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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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10/31/16
Kevin Kelly and The Inevitable.
Filed under: Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:45 am

One of the books that was on my desk recently was
Kevin Kelly’s, The Inevitable that talks about trends
and expectations of the world we are surrounded by
and influence our moods, behaviors and thinking.

.
I was struck by his ideas that are based on how the Internet,
algorithms, wireless-instantaneous-sharing-free-copying
and unconscious human attitudes are influencing us.
.
KK also can lead us to interesting websites to expand
things further.  Not all of it is comforting to read and 
ponder.   In a sense it is open access networking and
mayhem where the last utterance or image dominates 
in an unfiltered and non-curated way.
He calls some rules out for blog readers yet the comments
offer:
‘whatever kind of renaissance you call it, is no different.
The destiny is ultimately dictated by the dominant forces
of political economy and not by the sophistication of
technology or networks themselves.’
2 comments
10/26/16
The Inevitable and Recent Article about Moving to the Cloud
Filed under: Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:46 am

The recent article in CEN on Cloud Computing in the Pharmaceutical
industry
was on point for the some of the trends that Kevin Kelly
pointed out in his recent book The Inevitable.

.
Essential things that readers of the CEN article should be aware
of that Kelly documents include:
  1.   Existence in the digital realm is chiefly MAINTENANCE.  The
more complex the gear, the more attention it will require.  Upgrade
this and you need upgrades everywhere.
   1.a.  The cycle of obsolescence is accelerating, you will never have
time to master anything.
    2.   There are ERAS of this Internet Cloud Computing.  Think about
how we employ hyperlinks, interrogate large data troves, carefully
curate processes and “platforms.”. [Platforms favor services and access.]
     3.   Great QUESTIONS create new territories of thinking and lead
to the need to FORECAST with more possible outcomes.
.
Readers are encouraged to pick up and read Kevin Kelly’s book that
looks at the unrecognized present and optimistic future integrated
via cloud resources. 
 
comments (0)
10/23/16
Trouble Finding your Career Path
Filed under: Interviewing, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:59 am

Tom Friedman on Meet the Press restated the current situation
many job seeking technical degree individuals face.

[Hard to locate in a hour-long program.  So, the statement
is cut-and-pasted into the COMMENT section.]
He has been writing about this for several years.
1 comment
10/19/16
Legal Issues. Ethical questions, Critical Reading of contracts, Reporting personal matters
Filed under: Legal matters
Posted by: site admin @ 8:38 am

Al Sklover offers insights that are unparalleled in the open
access world.  SEE EMPLOYMENT LAW blog link on the left.

While nearly every item I review from him could be brought
to your attention, this entry highlights three:
  -6 questions to raise on ethical dilemmas
  -mental framework for critical reading of contracts and handbooks
  -Dealing with uncertainty in personal issues 
.
SIX QUESTIONS TO ASK - ETHICAL MATTERS
Sklover ethical
While we do not wish for anyone to face such situations, it is
helpful to point out the guidance Al provides in the above.  When
you find yourself in an ethical deliberation consider six resources/
inputs:
1)  Is it legal?  private, in-house, outside association resources
2)  Is it consistent with employer’s policies?
3)  Is it consistent with employer’s values, published and unpublished?
4)  Does it advance employer’s long-term goals?
5)  Would you be comfortable with personal exposure?
6)  Does the action help your personal career?
.
CRITICAL READING - CONTRACTS
Sklover parse document
The referenced entry deals with non-comptete and non-solicit
agreements, yet it opens up the valuable process of “critical
reading” of documents which you are subject to.  It is not as
much a ‘loophole search’ and more of tactics lawyers use to deal
with other lawyers who construct broad language to cover
every conceivable instance.  Those trained in the law and who
practice “critical writing and critical reading” can be allies when
dealing with circumstances which you find yourself..
.
PERSONAL SITUATIONS - HOW AND WHEN TO TELL
Sklover Guidelines Pregnancy
              Negotiation Leverage during employment
              Negotiation Medical
In each of these situations, while it may not seem so, negotiations
to achieve win-win outcomes is all parties desired end.
For pregnancy, there is an excellent exposition of tactics when 
a woman learns her family/personal circumstances change.  
There are no hard and fast rules, but there is a process. 
.
For changes, new responsibilities and so forth, you are conferred
leverage if your boss calls you.  Sklover provides suggestions
for you to use.
.
Addiction is legally called a disability and thus covered by
statutes.  Many employers will have employee assistance programs.
It is still in your best interests to be aware of legal protections
and tactics that help create a process to move forward.
comments (0)
10/14/16
Mentoring Connections Seminar. Informal and Formal
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 7:59 am

We (M. Godek and I) asked our seminar group:  
What might you seek from a mentor?
Some answered one or two of the following–
   Where are your career directions moving?  Where are you now?
   What are your visions and aspirations, strengths, weaknesses
and how to relate them.
    In addition, suggestions to build soft, technical and wise skills
    Navigate the organization, explore new ideas, new career path
    Expand your committed network, build confidence.


