenged every day in the sense that I am faced with having to find something, learn a new system or vocabulary- sometimes I am challenged in terms of time constraints, other times because I am working on a task that I’ve never done before. But this also contributes to the value of this experience. I was lucky enough to be given this opportunity to be a Policy & Advocacy Fellow at Society for Neuroscience. This is my first exposure to working in a department where there is a blend of biomedical PhDs and those from other backgrounds, and first time working for a scientific society and seeing how that works, while also learning more about policy & advocacy. I enjoy being fully immersed in all the novel experiences in this position, whether they are in the office, or outside going to Hill events (which is a lot of fun!). What stresses me is sometimes the element of surprise or changing circumstances, meetings or tasks, although currently I am fascinated by everything and soaking it all in. In general, I like stability, but in some cases, especially if it’s something I am interested in and wanting to learn more about, I welcome chaos and embrace new things no matter how hectic it is, because I know it’s a tremendous learning opportunity and I feel passionate about it. I suppose a lot of how we approach life comes down to our attitude towards things- if we think that something is exciting and we are grateful for it, we will enjoy it more. I am also stressed sometimes about not knowing what comes next in my career, however from past experience, my plans don’t usually work out but something else works out which typically turns out to be even better than I could have ever imagined. So I’m trying to learn a bit of the art of “going with the flow” and seeing where my interests and passions will lead, and enjoy the process.


- Describe your title, how long you have been in your role and your most enjoyable responsibilities and tasks.

I am the Policy & Advocacy Fellow at Society for Neuroscience. I started in this role on January 2, 2019. I enjoy having variety in my day, therefore the ideal day is a combination of office work and Hill time, which is not very common (although Hill Day in March will be exciting). The idea of interacting with people outside the office during the workday for networking is really important, and I’m trying to also take advantage of living in D.C. and engage in experiences outside of work as well, because there is so much here for me to learn from and I don’t want to miss useful opportunities. In terms of specifics, I enjoy drafting letters and working on excel sheets with information, especially if I know what the goal for them is, and in particular if they are collaborative efforts. It’s exciting to contribute to a collective project in the office, but I also enjoy being out of the office to and getting some practical experience.


- How did you land your current position?  
Do you continuously keep an open
mind to changing positions?  
How long should we stay in our positions?

I had some prior science policy experience. Once I realized that I wanted to pursue this as a career path, I applied to relevant jobs that fit my background. Out of all the jobs I applied to and interviewed for, this was my favorite, so I am very happy to be in it now. I searched for and applied to jobs for some time, and in the process learned the right level of job to apply for, my application materials improved and my Skype interview skills sharpened with each conversation. This position just happened to be there at the right time, I was very excited about it (which probably showed in the process!) and it was just a really good fit overall. I was happy to learn that, when I got the position, everyone in the office unanimously voted that it should be me. I am reminded of this every day and I am really grateful for how accepting and welcoming they have been towards me since the very beginning. I’m also lucky to be in a really good working environment, which I didn’t always have. I think we should stay in our positions for as long as we are still learning and growing in them, and when it starts becoming boring and not useful, switch. We should not switch if it’s challenging, however, only if there are good reasons to do it. We should always be striving to better ourselves and thus look for that next thing that will allow us to accomplish that. The exception to this is a situation where the environment is really toxic or detrimental to our well-being, in that case we should leave it immediately.


- What do you believe aided you in being awarded your position?

I had demonstrated prior interest and passion in the area that I was looking to get hired for, and this position was a logical next step for me. I was able to articulate what I had previously learned and done, but also knew exactly why I wanted this position. I was looking for exactly this type of experience as the next step in my career. Although I had some experience with policy, I had never worked in a department like this. I work hard and I think I had demonstrated that in the past, so I came across as someone who was reliable and whom they could count on for pretty much any task at hand, which I imagine is what they were looking for. Finally, I also had the scientific background, and I believe they wanted a PhD graduate for this position, and that serves me well now as I am able to apply that background to this position. At the same time, I am also learning the policy & advocacy side of it, which is what I wanted to learn. Overall this is a win-win situation, and I think that everyone on the team is gaining from it. Plus, it is a really good working environment which is great.


- Have you refused an offer that you think you should have taken?  
What were the factors in your decision?

Not an offer. There were other potential interviews on the horizon when I decided to accept this one, and some of those were more long-term and potentially more stable as well. But this was my only offer I had at the time, and I didn’t want to wait any longer before moving in this direction, so I accepted immediately. At the time I was still toying with several options as to where I wanted my career to go, and I applied for jobs in two different directions along the same continuum. In a sense it was maybe a bit of a coin toss in terms of which one would work out first. Interestingly, I interviewed for the other type of job first, and I got pretty far in the process (I got to the in-person interview) but then ended up not getting the job, which I was very disappointed by. In retrospect, I am grateful that happened because it determined my direction towards something else that I instinctively knew was the right thing for me, and my current position was exactly that. I remember saying to a friend after I didn’t get the other job offer that it would be ideal for me to work in policy at a scientific society. I am now doing that, so it couldn’t have worked out any better!


