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

May 2018
« Apr    
Professional Behaviors. Teamwork with uncooperative team members and recalling emails
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:33 am

Our Professional Development class is interesting because
we can use feedback from class members for future discussion
items and exercises in class.

One feedback card read:  Could we engage in networking
conversations and elevator speeches from each person in class?
It is better than describing them.
>In subsequent classes we asked people to deliver elevator speeches
to their team mates [which should be done in all team situations].
Then when we brought in guest speakers, we asked each class 
member to deliver an elevator pitch to the guests.
A couple of other situations that are intriguing.  One class member
met privately and said she did not know what to do as her team
was unresponsive to requests to work together and complete tasks
on time.  We talked about it and in class performed an exercise. 
What can you do to work better as a team?  There are many excuses:
too busy, lazy, procrastinate, think the assignment is dumb….
  • plan ahead; discuss the work assignment
  • know yourself; study your teammates behaviors, values, likes
  • keep in touch; communicate, even over-communicate
  • offer help if others have trouble understanding/solving the assignment
  • Team formation usually follows easily recognizable stages, known as
    “forming, storming, norming, and performing.”
  • learn about your team-mates: their values, behavior, goals, time lines,
    honesty, promptness, caring; strength and weakness
  • When do you report to higher Ups?
  • Influence: consistency, scarcity, authority, trust worthiness,
    social proof
  • Work together, share ideas and don’t just divide up the work.
  • Use people’s strengths and interests to produce something that
    exceeds expectations.
  • Become familiar with due dates, put buffer between team
    deadline and final deadline alert people in advance
  • Givers succeed most, reciprocators are a close second
  • Adam Grant’s book “Givers and Takers”
A second class exercise was inspired by an incident where a class 
member forgot an attachment when sending an email.  It happens to
all of us.
The class came up with several and discussion ensued about how
some recipients might feel it revealed lack of attention to detail or
how you perform under pressure.  There are technological solutions
that we should know and use.
    Gmail, Virtu
    Attachments in Gmail
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Trends in Technical Careers. Networking, Elevator Speeches and Using mentors to make decisions
Filed under: Networking, Job Offer (Situations), Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:26 am

Assisting others and offering suggestions is a pleasant
experience especially when we get feedback that job
offers result.  Recently, a half dozen people have asked
for ideas and information in their career management

After interviewing at three firms and attending many job
fairs, one person had to decide what to do with three
post-doc offers.

After working for three years in neurochemistry, another
post-doc had to decide whether to work at an exciting
start-up company or a subsidiary of a larger organization.

After interviewing for a small firm and for a post-doc in
a different field, a third person asked if there were other
things to consider.

A half dozen trends people in science and engineering
fields should know are:
(1) Hone a strong elevator speech.  Use plain, understandable
language, based on audience analysis.

(2) Don’t be dismayed by not immediately getting
interviews, or if getting interviews, not receiving offers.
Refashion your goals; refashion your approach;
ask for help.
Think about nontraditional ways to use your skills.

(3) Improve and develop your networking skills.  Now,
networking leads in improving your chances and more so
after your first position.  Don’t wait to start doing it.

(4) The interview is not over after the meeting and you
have sent your thank you notes.  There is much more that
needs to be done well.  Consider the ‘After section’
in the interviewing continuum… and
Steps in accepting an offer (5:07 point in video )

(5)  Your first position after your degree and or post-doc
will last an unknown length of time.  Then you will need to
find your next position.  It might be wise to not wait and
start your career management process earlier.

(6)  Your job search should continue even after you
receive your first job offer.  Follow through with the
process at other places you have made efforts at. 
Consult with mentors on how to respond professionally.

1 comment
Tips for improving your Elevator Speech.
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Networking, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 12:35 pm

Thank you Dr. Patrick Gordon for sharing a helpful
marketing document describing crafting effective
“elevator speeches.”
  Elevator speeches (or pitches) are
useful tools in the job market as well as in the business
world involved with products and services
, where it is
integrated into a strategy.

