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

January 2021
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Virtual Meetings and Presentations
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:09 am

Oh! My gosh!
Recent issue of CEN had a page devoted to virtual presentations.
Were you left thinking:  what about screen sharing, What about file
sharing, what about “raising hands” and other details? [CEN 12-7-20,
p. 44]

I recall hosting virtual presentations for a class, holding classes
virtually due to snow closing, and attending virtual conferences
for various situations and groups.
While I recognize many constraints on CEN publications (ads,
graphics, font size, and layout), a brief search has discovered
a nice graphic for remote work,
tips for presentations ,
do’s and dont’s 
that may aid in preparations and execution.
Think about the program you use– Zoom, skype, google groups
Test presentation in advance and arrange for screen sharing 
arrangement.  (If some or all information is “dense” perhaps
send out in advance or arrange follow-up arrangement, like
google doc.)
Use a microphone, headphone and test elements in advance
with trial audience.  Either plug in power or fully charge,
have appropriate lighting, background, privacy settings,
no interference, even some questions set up in advance.
Plan for an agenda, arrive early and prepared, have a
clock in eye view, consider having hard copy with post-its
attached for remarks and call-outs.  Connect with appropriate
small-talk and situational introduction.  Note the use of a
mute key and avoid using keyboard or other distraction 
elements during the presentation.  Stay on time.
The presentation is for the audience.  How will you monitor
attention, response and feedback?  Will you seek questions
and comments throughout or at specific intervals?  Will
it be oral, will it be visual with text, will it be photos and 
graphics?  Have titles on slides that reveals the objective.
Your energy plays a role.  Consider standing if it helps.
That changes the dynamics of the camera and mic arrangement.
Interviewing: Robin Roberts Master Class
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:05 pm

During the Pandemic quarantining I have been taking a
number of Master Classes.  At first I chose more than
a dozen about space, science, technology and economics.

The places where I was unfamiliar with the instructor
or topics were initially less of interest.
Then I decided to try Robin Roberts where she teaches
effective and authentic communication.  Am I surprised
by how much I believe she has something to say and 
great communication ability!  In her 6th lesson she reveals
in her unique way best practices to succeed in job interviews.
Some specific take-away comments were:
 - “make your mess your message”
 - “early detection is key” [for all ailments and problems]
 - “proximity is power” [you can influence your success by 
being in the right place at the right time.]
 - “Optimism is a muscle that gets stronger with use.”
Normal contracts for Master Classes are a bit pricey ($150- 
185 unlimited number of classes for a year   This is my 20th
class and my wife has viewed half dozen in 6 months).  There are
reasonable cancellation policies if you wish to discontinue.
See for a realistic review.
[I have searched for ways to view just this one class and
have not discovered any.  There may be a youtube file
that you can locate, however.]
Career Management. Multi-career Paths
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:10 am

An email reached me about changing career paths
[from Zackary Crockett].

I will try to find a viable link
This can happen to many of us who are trained as
a scientist where technology takes a
hockey-stick-like shift in what methods and areas
of expertise are favored and successful.
Your mindset is your key to success, I can attest.
After grad school, I desired to apply myself to an
area where “the rubber meets the road”, practical
areas–  To work in industry
After doing this for several decades, in electrochemistry,
applied solid state and polymer chemistry, photography,
statistics, I learned from a national lab researcher that 
later in his career he sought areas where he noticed “gaps”
where he could bring knowledge and experience to bear.
It was a deciding moment.  My targets changed.
One area that is not mentioned in the Crockett story is
changes in your health and outlook, as our careers 
extend and our “perceived expertise” and creativity
might not fit our roles.  Nonetheless, I recommend the
article for it may help you.
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WOW Factor How to Progress in Job Searches
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:41 am

During a career discussion with a Ph.D. who is figuring out
what to do next and what it takes to succeed, we talked about
“wow” factors of candidates that separates outstanding candidates
from good, yet unprepared, candidates.  [I use this term to be
kind to unsuccessful candidates.]

What is the “wow” factor and how can candidates achieve it?
Forbes described it in a Young Entrepreneurs Council discussion recently. 
-  go the extra distance and trying new avenues pursuing goals
-  developing new interests by reading and with mentors
-  adjusting to new realities while learning from the past
-  while they may not grasp the culture of the interviewer, understanding
that culture fit will not be based on real skills on paper but attitude
and assertiveness
          Culture Fit
-  being a self starter and willingness to take direction while adding
in originality
           Doing the right things when no one is looking
=  getting things done in timely basis with a profit motive
           Work Ethic
-  being humble yet having self knowledge about strengths and
             Strengths and weaknesses, what are you doing about it
-  be able to describe your accomplishments in perspective
Realize that each one of us needs a tailored elevator pitch tuned to
why you want the position and you are a good candidate.  Also,
have personal reflections revealing wow factor elements that shows
who you are by your behaviors