Oh! My gosh!
Recent issue of CEN had a page devoted to virtual presentations.
Were you left thinking: what about screen sharing, What about file
sharing, what about “raising hands” and other details? [CEN 12-7-20,
I recall hosting virtual presentations for a class, holding classes
virtually due to snow closing, and attending virtual conferences
for various situations and groups.
While I recognize many constraints on CEN publications (ads,
graphics, font size, and layout), a brief search has discovered
Think about the program you use– Zoom, skype, google groups
Test presentation in advance and arrange for screen sharing
arrangement. (If some or all information is “dense” perhaps
send out in advance or arrange follow-up arrangement, like
Use a microphone, headphone and test elements in advance
with trial audience. Either plug in power or fully charge,
have appropriate lighting, background, privacy settings,
no interference, even some questions set up in advance.
Plan for an agenda, arrive early and prepared, have a
clock in eye view, consider having hard copy with post-its
attached for remarks and call-outs. Connect with appropriate
small-talk and situational introduction. Note the use of a
mute key and avoid using keyboard or other distraction
elements during the presentation. Stay on time.
The presentation is for the audience. How will you monitor
attention, response and feedback? Will you seek questions
and comments throughout or at specific intervals? Will
it be oral, will it be visual with text, will it be photos and
graphics? Have titles on slides that reveals the objective.
Your energy plays a role. Consider standing if it helps.
That changes the dynamics of the camera and mic arrangement.
During the Pandemic quarantining I have been taking a
number of Master Classes. At first I chose more than
a dozen about space, science, technology and economics.
The places where I was unfamiliar with the instructor
or topics were initially less of interest.
effective and authentic communication. Am I surprised
by how much I believe she has something to say and
great communication ability! In her 6th lesson she reveals
in her unique way best practices to succeed in job interviews.
Some specific take-away comments were:
- “make your mess your message”
- “early detection is key” [for all ailments and problems]
- “proximity is power” [you can influence your success by
being in the right place at the right time.]
- “Optimism is a muscle that gets stronger with use.”
Normal contracts for Master Classes are a bit pricey ($150-
185 unlimited number of classes for a year This is my 20th
class and my wife has viewed half dozen in 6 months). There are
reasonable cancellation policies if you wish to discontinue.
for a realistic review.
[I have searched for ways to view just this one class and
have not discovered any. There may be a youtube file
that you can locate, however.]
During a career discussion with a Ph.D. who is figuring out
what to do next and what it takes to succeed, we talked about
“wow” factors of candidates that separates outstanding candidates
from good, yet unprepared, candidates. [I use this term to be
kind to unsuccessful candidates.]
What is the “wow” factor and how can candidates achieve it?
described it in a Young Entrepreneurs Council discussion recently.
- go the extra distance and trying new avenues pursuing goals
- developing new interests by reading and with mentors
- adjusting to new realities while learning from the past
- while they may not grasp the culture of the interviewer, understanding
that culture fit will not be based on real skills on paper but attitude
- being a self starter and willingness to take direction while adding
Doing the right things when no one is looking
= getting things done in timely basis with a profit motive
- being humble yet having self knowledge about strengths and
Strengths and weaknesses, what are you doing about it
- be able to describe your accomplishments in perspective
Realize that each one of us needs a tailored elevator pitch tuned to
why you want the position and you are a good candidate. Also,
have personal reflections revealing wow factor elements that shows
who you are by your behaviors
Read a purposeful NYTimes articel by Charlette Cowles
that point out what professionals can and should do
in Linkedin to help you meet your goals.
In a typical fashion for community networks, she lists
this Microsoft acquisition urges members to remain
active, whatever their current and future situation.
She advises to include true representative entries
into sections– photo, skills, certifications, active
networking, practice interviews, …
Have you heard of that book?
No, well, I am here to tell you you are missing out on a real ice-breaker
of a nonfiction written by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum.
For decades there has been a struggle between the American economy’s
desire to constantly increase productivity and the desire to maintain
blue-collar jobs. We watched
- as more machines and cheaper workers replaced
American manual laborers
- as loss of blue-collared jobs were
compensated for by creating white collar jobs
- as we see the hyper connected world
threaten white collar jobs
We do it by inventing new white collar jobs, which requires
more start-ups and better education.
