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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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12/19/17
End of Year Career Management. 2017
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:42 am
Thank you for reading the NESACS Blog for Career Management
and Development.  I appreciate your interest and following.  This
blog provides independent concerns, information on career paths,
directions on professional behaviors and job search trends and
recommendations.
.
This year we outline major subject areas covered:
         Professional Behaviors
         Public Relations Documents
         Historical Trends and Economics Influences
.
Professional Behavior.  Remembering Names, Faces
                                      Listening
                                      Travel, Arrangements
                                      Habits
                                      Stress management
                                                Dealing with Catastrophe
                                      Letter Writing
                                      Negotiations
                                                Salary
                                                Monetary Rewards
                                                Relocation
                                       Small Talk
                                       Ethics, Whistleblowers and Cassandras
                                       Financial Planning
.
Public Relations Documents.  Resumes
                                      CVs in Internet Age
                                      Self Assessment
                                      Publications
                                      Qualifications
                                      Nontechnical Training
                                                 Patents 
.
Entrepreneurs
.
Historical Trends          Cuts, Downsizing  
                                      influences
                                      Economics:  Future
                                      Career Path Choices
                                      
1 comment
08/22/17
Professional Behavior. Entrepreneurs
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:33 am

Your circumstances are different than most everyone else’s.
However, we can learn from other professionals’ approaches
if we have a mind to it– that is remain curious, or make up
our minds to be curious.

.
I can not tell you how beneficial it is to be generous and
thoughtful to people who serve you.  They may work for you
individually or be part of an organization.  Took time to drive
with our daughter to do some quick shopping where each of
us had our own shopping lists.  I watched as she hustled to
put items in our basket, but could not find “just” what I wanted.
.
Thought to myself, we could find a premium item as a takeout
from a suitable restaurant.  So we stopped and purchased the 
delectable salad for 2.  While waiting we got into a idle time
conversation with the server.  We asked if we might get a “short”
cup of coffee while waiting and she cooperatively brought it out
as we continued our conversation.   So, as we paid our bill we
asked if we could write a thank you note to management for her
kind and thoughtful service.  She did not exactly know, as she
was a summer hire…. She brought out her manager who informed
us how to perform the act online with detailed instructions.  Then,
went on to say by doing this in a specific order, she would be
rewarded, he would be rewarded and we would receive a modest
gift certificate online.
.
Back in our ride home, we chatted about learning from others’
behaviors is such an adult way of developing and improving skills…
especially in an entrepreneurial world.
.
We used three of Travis Bradberry’s 9 Skills that pay dividends:  
asking for help, staying positive and taking initiative.  Six other items
were–
   knowing yourself (personal self assessment),
   listening,
   know how to say “no”,
   sleeping well,
   knowing to pause and remain quiet, and 
   determining priorities to do the most important things.
.
These apply critically to entrepreneurs who either have too much time
on their hands or too little time.
.
This brings up five things entrepreneurs who find themselves with 
an episodic income stream need to be mindful of:
a.  formulate an exit strategy that propels your next direction–  musts
and wants for yourself and your current employer as a win-win outcome
b.  accumulate reserves and strategize how you can live lean should
events require ‘belt tightening’ 
c.  Set up long term retirement, big purchase, and emergency insurance
accounts and make the necessary contributions (insure matching 
contributions can happen and are accessible)
d.  Know the rules and double check on the amounts about estimated
taxes.  Use an accountant if you are new.  Perhaps fall back on
Turbotax, if you have some experience.
e.  Read the fine print, consult legal input on the fine print of signed
agreements and understand their implications and recourses.
comments (0)
01/25/17
Entrepreneurs. Nonobvious trends and CCA Cooperatives
Filed under: Networking, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:12 am

One of the requests from one of the new students is “how
to get involved in entrepreneurial ventures.”  It got me to
thinking about things we could bring up.

Two interesting concepts that we can point out is Nonobvious
2017 and Cooperatives for entrepreneurs.
Rohit Bhargava gives thoughtful tips on 
finding nonobvious 

trends
before they take off.  This is something that should 
interest entrepreneurs.  He suggests ideas for trend curators:
 - be curious:  ask why, continuously be in learning mode
 - be observant of the small details of organization
 - attend to various ideas and hold back from fixating
 - pause and think through things;  avoid jumping to results
 - be elegant in expressing things

Riding on a flightI learned about CCA Global Partners which

has a remarkable corporate mission and business model to help
entrepreneurs.  The web site boasts more than ten divisions
of fields they enhance by bringing folks together involved
in related enterprises.
Sometimes seeing what works in one field helps progress
in your area.
 
comments (0)
08/30/15
Entrepreneurs. Business model for new ventures
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:41 pm

Entrepreneurs should consider new business and marketing
model described in Robbie Baxters book “The Membership
Economy
.”

