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

August 2015
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Entrepreneurs. Business model for new ventures
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:41 pm

Entrepreneurs should consider new business and marketing
model described in Robbie Baxters book “The Membership

Second description by the author.

We all experience this model in societies we belong to or
consider and use internet tools.

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Transitions in Careers. Professional Behaviors. Internships
Filed under: First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:33 am

Internships can provide excellent interludes where we experience
what it is like in an organization (conversations, interactions,
, assignments) can perform new and goal oriented work
(goal-setting, application of know how and knowledge),
can meet and work for a short term mentor, and see how
things are done in another setting (culture).

My career had three “internships”– two in a medical school
biochemistry lab and one in am NSF Center of Excellence
program.  That was then, now interns need to be more proactive,
especially near the end of their internship experience.

In fact, I suggest doing AfterActionReviews of your
internship program and keep it in your Master resume
portfolio.  AARs are recognized as a knowledge transfer
and retention tool for capturing implicit and tacit pieces.
[See Knowledge Management.. Administrative Services link]

For those early in their careers, it might be useful to start with
- outlining all the tasks and assignments, completed and
- communicating in person
- seeking feedback on areas of improvement
- asking for longer term connection with people in
your thank you communication.

People in your junior and senior years [REU programs and
such] and in your graduate career level are advised to display
the maturity of performing AARs, drawing conclusions and
offering reverse mentoring.

Detailed description of AARs:  S. Salem-Schatz, D. Ordin,
B. Mittman, “Rapid Post-Project Assessment

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Mirroring during coversations and interviews.
Filed under: Interviewing, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 4:42 pm

Have you looked at Fay Vincent’s editorial about the importance
of mentors
in his career path?
Fay Vincent was a commissioner of major league baseball, known
for upholding justice and defending all of baseball’s stakeholders,
not just the owners. 

I was reminded of this recently as two job seekers contacted me
about (1) assessing their behavior in interviews (2) what to do
better in the next interview (3) calling to mind a specific behavior
that might enhance their candidacy.

One was interviewing with someone I know well.  So, I know the
styles of both interviewer and interviewee.  Both are quite capable
and impressive individuals in their own rights.  So, I suggested (3,
above) that the interviewee really pay attention to the interviewer.
It is a process often referred to as “mirroring” and is a nonlinear
programming  NLP instinct of relating to a conversation or interaction
partner by observing and listening closely, then responding in kind
with similar words, behaviors and mannerisms.

While I will not be able to do a trial run and observe the mirroring,
as we are in a trusting mentoring connection, the action will appropriate
and meaningful.

As a mentor, we can find ourselves in the situations where we are asked
to assess interviews (1 and 2, above)after the fact and recommend
improvements.  It is an inexact science at best.  We suggest performing
AAR After Action Reviews to help with the process.  While it might
be done soon after the interview, a couple of days later can still be fruitful.

When we discuss this, because emotions and recall are directly involved
reviewing and discussing the AAR should be done in person to allow
follow-up questions and clarifications and trial-and- improve restatements.

So our initial attempt for meeting fell through, so we will aim to do
a conversation via Skype.

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Transitions in Careers. Professional Behaviors. Things to do Leaving a Position
Filed under: First Year on Job, Legal matters
Posted by: site admin @ 9:18 am

This blog has commented on considerations for resigning
from a position
.  An outstanding resource is Sklover’s
working wisdom blog which offers “best in class” information,
consideration of alternatives and strategies from a legal

Recently, S. Schellenbarger authored a piece in WSJ about
the topic focusing on communications, exit interviews,
notice time and flexibility, and emotional situations

R. Knight offered some “reality check” factoids on the matter.
She stated the relative high frequency of leaving one firm
and moving to another (BLS, every 4.6 years) and that it is
a critical transition point to adopt professional best practices.
In addition,
  1.  not only 2 weeks notice but who and how to tell them
  2.  Linkedin considerations.  [This may be subtly different
now that Linkedin has a new service to connect people within
  3.  Tell one and the same story about leaving and where you
plan to go next to all.
  4.  Despite hard feelings or rough edges, express gratitude
in words, actions and future commentary.
  5.  Send thank you notes and be a strong ally.

S. Heathfield wrote a cross-reference checklist from the
HR point of view.

The On Money blog carries more advice.