Workers who can think critically, who can tackle nonroutine complex
tasks, and who can work collaboratively with teams located locally and
Critical thinking has become the basic price of admission. Look for
proven ability to innovate.
Innovation is more than conceptual thinking. It comes our of working
with the problem. Working with the materials, on the line, seeing a
problem and devising a solution. Every employee is part of the
process of continuous innovation.
EDUCATIONAL TRANSFORMATION REQUIRES WHOLE
Graduation from high school is not enough.
Six improvements are proposed:
1. better teachers and better principals
the quality of an educational system can not exceed the
quality of the teachers. A principal recruits and retains great teachers.
WE NEED A NEW EDUCATIONAL ACADEMY MODELED
AFTER MILITARY ACADEMIES.
Great teachers make the difference. Colorado can be a model
for educational improvement
Education needs its “Tuskegee Moment”- prove that children can
compete with the world’s best.
2. more involved parents that demand more in children’s education.
3. politicians who push to raise standards
4. neighbors who invest in schools even if their children are not there.
5. business leaders committed to raising educational standards
FRIEDMAN AND MANDELBAUM URGE
As globalization and IT merge, expand and advance, old
categories of developed and underdeveloped will disappear.
The world will be divided between high-imagination-enabling
countries that encourage and enable imagingation and
those countries that simply fail to develop people’s
creative capacities and abilities to spark new ideas and
nurture their extra special features.
Add to the three R’s of education– reading, writing and arithmatic
with the three C’s– critical thinking, effective oral and written
communication, and collaboration.
One of critical pieces of data you must have ready in an interview
is a list of at least three references.
Along with this, please know it is critical to have asked those
individuals whether they are available to provide good references
for you. To help them do their job, it is so critical to provide
a current CV or resume and with whom you have or will be
Recommendation references can be requested via mail and email,
and also via email in a phone call where there is an actual
conversation between an interviewer and your reference.
I have known HC for nearly ten years where we have worked on
her career path search process. Her goal from the beginning has
been to work in a government research lab or federal department
as a scientist/ chemist. After her Ph.D. she gained a post doc position
in a field related to pharmaceutical sciences. A four year R&D role
and academic positions followed. In each, she has come up to speed
quickly and made creditable contribution.
Earlier this year, I strongly recommended her for the academic
role. To prepare me for this we had a telecon to help me develop
an understanding of her motivation and qualifications. The process
followed where I wrote a supporting letter to the search committee.
Since I have not been a supervisor or co-worker, I perform as
a professional personal reference and provide a brief summary
of my background as a manager and interviewer and teaching
professional skills as a consultant and adjunct for many.
Ideal references need to provide your assets and specific examples.
So, it is important that you know he or she will be able to do
this. Rank of the individual is less significant than their ability
and experience supporting your candidacy.
If your reference is asked to conduct a phone reference
conversation, it may be a sign that your quite highly considered
for the opening and the conversation will “close the deal”. So
it was for HC, there was a strong positive reaction to the interview
process. Yet one of the other three references failed to respond.
This could be a situation where you are asked to provide three
references and where you add a fourth, just in case.
References for professional positions, you should:
- Have a list of four four professionals–name, title, affiliation,
address, phone (confirm the right one for interviewers to use), email.
(Senior level positions could require 5 to 7.)
- Obtain permission and availability to provide a good reference
- Keep your references aware of your progress.
- Send current resume, CV, cover letter and related documents to
- Thank your references, letting them know you appreciate their efforts.
- When leaving a position, thank your supervisor in that role for their
role with respect to you.
- Consider greeting references with a holiday card in a personal, more
than casual way.
- Understand providing a reference requires thought, time and know-how.
Find ways of professionally recognizing them for doing more.
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
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
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
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
4. be kind even in the face of rudeness, bitterness and
Profile: Technology Specialist, Science and Technology Patent LLC
Style and Responsibilities
Proficient in both experimental and computational exploration of
synthesis and evaluation. Developed technology assessment
experience through post-doc and internship.
Personable and highly organized with different cultures.
Position involves bringing technical skills to bear on business
strategy and best legal practices for technology concept protection
for biomaterials, formulations, optophotonic electronics, food
Challenges and Stresses
Time is currently a limited resource with long commute,
management of household with preschool children and
current housing arrangement. Am using mentors to figure
out longer term strategies and encouragement to ask questions
and seek help.