- What opportunities and challenges do you see provide growth for you?

Right now this position is both a tremendous opportunity and challenge at the same time, and I took the job knowing that it would be both, and I need both. I haven’t entirely figured out where to go from here, but I am learning more every day about what my future interests might be and where I might want to take it, just by being exposed to various experiences. My opportunity right now is to work with people from a different background, and learn how they think about the same issue that I am bringing my scientific expertise to. This is really valuable. The challenge is that I to put myself in situations which are outside of my comfort zone. I purposely seek them out because I know they will be growth opportunities for me. Sometimes this means talking to someone I might be intimidated by, so I force myself to just go up to them and start talking! This job is definitely teaching me how to network, and I find it’s getting easier overtime. I also often seek out projects that I know nothing about but could help with, in order to gain that expertise and grow in a different direction that I might not have explored otherwise.


- What are ways that you go out of your way to expand your network?

Being in DC provides a lot of opportunities to meet people, and I find that most people are happy to have an afternoon coffee and talk about what they do. This is usually very  informative for me, and provides good practice for me in talking about my interests and goals to as many people as possible. The interesting thing is that I almost always get a different response, a new perspective, or a resource I didn’t have before. I attend some events related to work, and others on my own in particular if they are on something I am interested in (for example at the NASEM) but wouldn’t have the opportunity attend in person otherwise. I also try to go to social events related to policy work, where either peers or higher level experts would be present, and seek to meet both types of people. I find that talking with peers is helpful for practicing my pitch before going up to someone who might be more intimidating.


- What comments do you wish to make for people who are graduating or planning on moving on in the next year?

I would say that career exploration should be a constant endeavor, and not done only when you are in your last year of your PhD, for example. Don’t wait until the end to try and figure out what you might want to do. Every day is an opportunity to explore something new, and everything you do can change your career trajectory. If you work in the lab, get out and meet people, especially those from different research areas or non-scientific backgrounds, because you will learn a lot. Keep an eye out for opportunities to grow and help others in your community. Never stop learning and growing, and find opportunities that will facilitate both of these things.


comments (0)
12/29/18
Recommended Reading. 8.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), Leadership, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:01 am

1  Norman E. Rosenthal,
THE GIFT OF ADVERSITY:  The Unexpected
 Benefits of Life’s Difficulties, Setbacks and Imperfections.

2.  Ray Dalio  PRINCIPLES Simon and Shuster NY 2017

3.  Edward De Bono SIX THINKING HATS; Revised and
updated Little
Brown and Company Boston 1999
 

4.  Peter Post EMILY POST THE ETIQUETTE ADVANTAGE
IN BUSINESS 
PERSONAL SKILLS FOR
PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS William Morrow 2014 

HarperCollins NY

5.  Robert Sapolsky, BEHAVE:  THE BIOLOGY OF HUMANS AT OUR
BEST AND WORST
Penguin Press NY
  2017

6.  Amy Chua POLITICAL TRIBES:  GROUP INSTINCT AND THE FATE OF
NATIONS
Penguin Press, NY 2016

7.  Sherry Turkle RECLAIMING CONVERSATION:  THE POWER OF TALK
IN A DIGITAL AGE, Penguin
NY 2015

8.  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
  2016R

9.  Daniel Pink WHEN THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF PERFECT TIMING

Riverhead Books NY 2018

10.  Malcolm Nance THE
PLOT TO HACK AMERICA Skyhorse
Publishing NY 2016

11.  Steve Sashihara, THE OPTIMIZATION EDGE:  REINVENTING DECISION
MAKING TO MAXIMIZE ALL
YOUR COMPANY’S ASSETS, McGraw Hill NY 2011

12.  Peter Bruce Andrew Bruce, PRACTICAL STATISTICS FOR DATA
SCIENTIST
O’Reilley Media 2017

13.  Malcolm Nance THE PLOT TO DESTROY DEMOCRACRACY Hatchette 2017
NY

14.  Yuval Noah Harari 21 LESSONS FOR THE 21st CENTURY,
Spiegel & Grau NY 2018

15.  Carl Zimmer A PLANET OF VIRUSES 2ND EDITION
University of Chicago
Press, Chicago London 2015

16.  Steven Brill TAILSPIN: 
THE PEOPLE AND FORCES BEHIND AMERICA’S
50-YEAR FALL-  AND THOSE FIGHTING TO REVERSE IT, Alfred
Knopf NY 2018