1 comment
Watch-Outs. 86. Which accounts to hold investments, Rollover IRAs. Lumped sum vs annuity
Filed under: Job Offer (Situations), Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:57 am

Who do you ask for financial advice?  Whoever you ask, how
do they personally benefit?  It is sometimes not clear.

We will change jobs in our careers 10-20 times.  That means
there will be more than a handful of times when we will
consider moving long term investments.  A link to a thoughtful
article might help our thinking, based on fees, options available,
protections and tax situations.

Where to put your investment assets for best tax advantage
is another of this entry’s links.  asset location

More companies are offering employees the chance to either take
a lump sum for their long term security or go with a pre-set annuity.
It is a conflicted decision often with a time limit.  A link
discusses possible questions to ask as many situations are different.

SOURCE:  A. Tergesen, A. Prior, WSJ 8-15-15, p. B7
Better IRA Rollover Advice

Factors listed:
                  401(k)                         Rollover IRA
 Fees       institutional class      retail class, often higher
                ask for quarterly fee disclosure statement
Investmt plans are fiduciaries  more options, good for 
options    helpful                         expert investors

Distribu-  advantage                   penalties apply
tions            Especially aged 55-59.
Variety of options should be confirmed.
Cred.         advantage                    governed by states

Taxes         Variety of situations should be confirmed.

SOURCE  K. Hawkins, “Why some assets should be
shifted to nontaxable accounts.

How assets are taxed should influence their location
in your portfolio, Ken Hawkins opines.  Since equities
yield dividends and capital gains, taxable accounts are
suitable locations since IRAs, etc. can be taxed at higher
than 15% rate.

Tax friendly stocks (growth, ETFs) should be in taxable
accounts.  Tax free bonds and bond funds are better located
in taxable accounts.

Taxable bonds and REITS are more suitable in IRAs.
See also .
SOURCE:  A. Tergesen WSJ 6-5-15
Should you take a lump sum or an annuity

Lump sum distribution of your long term savings often
are not high enough without assuming high risk
investment positions to duplicate annuities.

Ask what other benefits might be offered if you maintain
an annuity.

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Trends in Technical Careers. Wireless, Mobile economy; Pressing Needs-Ammonia; Patent system debates
Filed under: Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:28 am

We do not see it but we expect remote control and
digital data access connected through wireless devices.
This provides challenges, opportunities and a need for
perceptive awareness for each of us.

One of the journals that I receive is Interface which
contains startling in-depth technical reading for a
general technical audience.  Several top-tier articles
on energy conversion and electrochemical production
of essential feedstocks.  There are several catching
articles worth perusing, from which I highlight one
on ammonia.  It is far more than just headlining

A continuing debate among scientists and engineers,
innovators and inventors is the role of patents in
progress.  While not part of most graduate and post-
graduate training and more importantly reading, a
deeper awareness of the patent realm is highlighted.

SOURCE:  Fortune Ad Section August, 2015, p-51-3
PCIA informed us of amazing transformations happening
in our lives as we carry and use portable remote control
and communications devices with us.  A ten-fold increase
in global “traffic” is expected in four years.and we will
all be affected.  So it is “join us or get out of the way.”
Software is replacing custom hardware in creating
HETNETS heterogeneous networks and robust remote
applications, like surgery, is being conceived.
View PCIA webpage for more.

SOURCE:  Interface Summer 2015, 53ff
J. Renner, L. Greenlee, A. Herring K. Ayers,
“Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia:  A Low
Temperature Approach”
Among the many things we see emerging are open
access publications of high technical merit
the ECS journal, Interface.  One stalwart article
in this quarter’s issue is on the “mastery of nitrogen”.
The article brings together President Millard Fillmore
state of the union address, BASF’s Bosch Haber
process and selective catalysts to point out where
chemistry can make a difference in reducing where 1%
of all energy is used and 3% of all greenhouse gases
are produced.
See, for up coming article sourced above.

SOURCE: The Economist 8-8-15, p. 11
Time to fix patents
After defining what patents are and are not, hearing
many sides of the controversial issues of patent
protection and legal rights might be a good place
for people not versed in this important technical
topic to read and study.
The Economist offered a slanted journalist article
to shine light on an everlasting topic.  The comments
to the article reveal a much more complicated, many
sided landscape, even including some interesting
innovations in the European patent system.
Worth reading.

