A member seeking a position in a community-oriented,
state university region asked near the end of our
conversation, ‘What should I do first?’
She described what she has done and how she has
broadened the scope of her search to include a
wider range of chemistry related endeavors.
Recent postings confirmed the general economic
situation– there are not many position openings
appearing. Where they are appearing, they
seem to be in small and mid-sized firms and
some agencies of government.
The flow of the conversation discovered
- the extent of her dependence on print media and
use of internet tools.
— checking a few company web-sites and chronicle
of higher education
- the focus of her search on limited academic
but has broadened to local industry
We explored how she is finding out about positions,
suggesting that she
look over USAJobs,
visit and get to know her local Chamber of
Commerce offices, and
understand how she might identify fields of
companies by their SIC codes.
We reviewed the frustration of submitting resumes
on-line and not hearing back from the firm. This
pointed out the urgency of developing a stronger
network which would allow her to provide someone
in the firm to submit the public relations documents
to. She should consider not just a 2-page resume,
but also a List of References and List of Publications
She indicated that she was not sure if she desired
to work full time in a company. So we discussed
conducting informational interviews with both people
working in the firm and people who hold positions
in the same field.
We further talked about the job search process of
- defining what she wanted to do (self-
assessment) before writing the PR documents,
- having her resumes be targeted for specific job
- having the resume and PR documents reviewed
by career consultants before submission
- using her network to identify people to submit
her documents to
- using ‘interviewstream’ to practice doing
interviews before going to interviews;
since resumes need to focus on company needs
and resumes lead to screening and on-site
interviews and interviews lead to job offers.
Near the end of the conversation, one of her
questions was what does she do first? Things are
changing so fast– an academic opening just
appeared and two local positions were announced.
Do things to define aspirations and goals and begin
activities that have both immediate returns and
long-lead times. Helen Scully did a nice job
summarizing various types of situations when we
say to ourselves — now I know what I want to do,
there are so many things, what first. See also 1 2.