17.  Jaron Lanier TEN
ARGUMENTS FOR DELETING YOUR SOCIAL
MEDIA ACCOUNTS

comments (0)
12/23/18
End of Year Career Management. 2018
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 4:31 pm
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
         Job Search and Resumes
         Economics and Financial Entries
 Trends
.
Professional Behavior
Ghosting, Cat-fishing and BUMMER
Hacking, Cyberattacks
Chronotypes
Decision Making
Spam Messages
Absenteeism and Illness
Timing
Job Searching and Resumes, Profiles, Letters
Digital Formats
Good Companies List
Contract Work
Changing Jobs
Conversations in Digital Age
Letters, Thank yous
Digital Profile
Search Fundamentals
Mid-Career 
Economics and Financials
Takeovers and Mergers
Harari and Future AI
Business Dominance, Meacham
Finances, Index Card
Finances, Credit Score
Business Models
Trends
Viruses
Patents
Perovskites, Statistics, DNA
MCCree, AI
Go File
Peer Review
Safety with automation and AI
1 comment
12/22/18
Professional Behavior. Terms for interviews and social media recruitment
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:48 pm

Professional responsibility requires that we have some idea of
terms that are used in relation to interviewing and internet and
social media searching.

.
“Ghosting” is a term describing applicants and current employees
who are impossible to reach in our tight job market.  As most early
career professionals now find many openings, it is incumbent on 
them to communicate and provide updated reliable contact 
information to recruiters.
While the article by C. Cutter views it from the recruiters’ perspective,
many of the comments and my experience is that companies more
often “ghost” candidates after contact and do not offer availability
to candidates.
.
Catfishing - behavior in social networks using senseless rejection, 
belittling, and sadism.  It is used by network profiteers to enact
behavior modification.
.
“BUMMER” is a term coined by Jaron Lanier who discusses the
pros and cons of social networks which are implemented to 
search of positions and inquire about employees.  BUMMER is
an acronym for Behaviors of Users Modified and Made into
an Empire for Rent.
.
BUMMER represents statistical algorithms that calculate the
chances that a person will act in a particular way.    The overall
population can be affected with greater probability than can any
single person.
.
Lanier outlines the components of BUMMER           
               A – attention acquisition leading 
               B – butting into everyone’s lives
               C – cramming content down people’s throats
               D – directing people’s behaviors in the sneakiest way
               E – earning money from letting the worst assholes secretly
screw with everyone else
               F -  fake modes and faker society

Fake people are present in unknown vast numbers as  Bots,
AIs agents, fake reviewers, fake friends, fake followers, fake posters,
automated catfishers.

About Social Media
.
Social media is based on “engagement.”

When people get a flattering response in exchange for posting
something they get in the habit of posting more.  It is the first
stage of an addiction that becomes a problem both for individuals
and society.  Significant aspects of increasing engagement include
randomness, economic
motivation without responsibility, and
adaptability. 

The benefits of networks only appear when
people use the
same platform.  [Think apple iphone, messaging, facetime,
and apps.]  Once the
app starts to work you are stuck with it. 

These are called “lock-ins” and they are hard to avoid in digital networks. 

We are carrying devices suitable for mass behavior modification.

We are crammed into online environments controlled by few
centers guided by
business models that involves finding
customers ready to pay to modify someone
else’s behavior.

New companies measure whether an individual changed their
behaviors
and the feeds for each person are constantly tweak
to get behaviors to change.

comments (0)
12/03/18
Good Companies List
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:40 pm

You know, it is hard to come up with a list of firms to
consider applying to.  Sure you can go to your placement
services, whether academic, commercial or governmental,
and see who they cite.

.
You can go to fields of specialization where previous people
from your area have landed positions.
.
You can take recommendations from mentors who may have
current knowledge.
.
As we are seeing, what is important to some people is not as
important to others.  I recall when I began my search, all I
heard was that finding a good post doc was critical after 
grad school.  Then, I had a mock interview with a mentor 
who offered a unique idea of looking for energy related 
fields (now this was in the 70s, just before the time of the 
Arab oil embargo in the US).  So when I was involved with
screening interviews, I accepted all that were offered and I 
could request.  Then part of my decision process involved
determining energy companies.
.
These days business aspects are paramount.  Which firms
have good management, philosophies and practices?  The 
WSJ determined a ranking of 752 firms using Peter Drucker’s
criteria of doing the right things well.  It is well worth taking
a look at the criteria and perhaps digging into the listing to
determine where you might search.  
.
It is true that other factors besides this play a role for each 
of us and that we need to define them– company culture,
location, specific fields of interest, and so forth.
.
When I perused the list at least half of the top 50 are technology
intensive companies and there are some firms that I had not
known before.  This is valuable and should be of strong 
interest to you.
Look at a number of the companies listed and go to their 
websites.
[Even get a copy of the 12-3-18 issue of the WSJ.]
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