There were six startling take-aways that helped me
revise my marketing tool, specifically:
1. Target your audience’s needs and reveal the value you
provide.  Practice and perfect the wording and timing of
nonverbal cues.
2.  Give a couple of specifics of the people  you serve or
industries that can benefit.
3.  Describe a problem and solution or share a benefit
you provide.
4.  Make it illustrative rather then encyclopedic,
conversational rather than jargon-loaded and memorable
rather than lumped with broad career fields, like organic
chemistry or medicinal chemistry.
5.  Perhaps describe your customer’s feelings before
working with you or your product.
6.  Perception is everything.  I could picture the four
approaches commonly used and clearly see the strengths
of one of them “the attractor.”  Less effective are: 
  “minimizer (I am an analytical chemist.)”,
  “rambler (I am an analytical chemist with background in
  “impress-er” (’name-dropper’)

Don’t overlook the nonverbal communications you use
when delivering your elevator speech.  It can make all
the difference.

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Entrepreneurs. 2. Valuable Insights for going out on your own with Venture Capitalists
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:00 am

Recently I attended an informative entrepreneur symposium in
fields where venture capital plays the key role.  While I note ACS
is urging members to recognize this path to employment, some
features of what is common knowledge in other high tech fields
will help the chemical enterprise adapt and reform in an evolving

A.  Your elevator pitch (as different from your elevator speech for
networking interviews) needs to be “top notch” and professional.

B.  Venture capital has a distinct regional dimension:  East coast vs
west coast VCs
East:  in finance, terms to protect against downside
           non compete agreements provide a hang-up to future innovation
           elegance counts:  how smart you are, your pedigree

West:  in finance, terms to adequately participate in upside
            non compete agreements not enforceable
            black cat, white cat:  no matter, cats eat mice

C.  Finance and Economics.  Looking at the big picture, VCs are being
squeezed (going out of business) in the low interest rate environment.
See also:
             Amazon services levels the playing field
             pros and cons
             Serious suggestions

     age-ism is active;  but likeability factor is stronger
     look for project managers who have failed and learned from failure
     Know there are trends in entrep terms:  investor friendly—
entrepreneur friendly
     solving hard problems with technology and have customers willing
to pay now and in future
     scaling is a dominant factor
     think about an exit strategy:  acquisition, IPO
     top 15% of deals pays for everything

Elevator speeches. Not only to get interviews and with words
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:07 am

Recognizing the challenging job market where we may not
know exactly what skills or experiences might be helpful
in a potential employer, and that many positions are not
formally advertized, ‘elevator speeches’ offer each candidate
a face-to-face way of providing key information

Reading through many descriptions about these verbal
messages common in marketing elevator pitches provide
unique aspects of what you can provide in between a half
and two minutes
, there are a couple of elements to highlight:

- choosing with whom and when to offer your speech
is often overlooked.  It is helpful that you give it to a
decision-maker or hub
who you develop a trusting
with.  Be conscious of timing, limiting outside
interferences (noise and other interferences) and
establishing a professional connection

- three situations present themselves when you can present
elevator speeches– invited, spontaneous and incidental.
While an invited one is clear to perceive, spontaneous and
incidental situations
build on trust and should clearly state
a mutual interest in helping each other
, confidently.

nonverbal signals of trust and confidence can often
help in delivering a message that will be listened to.

-  while using keywords means something, asking to
build relationships with other contacts and following
with thank you notes and deliverables will
demonstrate professionalism.

This is an element in the interviewing continuum–
networking interview.

Elevator speeches.
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 9:55 am

The Business Journal is a nice source for tips
in delivering “elevator speeches” that are used
not only by entrepreneurs but also by people
at various stages in your career.

Here is link to BJ secrets.

“This American Life” podcast has an nice segment
on thought provoking entrpreneurial examples.
that are fun listening to  2   

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