From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

August 2014
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Watch-Outs 65. Career Management for International and Diverse Audiences.
Filed under: Position Searching, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:05 pm

Another map to consider for career management in
the UK is offered by Vitae.  Where this NESACS blog
describes a focus on the interviewing continuum, with
the zeroth level (self assessment), steps before, during
and after interviewing
, Vitae partitions the career
management steps into:
 - understand yourself
 - plan your career
 - hear from others
 - virtual interviews
 - explore the market
 - network and develop matches

Jean Cummings wrote about the significant rise in the near
future of contract technical workers.  To be competitive in this
emerging marketplace of multi-national and multi-cultural
professionals, she highlighted being able to
1.  present your goals, values and attributes to different
audiences who may ask for your services or you see a match
to what you can offer.  (your brand statement)
2.  describe stories that provide clear examples of your efforts,
outcomes and impacts.  (STAR or SARI, situation-task-action-
result or situation-action-result-implication)
3.  develop habit stacks (demonstrating desirable soft skills)
and wise skills that will differentiate you.

This is a daunting task.  She offered two dozen tips for working
with recruiters for getting their attention, positive feedback
and interest in bringing you on-board.

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Mentoring. SPIE worldview, Importance of Face-to-face Interaction, Online Strategies
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Recruiters, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:59 am

This entry is about mentoring.
While no one has all the answers.  No human can realize all the
history, interactions and subtleties around human situations.  Yet,
there can be real benefit if we develop mentoring relationships
In fact, there is a site that displays a number of well-known
people and the individuals who were their mentors.

Not only are recent graduates and post-docs “in the hunt” for
their next position, people in positions are asking how should
I position myself for being available for being considered for
my next position. 
What should I do?  they all ask their mentors.  Consider:
  Ideas (what is going on in parallel fields),
  information (how do I express myself and get feedback),
  interviews (what are the emerging trends for making ourselves

SPIE reported a telling snapshot of its membership’s typical
workweek, job satisfaction, mobility, how they define success
and salary.
What was telling about this article is the international nature of
the survey and the added cultural dimension overlaid on the photonics
industry.  The remarkable feature that this adds is offering a study
in a parallel field to the chemical enterprise that may hint at
similarities and differences that are not “teased out” from
ACS reports.

Despite all the advances in technology, in person, face-to-face
sets the “gold standard” for communication.  It is enhanced
by technological follow-ups.  In the last week, I have interacted with
dozens of people.  Each of the interactions were spurred by
making connections with individuals in face-to-face encounters.
This is a masterful “wise skill” to develop.

Ask for feedback, learn new insights, find out what is important to
your mentors.

Did you know that recruiters are Linkedin’s main revenue stream?
Led by its “talent solutions” segment it pinpoints, as long as we
include the pertinent details in our profile, and keep it up, formal
academic background, experience breadth and depth, broad skill
strengths, affiliations in organizations  and participation in some
groups.  (If you have not gotten feedback on your profile, ask
your mentor for feedback where you wish your career’s future
to move.)
In the same issue Linkedin’s competitors in France and China
(viadeo) and Germany (xing) are delineated in economics terms.
These are becoming the new exchanges for screening interviews.
Thus, having relevant up-to-date profiles using keywords that
recruiters seek is paramount.

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Watch-Outs 64. International Year-Light, Light Sheet Microscope, Merchants of Doubt
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:55 am

Each year it seems another technical topic is celebrated
Chemistry, crystallography, statistics,… 2015 it is LIGHT.
We bring the topic up in our professional development
class and learn things along the way.

An innovative idea of light sheets used in microscopy of
biological samples is highlighted.

While a hundred pages are still to be digested, it is
important to bring up conflicts that occur, how
they are represented and their outcomes in a must
read book called Merchants of Doubt.

The scientific sponsors include European Physical Society,
SPIE, Optical society, IEEE Photonics Society, American
Physical Society and international light sources network.
Many of the discoveries concerning coherent and incoherent
light will enjoy commemorations and the celebration will be
an educational opportunity.

SOURCE O. Hanrahan, Photonics, July/August 2014, p. 20
Light Sheet Microscopy LSM advances biological studies
The author compares and contrasts LSM with confocal
microscopy with lower phototoxicity and higher speed.
Scattering and absorption are larger issues.
LSM can optically section samples, be minimally invasive
by using two objective lenses (focus the light sheet
and collect fluorescence emission), a digital camera
and 3-D image display.  Speed, sample handling and
cost of total system will lower with time as this
method will find its place.

