Our Professional Development class is interesting because
we can use feedback from class members for future discussion
items and exercises in class.
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
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.
(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.
(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.
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
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
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
Don’t overlook the nonverbal communications you use
when delivering your elevator speech. It can make all
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.
Amazon services levels the playing field
pros and cons
D. FACTORS FOR SUCCESS
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—
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
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
relationship 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
through with thank you notes and deliverables will
This is an element in the interviewing continuum–
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