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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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02/24/10
It is different this time
Filed under: Recent Posts
Posted by: site admin @ 4:15 pm

Chemistry is a field that depends on a robust
economy.
  Our roles and careers are connected
in so many ways with
what is happening globally. 
Raw materials, food science,
manufacturing
transformed materials, and many of the

substances of what engineers, medical doctors
and patent
agents do.

What’s the point?  In the past I cannot recall
having so many
people contact me for help
concentrated in so many
chemistry related fields. 
The issue is that the economy is not
likely to return in
ways that resemble the 1990s or earlier
times.

Henry Blodgett’s “here is why” column tells a
convincing
story that with so many people unemployed
for too long,
many of their jobs having been off-shored
or will be
off-shored because it is more cost effective
for corporations.


We all need to look for different kinds of jobs and
careers,
in different ways, in different locations.  We
have to anticipate
where things are going and get in early. 

So many people I see are waiting until they are “let go”
and then
“the long hard slog” of finding openings where
there are few
begins.  So many are fooled into thinking
that they can help
government define new roles, that they
in fact qualify for and
they find the jobs move to other
qualified people.  Government
groups are taking advantage
of people fully realizing their
motivation and not  rewarding
a job well done.


This is a situation labor dealt with by forming unions
eighty
years ago.  It is not likely to be effective now for
chemists,
but we could try.

We could try going it alone, but that only works for a few,
and each of us wishes that were us.

What we need to do is network and help each other. 
We need
to do it at all levels.  So, if you are in a chemistry
related field
and looking for work or looking to improve your
position, let
me know.  Let’s be proactive in communicating
among each other
and helping one another.  The more time
we waste the worse
it will become.

3 Responses to “It is different this time”

  1. site admin Says:


    Off-shoring is not the only “Merchant of job changes”.
    Automation and computer integration play strong roles.
    J. Lahart reports one-fifth to one-half of the jobs have
    be lost in various endeavors.

    All sorts of prognosticators offer future scenarios, Lahart
    reports “one thing we’ve learned is when we try to forecast
    jobs 10 to 15 years out, we don’t even get the categories right.”
  2. site admin Says:


    Listened to a podcast of Robert Reich some time ago
    talking about two classes of employees. One class
    performs more routine tasks, not requiring judgment.

    these positions will not return when the economy turns
     its proverbial page and shows new life.

    The second class of employees apply judgment, whether
    analyzing, creating, manipulating or integrating components
    with information. Reich called these symbolic analysts.
    These symbolic analysts have been affected by mergers
    and acquisitions, cost reductions, and other corporate
    decisions out of their control.

    Their positive future requires them to stay out of routine
    roles and seek out innovation serving roles.

    Reich argues that we are betting on a losing proposition
    if we compete to bring back labor- intensive, routine
    positions. We should build on our existing strengths in
    our colleges and university structure that promotes
    innovation and delivering the next technology generations
    served by symbolic analyst trained employees.
  3. site admin Says:


    Groysberg and Abraham recently lay out for us reality
    checks job seekers must keep in mind:
     - perform due diligence- would you invest a year’s
    salary in this company now?
     - strict salary increase moves are short term, as it
    offsets some sense of “loss aversion”
     - do I really need to move? Are there other avenues
    I can explore? They submit one specific factor can
    “distract” the decision process.
    - some can think they are “equal to the task” if they
    stretch themselves, catch on fast and develop partners.
    The task may be larger than they imagined.
    - gather as much information and weight it with mentors
    input, listen and ‘don’t burn bridges.’

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