1 comment
Professional Behavior. Punctuality, Cultural and Leadership Differences
Filed under: Interviewing, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Leadership, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:39 am

No matter where we are we notice differences in organizational
culture related to time– being on time, the time of meetings,
tolerance for being late and more.

Sue Schellenbarger’s WSJ article started my thinking about this
noting [not in the hard copy version] different strategies to
deal with latecomers to meetings based on whatever the cause
  poor personal time management - start / end on time, don’t
courteously bring people up to speed
  narcissistic behavior for attention - reveal that it is hurting
his(er) image
  drama and attention - reveal that people are wasting time waiting
for their appearance where they could be doing more productive
  electronic calendars are overbooked - suggest inserting 15 minute
time buffers between engagements
  boss being late - causing people to work later, be rushed and
affecting poor morale and duplicating behaviors elsewhere.

While these are frequently observed, they may not cover all
of the influences and cures.

There are cultural, cognitive and leadership roots to ‘being on-time’
which need to recognized.  Mai Moura offers a nice introduction to
cultural elements of behaviors including the differences between,
for example, German and American meetings.   Other cultures will
exhibit and practice different behaviors regarding agendas,
preparation, formality, modes of expression and what to do if you
are late or need to leave early.

Cognitive roots are not often considered but are quite often felt,
and felt differently, by different individuals.  Some people are morning
people, some are night people, some start fast, some tire easily.
A comment to another WSJ article highlights a rhythm of productivity.
This author presents optimum time periods for getting things done,
when we are most alert, and when we are less liable for injury.

Leadership influences on being late or on time for attending meetings
or submitting reports can be systemic and situational.  Thus, our dilemma
needs to understand the importance and urgency and how to assess these.

Asking questions, developing trusting relationships and having mentors
will help you develop your own professional approach.

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Undergraduate Majors. How do you Decide to Major In Chemistry?
Filed under: Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 10:40 am

Isn’t it interesting:  Some sources try to make, or offer advice
on, your decision process for your major very simple as
1-2-3-4.  While you and I can not disagree with specific
steps in their “quick-fix, instant” proposal, we can ask
is that all there is?

The basic frailty of simple ideas is that the world is non-linear,
unpredictable and constantly changing and we need to be
constantly learning and adapting.
  The “roadmap” will not be
so simplistically non-changing, but there will be changing
endpoints and detours.

In a recent example, Nathan Gebhard nicely points out (a)
set your goals, (b) following your passion is less important
than developing keen interests and refreshing them, (c) have
reality checks, and (d) whatever you pursue, be good at it.
Sure, all make sense, but there are practical measures that
might help things along–
 1   pursue internships,                     
 2   develop mentors,
 3   don’t be afraid to fail as long as you learn from failing,
 4   get broad exposure to many things,
 5   develop an inquisitive curious mind, how to play on
a team and how to be likeable.

Adding these five practical measures does make it harder.
See Brian Tracy for nice descriptions.

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Networking Update for Early Career Professionals.
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:17 pm

Learned a lot from Mikey Rox’s article in the Christian Science
Monitor on Networking.  While it is true this blog has carried
the topic of Tips for Networking several times but the ten items
in this article said something to me…

-  Go it alone.  This is a mature adult behavior that expresses
confidence.  When attending an event with others, we reconnect
often, engage in pre-formed connections [dependencies]  and
have attachments with the person or people we are with.

-  Be a friend to someone new and or younger.  Share and do not
seek your interests too soon.

-  “Sweat-working” is working out, engaging in an activity sport,
team or otherwise and creating a bond and common ground in
other areas, like working out, basketball or exercise.

-  Wear something that people will notice and or comment
on.  It could be an alumni shirt, jewelry, or colors, or an interesting
shirt.  But make it professional looking, or else the attention
you are expressing you want may not be in your advantage.
I recall attending a professional session at a university and one
student was wearing a Chewbaka image shirt.

-  Sit at or near a bar.  In the current age, it is a signal that
you are willing to switch it up a bit.

–  “Pre-networking” which is when you share that you will
be attending an event and looking to meet others.

-  Follow up after meeting with LinkedIn invitations, thank
you notes or continuing the conversation.

There are a few more ideas of note in her article.

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