Forbes magazine is not the first source
for many chemists. If you are interested
in professional careers, like I am, let me
encourage you to read a segment on
Do you think employment trends will
improve in 2009? If and when it improves
will job trends remain the same as
before? We should all be asking this.
From other fields, it will not be over
and it will be different. So it is
valuable to gather information and
strategies about how other fields
are handling it.
On the fourth page of the online
version of the WSJ article. Whelan
describes the business model
synthetic organic chemists who did
not want to move from their
established communities did in
forming Kalexsyn (Kalamazoo Experts
in Synthesis”). Kalexsyn develops
chemicals well before a drug is ready
for clinical trials.
Still a work in progress in a
competitive and evolving field,
typical clients might hire one chemist
for a week or a month to synthesize
a quantity of compound. 2
Other career employment models
including temporary (Manpower) and
contracted services are also
in the publication. So given the
current conditions and possible
future, it may be worth it to consider
career path models.
There is a sub-set of chemists who are
mid-career or mature scientists. Another
set who are entrepreneurs.
As a WSJ article highlights, with people
losing their jobs and small businesses
losing some of their clients, many are
opting to do pro bono work.
There are several advantages for doing
work for charities, good causes, and specific
benefits. It is a substitute for advertisement.
It is a positive form of networking. In one
case I have learned that the work has
provided health insurance for an employee’s
cost while doing five hours of work a week.
The benefits may suggest this as an evolving
direction for future tactics meeting interim positions
rather than just hanging in with than more
traditional strategies of aiming for full-time,