SOURCE:  N. Oreskes and E. M. Conway, “Merchants of
,” Bloomsbury Press NY, 2010
“How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on
issues from tobacco smoke to global warming.”
This is scintillating reading describes how a small
group of prominent individuals create smokescreens
to block and obfuscate issues which have impact
on commercial and big businesses.  I read just this morning
an op-ed piece about how EPA rules should not be allowed
because it will raise costs.  As we realize, this can, properly
communicated and used, motivate innovation.

The book documents the 50+ year history of conflicts
of business interests with scientific results and conclusions–
from tobacco-cancer, second-hand smoke-illnesses,
pesticides-Silent spring, acid rain-acidification of
waterways, coal burning-air pollution, global warming-
economic forecasts. 

The “debates” were manufactured,  the authors claim, based
on PR misdirection and ‘alternate reality’ views.  Interesting
commentary by one of the sources to escape the public
attention to previous public positions.  These approaches
are legalistic possibilities, and in legal terms, do not have to
be true, but only plausible.

1 comment
Watch-Outs 63. Tax Inversion Consequences, Personal Mission Statement, Missing Microbes
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 5:20 pm

It is in the news daily.  The corporate M&A moves
by a number of large firms to avoid 35% US
corporate tax rate is poignantly described in an Economist
.  A link offers caution to investors about
consequences of the inversion.

We had a seminar about ‘Mission statements, goals,
objectives and development plans’ a couple of weeks back.
A recently uncovered blog offers positive insight into
tactics for individuals just starting to develop personal
mission statements

We have mentioned one of the curious areas of research
is in dealing with antibiotic-resistant microbes.  A link
provides untold stories of how important our microbiome is.
Our micrbiome is the complex system of bacteria that live
in on and around each one of us.

SOURCE  L. Saunder,
WSJ, August 2, 2014, p. B1
How to Ease the Tax Hit from an inversion
There are a series of unintended consequences from mergers
like AbbVie-Shire and Medtronic-Covidien.  Ms. Saunders
writes inversions will be unwelcome for long-term investors
who were planning to hold their shares for estate planning
Some shareholders in firms that do inversions will
owe taxes they would never have had to pay.  Tax advisors
indicate that stock in taxable accounts should be evaluated
with careful planning and investors be prepared to act.

Three common tactics in the short term are discussed.

SOURCE: Catherine Rains, Writing a career mission statement,
Using your results from MBTI and Strong indicator tests, she
suggest how you can fashion your own mission statement at
an early career point. 
This is when each of us are most uncertain.
I found this most thoughtful and engaging.

SOURCE:  M. J. Blaser,
Missing Microbes:  How the overuse
Of antibiotics is fueling our modern plagues
, Henry Holt and
Company, NY, 2014

Your body is composed of an estimated 30 trillion cells,
but is host to more than 100 trillion bacterial and fungal
cells.  Thus, 70 to 90 % of all cells are nonhuman.  They
reside on every inch of our skill and in all organs.

Most of the time doctors have no idea if a patient’s illness
is caused by virus or bacteria.
Doctors have very good reason to reflexively prescribe
antibiotics for many upper respiratory tract infections–
fear of rheumatic fever.  Untreated strep can cross react with
a child’s heart muscle, joints, skin and brain…

Doctors prescribe antibiotics for strep to ward off rheumatic
fever.  While the body’s natural defenses might treat the
illness, people inevitably think that the antibiotic had made
them well.  A situation where correlations does not mean
cause and effect.

Young adults in US between 20 and 30 receive 30
courses of antibiotics before the age of 40.  Many of the
young women will be mothers and the antibiotics may affect
the next generation.  implications of this course of action
may effect obesity, asthma, cancers, GERD, CRE.

Very powerful reading for biotech and pharma workers and
interested parties.

T-Chart Applications for Your Job Search
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Job Offer (Situations)
Posted by: site admin @ 9:27 am

Often included as a format for industrial job applications’
middle paragraph, the T-chart can be used in other ways
to manage your career and organize your thoughts.

This tool is constructed to list pros-cons, questions-
answers, requirements-fulfillment, and professional development
plans-how you meet or satisfy.

Commonly, we use T-chart format with bullets in a cover
letter to industrial and business concerns
to display
quickly and efficiently the job requirements from a job
description, in column A, and how we satisfy them, in column
B– directly across the page from one another.

The T-chart can also be used to prepare for interviews by
listing typical questions, in column A, and key features to your
responses, in column B.

I have seen it being used to take notes from an informational
where you can list your questions, column A, and the
response from a knowledgeable person in column B.

In fact, you can use this tool to organize and capture
information from an interview
by listing your questions
in column A and the interviewer’s responses in column B.

An example of using T-charts for managing careers is
given in career thought leader’s blog

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