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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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07/03/08
Careers in Chemistry. Future Trends 6. Future tools
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:59 pm

Just can’t help sharing a reference to a neat
book “Shaping Things” by Bruce Sterling MIT
Press 2005.

We have moved from an age of artifacts,
made by hand, through complex
machines,
to the current era of “gizmos.”

These, I profess, will be the tools we use and
the things we make, by the processes we
develop from the materials we innovate.

New forms of design and
manufacture are
appearing,
he writes.  The future will see
a
new kind of object —
we have the primitive
forms of them now in our
pockets and
briefcases: user-alterable, multi-featured,

and
programmable.  Sterling coins them
“spimes,”
these future
manufactured objects
with informational
support so extensive
and rich
that they are regarded
as
material instantiations of an immaterial

system.

Spimes are designed on screens,
fabricated by digital
means,
and precisely
tracked through space and time. 
They
are made of
substances that can be folded
back
into the production stream of
future
spimes.

World of technoculture

Products are widely available, commercially
available
objects, anonymously and uniformly
manufactured in massive quantities using
a
planned division of labor, rapid nonartisanal
assembly-line techniques
operating over
continental economies of scale and
supported by highly reliable
transportation
finance and information systems.

Gizmos are highly usable user-alterable
multi-featured objects, commonly
programmable, with a brief lifespan. 
Gizmos offer functionality so plentiful
that
it is cheaper to import features into
the object than it is to simplify it.  Gizmos
are commonly linked to network service

providers;  they are not stand-alone

objects but interfaces.

Unlike artifacts, machines and products,
gizmos have enough
functionally to actively
nag people. 
Their deployment demands
extensive, sustained, interaction, upgrades,

grooming, plug-ins, plug-outs, unsought
messages, security threats,…

Spimes are manufactured objects with an
extensive informational
support system.

Spimes begin and end as data.  They are
designed on screens, fabricated by digital
measures and precisely tracked through
space and time throughout their earthly
existence.

                                USED BY
Products                    Consumers
Gizmos                      End-users
Spimes                      Wranglers

                                TIMELINES
Artifacts                 pre-tool age to 1508
Machines               1508 - 1919
Products                1919 - 1989
Gizmos                  1989 - 2004
Spimes                  2004 - 2060
Biots                      FUTURE

 

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Mid-career. Reinvigorating career continuation
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 12:24 pm

What a nice way for DW to re-establish our connection.
He emailed me telling about his 9 month adventure,
giving some current positive indicators, and wishing
to find a way to succeed where he has come up
short in interviews.

DW is quite talented with chemical process
scale-up and transfer skills.  He is a dogged, attention-to-
details chem engineer with more than a decade of solid
experience under his belt.

He evidently has been able to get interest and interviews
through recruiters but has not been tendered an offer.
Although he is reaching out to his network he has been
attracting about one interesting nibble a month.  The
troubling part is that he has been on the “short end of
the stick” each time.

He needs to convincingly state why hiring him as an
experienced professional is better than a fresh graduate.
He
  solves problems,
  is flexible and
  grows in responsibility in his roles. 
He doesn’t
  wait for problems to “bite you in the ass”,
He can take on responsibilities that are new and
succeed in them. 
He doesn’t wait for a promise of promotion to do more,
he assumes the responsibility and works at a higher level.

INCREASE CHANCES OF GETTING INTERVIEW
 - Expand his employers list where is wants to work
       - Identify the best places to work in all related
            technology fields
Growing fields in greater Boston area:  nano-tech, biotech

       - Determine people who might provide connections
            key contacts
       -
 - Develop your list of references to include known
       people in the fields that you are applying or
       in academia
       - send the list in with your resume;  this is one
            strong advantage an experienced person has
            over someone who recently graduated, use it
       - don’t list people just because they know you;
            list people who know how to provide a strong
            reference, are recognizable names who are
            respected and will give you a promised good
            reference.
 - Continue learning important skills, doing valuable
         things while you are not fully employed
        - join and participate in valued organizations
        - take a more active role in professional societies
        - explore all possible ways to gain new skills
Be a volunteer A-V person in a national meeting short
course offering
Volunteer to help out in professional course work in
local area
Attend free training sessions of new hardware in local
area
Attend governmental environmental groups meetings

IMPROVING INTERVIEW SUGGESTIONS
 - Really work in preparation for interviews
       - get the job description and be able to relate his
             experiences to what the employer seeks
       - find out who will interview him and get background
             on them;  read papers they have given, read
             annual report and get insight on company’s
             direction and ideals;  tell stories that relate
             similarities
 - Listen hard to interviewers descriptions and comments
       for key items they seek;  relate strongly to them
       this is why they want to hire someone… meet their needs
        - customize your stories and experience in short stories
              of accomplishment.

Finding a position in mid-career when you have been out
on the street for a while is tough and demoralizing.  Hopefully,
DW made the right move in contacting me.

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