We may set out on our careers with
with one thing in mind. When the time
comes, things may be different. Have
early warning systems, continuously
monitor and adjust to changing
conditions and incorrect assumptions.
So you want to be a professor
Source: WSJ 4-23-09 by N. S. Riley
Cut-backs in faculty positions are
happening. Also, interestingly a number
of departments plan to reduce grad
student enrollment. This eye
opening editorial talks about the
academic job shortage, ‘freeway
flyers’ and the state of higher
education, in general.
IRA Contributions in difficult times
Source: WSJ 3-24-09 Ask Encore
Kelly Greene Tax rules are changing.
It is prudent to develop a current
plan for IRA distributions. Do the
first distributions before 65, if your
tax rate is low.
Protecting retirement funds from
Source: WSJ 5-9-09 Kelly Greene 401K
plans have strongest protection from
creditors. Trade off discussions about
where to keep retirement funds offering
pros and cons of rollovers and 401Ks.
Suggestions of how to protect funds
in IRAs are offered.
On the other side of the interview table,
the reviewers’ side, there are some trends
to learn about. R. Flandez surveyed small
companies and presented hiring projections.
Less hiring is expected. [We also note
correspondingly fewer chemistry related
job postings in print media.]
Combined with lay-offs and unemployment,
this implies more fierce competition for fewer
positions. Companies are being flooded with
resumes. M. Laurano has offered that this is
a blessing and a curse….More highly qualified
candidates are available; it is hard to do a
serious review, interview and selection
management without dedicating much more
So, several strategies are emerging to deal with
screening, background checks, and screening interviews
to reduce the number of candidates down to more
manageable candidate numbers.
More use of computer inputted questionnaires
to sort candidate. Job seekers should expect
this and understand this is taken seriously.
If seekers have limitations, what can you do to
make your case–
seek out “employee referral” programs,
read the job descriptions carefully and
respond to only those where you match the “musts”
Also, develop your online presence with links to
accessible demonstrations of your skills, like
list of pubs, patents in .pdf format, gmail docs
that are posted on the net, and organized
- Background checks
First off, receive an agreement from people
to be “good” references for you.
Let them know what you are doing and where
you are applying.
More and more, outside firms are being
contracted which requires you to explore your
own web presence and deal with unusual outcomes.
It is prudent to do this earlier than later. Remember
their role is only to rule out candidates.
Flandez reports direct contact with candidates
as one current strategy.
- Screening Interviews
As mentioned in this blog several times,
virtual video interviews, like Interviewstream,
is being explored. This tool requires serious
organization, coordination and practice.
As we see it, the tighter job market means
following up on
-your LinkedIn.com profile,
-more polished appearances in Interviewstream,
-correct, error-free online presence,
-attention to screening questionnaires and
-good communication with references. .