Landing Current position and openness to new opportunities
The search for my current position that I started a month ago
faced several hurdles. We became new parrents, had my
work papers approved and dealt with several months break in
appointments. Yet we were successful due to persistence,
preparation and practice.
Just as one might expect, as soon as I started a new position
other opportunities arise. While the benefits package is quite
satisfactory and meets our needs (eg. salary exceeds ACS
Salary Comparator benchmark), I will find a way to accept
interview invitations. I do not do them from my employer’s
locations nor on employer’s time. I keep all engagements
confidential and record notes.
Interestingly, since this is a legal position “billable hours”
is a new work constraint that I am learning to include in my
Opportunities for Growth
In addition to a highly skilled staff and generous benefits,
the firm offers continuous in-house training, support for
personal growth and patent agent certification and help
in pursuing a legal education.
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
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
This year we outline major subject areas covered:
Job Search and Resumes
Economics and Financial Entries
Job Searching and Resumes, Profiles, Letters
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
Catfishing - behavior in social networks using senseless rejection,
belittling, and sadism. It is used by network profiteers to enact
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
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,
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
motivation without responsibility, and
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
New companies measure whether an individual changed their
and the feeds for each person are constantly tweak
to get behaviors to change.
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
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
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
[Even get a copy of the 12-3-18 issue of the WSJ.]
The Chemistry Profession encourages through the
training institutions focusing attention on exclusively
the technical side of the business. So much of what
we face in the industrial and government realms
This blog has offered several glimpses via entries on
this different perspective. I could not help but exclaim
“wow” when CEN covered a story about Bain and
Pfizer forming Cerevel (10-29-18, p. 14). The same
issue reported Deerfield and UNC organizing a
curious partnership (p. 15).
Dow and DuPont dominated CEN 11-19-18) after
their merger and activist investor inspired breakup
of various lower performing divisions. (pp. 11, 22ff)
up into three separate companies.
All these activities remind me of bank buyouts,
ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans) and
rapid turnover of company leadership and philosophy
of the 1980s.
So, please study and become aware of the
chemistry leads you into.
Your success, stability and satisfaction will require it.
Steven Brill outlines the changes that have occurred
triggering the financialization of the chemical enterprise
that we have highlighted through the work of Rana Faroohar
Brill points out that business today has taken on a new meritocracy
with a “get rich quick” philosophy that works through cut-throat
tactics and the flooding of political influence money that no
longer prioritizes the common good, but “win at any cost” for
the privileged few.
The resulting model finds successful businesses protected by
“moats” that shield off predators. Moats he describes as good
product lines, great reputations, predominant market share and
sterling management who hire the best of the best teams that
savvy investors will seek out.
More and more we see AI and robotics impinge on human
roles. So in addition to seeking cognifying roles
in our careers,
consider what John Meacham has urged
- do practical work in the political sphere employing your highest
- respect and insist on true facts and deploy reason (avoid
dictators who lie frequently assuming that repetition will lead to
- keep history in mind.
Just doing chemistry is not enough for professionals.
We all can relate to how our existences are consumed
by cell phones, computers, wifi and alexa. AI is not
far behind where we relate more and more with robots
and devices for many needs, wants and desires.
Nonetheless, the art and reality of being good at conversing
with others makes human relationships hum.
Sherry Turkle wrote of an interviewing technique in her
“Employers have come to appreciate the vulnerability of
the new generations. Some businesses explicitly screen
for an ability to converse.” A big pharma exec told of a
conversation with an applicant. Then, at the end ‘I tell the
potential recruit that their homework is to organize what we
have discussed and from that make an agenda of interesting
themes for our next conversation.’
This approach emphasizes the importance of listening skills,
getting a clear understanding of each person’s ideas and
purpose and being able to synthesize a cogent argument.
This is not to say that the advantages digital technologies
are not used and important. It emphasizes the “and” in
conversation and digital technologies, in addition to knowing
when and how and when not.
The author states some well demonstrated doctrines like
practice with conversation and digital technologies is key–
use it or lose it…
She adds in texting, punctuation is everything (it is easily
I liked where she relates the motivation for using digital
technologies (the Goldilocks effect) and what it does in
This easily readable book is a recommended read for
technical professionals who want to get ahead and seek
some good advice.