Second description by the author.

We all experience this model in societies we belong to or
consider and use internet tools.

comments (0)
04/22/15
Interesting Links. Knowledge Exchange
Filed under: Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:40 pm

I. Hot Questions. Share knowledge.
http://stackexchange.com/
Geeky IT computer know-how Q&A

II. “Bold“  by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler describes
a continuation of a previous book about Abundance due to
technological innovation.  When a neatly defined problem
is identified, technology and technological innovation can
provide solutions.  This book does not touch on ‘unintended
consequences’ or some longer-term consequences while
trying to convince readers of future possibilities that
technology provides.

Entrepreneurs will find promise in the six Ds of exponentials:
digitalization, deception, disruption, dematerialization,
demonetization and democratization.

III.  Wharton Leadership Program
Nano tools dialog includes interesting discussions of:
Resilience, bouncing back from setbacks
Generating ideas with stakeholders

1 comment
03/14/14
Comitted Networking. Entrepreneurs are adept at this
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:19 am

I enjoy reading and learning approaches, new trends
and successful ideas found in the WSJ Accelerators
blog
.  In yesterday’s issue some outstanding ideas
were shared by Jay Samit, Cristina Bechhold and
Neil Blumenthal about a concept “Committed
networking.”

Just as Neil states networking itself is an overused
and abused term.  Andre Schiotzek from UCI said
the same thing when he spoke about post-doctoral
experiences a month ago.  Just like Andre, Neil states
it is first making acquaintances and then friends with
with others.  It is important to share our interests,
strengths and weaknesses with them.

Jay and Cristina describe strategies to start and
continue vibrant networks:
START
- arrive early manage where you spend your valuable
time; scope the room and break the ice with others
- target who you associate with to meet introduction
goals
- fly first class it can generate business
- speak on panels
- be active in worthwhile charities
MAINTAIN
- mindfully attend events, conferences, shows and
seminars;  use existing friendships and associations
- manage your time and your relationships–
mutual introductions and attending others’ events
 
Things to avoid:
- trying too hard — name dropping, embellishing your
accomplishments
- don’t be all “take” and no give
- avoid selling your interests and needs to the expense
of others

1 comment
11/21/13
Entrepreneurs. 10. Pitching, Patenting and Principals
Filed under: Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:08 pm

Where does a new company begin?  Too often we begin
with a great idea that everybody needs.  In the chemical
enterprise or technical fields, this may not be the only
way.  Knowing things about ‘adoption curves,’ experience
and ‘feedback loops’ is essential for adapting to the
marketplace of ideas.

MARKETING THE IDEA
Well, first let’s go with an initial idea, concept or product
innovation that will disrupt the product or service space
Much of the literature suggests that it is appropriate to
start small and in fact begin a marketing campaign earlier
and on a different time line than the production/service
rendering and sales plans. 
The marketing scheme markets the core idea to mentors
and backers first.  Then, a subsequent plan markets to customers
often and in different ways.
With technical ideas we need to seek out mentors to consider
implications and unanticipated outcomes and even experienced
patent agents or attorneys.  One outcome could be infringing on
someone else’s patent or someone infringing on your patent
or trademark.

I thought John Greathouse of Rincon Ventures offered
some ‘first rate advice’ on how to act prudently to avoid IP
catastrophes and minimize IP legal fees without
jeopardizing trademark or patent ideas.
-  Consider a single patent with fewer, yet comprehensive,
claims
-  draft your own protectable claims (with suitable
examples)
-  focus your initial patent application to where you expect
early sale opportunities to be, not going for large range
and costly international scope.

Protecting your investment is not an area to overlook or
seriously cut corners on in the initial marketing of the idea. 
So, Pitching and patenting go hand in hand.

PRINCIPALS
The person who ‘takes the first plunge’  and founds a
business provides the original idea.  (S)he can come up
with the initial gameplan, insight, customer group, yet
others may help “scale” repeatable business and growth.
Conflicts can arise when members of this secondary
founding team wish to wrest “control” from the founder.

Either they recognize their strengths and the organization’s
needs or they decide that a new role is needed, that of a
CEO. 

Steve Blank outlined an intriguing pattern where a person
who is “first among equals” emerges to allocate resources.
We see an example of this with the way Google had
a business minded technical leader, Schmidt, assume leadership
from Brin and Page.

comments (0)
11/08/13
Proposal Writing and Review. For entrepreneurs, small businesses and academic professionals
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:50 pm

A great deal of research gets its “jump-start” by crystallizing its
ideas for products and processes in a research or grant proposal.

Grant writing is a special skill that can be learned and improved.