Who is responsible for setting up a “mentoring connection”?
   To many it was a surprise to hear “You are!”  Sure many
organizations set up formal mentoring arrangements to achieve
goals for the organization.  Not specifically to meet your personal
questions  or goals, intentionally, and their metrics reveal that.
    It is imperative that you assume responsibility for the mentor,
roles, goals, timing and how to move it forward.
   A ‘take home message’ is that there are formal and informal
mentoring connections.  While the formal are set up by organizations,
include training, last for a specific period and are designed to
benefit the organization;  informal ones involve people who
may not have formal training, offer long term rewards for
both and benefit both partners in a win-win arrangement
that is two-way.

We differentiated Coaching, Teaching and Mentoring
    -gain or improve a skill, performance driven COACHING
    -discover and acquire knowledge, theoretical, practical, 
experiential, laboratory, plant-wide TEACHING
    -2-way collaboration, guidance and perspectives in challenging
situations, relationship-based  MENTORING
This opened many audience members’ eyes.

Then, with many questions and stories, we discussed
characteristics of good mentors, how to meet and invite 
a mentoring relationship that is win-win.

Here is a link to the session feedback.

comments (0)
10/10/16
Economics of the Chemical Enterprise. 2.
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:18 pm

Ten years ago R. Jones edited a series of factors
giving rise to the apparent trend involving the 
globalization of chemical enterprise industries.  
We have urged ACS in this blog to report and
follow the Economics in the Chemical
Enterprise 
as the older model (of globalization)
is less valid now as an important concept for
members.  
.

We observed that globalization is less
significant now and plays much less of a strategic
role as superstar companies that use an array of
qualities.  They have distinctive cultures and
traditions that many academic centers are little 
aware of, including seeking and following top 
talent (stretch assignments, accelerator 
experiences, and crucible roles) and keeping their 
focus on a long term vision (by modifying their 
shareholders’ voting rights) and managing finances, 
legislation and financial markets.
.
The Economist reported on recent trends in its
article as a new age of corporatism giving rise to
consolidation to stay on top “hoovering up talent,
buying patents and investing in research.”  We can see
this leading to problems ascribed to concentration of
pay, technology, top execs and vast amounts of
information.
.
In an interesting related piece in Cheeky Scientist Blog
is the five corporate departments that PhDs should know
which are critical to a company’s success.  While most
know “companies have R&D, Marketing and Sales,”
few realize also critical to success are finance, supply
chain and information technology.
.
I suspect these are all new to Chemists and Engineers
and this reveals the need for further education in these
and traditional areas that have further evolved.
1 comment
10/06/16
Applying Self Assessment Results.
Filed under: Position Searching, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:17 am

Honestly, there is a special combination of formal
learning, study and experience that allows us to gain
self knowledge from assessment instruments.  

.
What is still harder is to guide others to explore their
emotional make-up, values and behaviors.
.
It can be more of a challenge to offer intelligent people who 
are from different cultural backgrounds (international and 
educational training) to perceive the interpretative benefits.
.
Nonetheless we attempted to bring out interpretations 
of instruments that a graduate school class had taken and
apply it to achieve better teaching.  
.
Great teaching, the Economist cited Rob Coe of Durham
University is comprised of 
A - Your motives (and student’s motives)
B - interactions with peers
C - using time well
D - fostering behavior and high expectations
E - planned instruction with goals and strategies
F - pedagogical content
A is a function of our values.
B, C, D are functions of our behaviors.
E, F are functions of our specific training and experience.
.
So we reviewed MBTI ‘middle two’ preferences
that identified
ST:  getting ‘it’ right and efficiency 
SF:  service to others and improving people’s lives
NF: helping people fulfill their potential
NT: mastering knowledge and developing systems
These reinforce our behaviors and reflect our fears,
inhibitions and approaches (emotional side).
.
We used Tony Alessandra’sRelationship Strategies
to bring out the interpretations of the behavior instrument
scores.  There a several test identifiers that we linked to
the Alessandra model
“dominant director” = driving or dominance
“interactive socializer” = expressive or extroversion
“steady relator” = amiable or stability
“cautious thinker” = analytical or control
.
Commonly, our experience is that individuals do not have
just one behavioral preference identifier, but perhaps is
a combination of two.  The use involves hard work in
studying your self and others to develop approaches to
achieve positive outcomes.  This is important in critical
rather than casual interactions.
.
We did not find the “Values Instrument” giving unique
and helpful information for teaching excellence.  So, 
we performed 2 minute interviews with each student 
exploring motivation, mentors, influences on choices.
.
It was surely a different topic for this class.  I can
imagine it very hard for some international students
to walk away with a benefit other than the “take home”
messages.
comments (0)