Three things have come to my attention. One was a recent
graduate’s interest in a consulting firm position. So we
have been in discussion about how she might prepare for
developing her cover letter, resume and other documents.
A second item relates to an important technical area that
Bill Gates has indicated demands more attention– preparing
Finally, an interesting letter to the editor in CEN by
Professor Adam Heller talks about mitigation work
needed to deal with the growing global warming threat
we all face. I note this because Adam has always been
at the forefront of where technology needs are…lithium
batteries, lasers, biomedical devices and more.
The initial volley involved getting information on the company,
seeing the job description and related information from
insiders and Glassdoor.com. As is found from many of
- desire blending information technology and management
- recently graduated from top institution with credentials
- skilled and experience with using software and developing
learning tools in C++, Java, C# and other platforms
- demonstrates outstanding communication skills in all phases
So this provides some hints about important things to include
in application documents. But we do need to go further. Using
Linkedin, and the firm’s website we can learn more about
the kinds of project areas and notable citations. One citation
came up about a highly touted recent book on consulting that
the CEO wrote. Probably would be good to pick up.
Then, consider making use of your network to glean other
useful information and tactics to allow you to stand out, like.
the name of the recruiter to send things to.
PREPARE FOR NEXT PANDEMIC
In a recent ScienceAlert post Bill Gates talked about an
area of high need. Gates told of a simulated disease
spread model of a flu borne pathogen. It would create
devastating consequences that we are not prepared for.
Strategies and organizations need to be formed to
identify the mode and source and rapidly develop
mobile operations to isolate, treat and inoculate larger
populations. This is long range thinking well beyond
the fiscal and election cycles that should be of interest
to technical professionals interested in being part of
something larger than themselves and making a difference.
In a Letter to the Editor of C&EN on April 30,
A. Heller wrote of the high need to report in their
pages the critical need for scientific research to
develop and test strategies to global warming
catastrophes the earth faces.
Where C&EN fills its pages with alternate energy
and conservation, these are “tip of the iceberg”
solutions. Trends point to global wealth and the resulting
use of resources without sustainable management as
the dominating input for continued earth warming
in addition to a series of unintended consequences of
loss of ice caps, changing climate patterns and severe
natural events in tropical areas.
Work on Geochemical approaches is needed and
has to be reported in C&EN and to the wider
One of my critical findings about IDPs Academic inspired
Individual Development Plans is it completely “whiffs” on
I fear that if you ‘fill out the forms’ for IDP you miss nearly
half of the skills many employers desire in applicants.
intelligence is revealed. It is not about using big words and
offering elaborate details about technical concerns.
1. asking questions of yourself, like
how does my mood affect my behaviors, thinking and
what subsurface influences affect me and others?
to uncover self and social awareness.
2. how do you control your reaction to things that affect
your emotions. You have little to manage your emotional
take on things, but how you react can reveal your character.
3. Do you say what you mean and mean what you say?
4. Empathy for others; not meaning agreeing with others
but trying to understand others.
5. Do you intentionally commend and show appreciation
6. Do you keep your commitments and help others?
conversely, do you apologize for short-fulfilling commitments
and even guard yourself from being taken advantage of
by being manipulated?
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
* 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
A respected colleague of mine, Christine Kelly
points out that much thought should be devoted
before you send your application for a position
There are several aspects to knowing yourself and
how you can present yourself to prospective employers.
they might fit into each organization’s culture.
MUSTS AND WANTS
The job description can be a help in describing what
successful candidates will bring to the organization.
I like her dividing job descriptions into short and long.
In the long ones observe the location and number of
mentions of key skills (note the keywords used and
employ them in your documents). In short ones, examine
Linkedin for people who have similar titles to see what
skills they list and what accomplishments they summarize.
Study the website for detail.
Above all, research via your network, including
Every interaction with every representative is part
of their interview of you. Christine points out in the
screening interview or information interviews
act and present yourself professionally.
In all interactions, virtual, visual, oral and in writing,
your future employer is interested in what you have
to offer. In discussions, listen carefully to the questions
of what people are seeking to learn and respond to
their queries. However, remain positive and phrase
negatives in ways that show your creativity and ability
to progress and learn from failure.
Do practice interviews. Anticipate and write out
answers you can use. Ask for feedback from
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
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
Roles Responsibilities - [job opportunities, training]
- 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