This week I was invited to join a panel that reviewed proposals.  It is
so important for proposal applicant to read the solicitation very
carefully
to determine whether they think their idea(s) match the
solicitation and time frame for the grant.  The solicitation for
application might be offered in more than one phase, like in a
screening or feasibility for a short time, followed by a follow-on
Phase II.  A Phase III can sometime be required for promising
concepts that often would be found with matching grants or awards
from a non-governmental organization.

The proposals we reviewed will commonly be evaluated for
(1) appropriate match to the federal organization mission and
(2) scrutinized via preset and robust criteria
(3) before a technical review.
(4) Then, with the evidence in hand and summarized grant administrators
review and decide from the highest rated proposals.

External reviewers
are brought in, meet, and decide the technical
merits of the proposal again recognizing the agency’s mission and
and solicitation’s goals.  [For the most part reviewers are not
revealed to applicants.]

Each proposal is reviewed for specific criteria  and classified as:
- excellent:  outstanding with numerous exceptional attributes
- very good:  strong proposal offering many noteworthy merits
- good:  strong proposal however containing smaller gaps, deficiencies.
- fair:  an offering with one serious deficiency or several gaps that
are not compensated for by strong elements
- poor:   a seriously lacking proposal

Each proposal we reviewed used the same outline but varied within
a range in each section.  So, for the timeline, for example, some
proposals will use a Gannt chart, some will use a work breakdown
structure, some will use six sigma process map and definition of
KPIVs and KPOVs (key process input and output variables).

Each proposal should address the “Heilmeier commandments” which
include:
1.  What will you accomplish (without jargon)
2.  what is done now, what are the limits and what is the background
3.  what is new, and why should it be successful
      Any preliminary supporting information
      Applications, possibilities
4.   how does it fit the mission and objectives
5.   if successful what difference does it make
6.   what are the risks and benefits
7.  what is the timeline for tasks and opportunity costs if not supported.

The proposal needs a descriptive summary, a budget, a timeline. CVs/
appropriate biographies of the principle investigator, project team and
consultants and advisers.

There is commonly a time deadline for submission and page length
limit that are strictly followed.

comments (0)
10/07/13
Entrepreneurs. 9. Mentors, Attitude, Word of Mouth
Filed under: First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:53 am

Three items triggered this post on starting your own
business or joining a start-up.  The first was a neat
podcast by Tom Ashbrook on “mentors for a new
career
.”

Tom interviewed experts who mentor or were mentored
by people to start something on their own.  Summing
it up, things to do and expect:
  - don’t go it alone, get mentors and advisers
  - find niche markets and develop an evolving business
plan

  - “location, location, location” will provide a longlasting
advantage
  - it is common that income for start-ups is episodic
lucrative months and shallow months.  Know how you
will manage through this and plan to have failures or
mistakes happen quickly and use them as “teachable
moments,” so you gain from them.

The second is a Photonics Spectra ‘Start-ups Insight
interview of Jan Melles who lists five tips.  Many have
been touched on in previous segments.  He titles the
article Focus on the customer and urges us to develop
a “no matter what, we will succeed” attitude.

The WSJ Accelerators blog points out some truisms
and helpful tips.  At the beginning, the income rate
per hour is lower.  After settling in, the income rate
increases to a steady state.  While paid marketing
helps tell your story, word of mouth revealing satisfaction
and a good product/service speaks volumes. Financial
metrics and a net promoter score of customers
promoters, passives and detractors leads to growth.

comments (0)
09/20/13
Confidence. Professional “Soft skill” key for Presentations.
Filed under: Interviewing, Mentoring, Leadership
Posted by: site admin @ 5:54 pm

It took me by surprise this week when speaking with
Rob, when he related to me that there is a disconnect
between what recent grads think or are led to believe
and the reality in the job market
.  They, he said, do not
realize that skills and papers published may be ‘check
marks’ in evaluations but ’soft skills’ are looked at as
essential in the hiring process.

One soft skill that clearly stands out is confidence.
We may not have a definition on the tip of our tongue, as
it is the situational expectation that your efforts will
result in a positive outcome
.  This expectation leads
to a list of positives– greater energy, support from others,
goal-directed effort and cooperation.  As R. Moss Kanter
points out there are three cornerstones of confidence:
accountability, collaboration and initiative to take action.

The reality is we observe a demonstration of a person’s
skills
in a presentation.  Having confidence goes hand-in-
hand with giving good presentations.  Being confident does
NOT mean not being anxious or nervous.  But it is knowing
how to rearrange all the butterflies in your stomach to fly
in formation.

A person can learn good presentations skills.  A person
can also gain confidence.  The presentation of our technical
accomplishment is the medium by which our confidence
is displayed
.  [Rules of thumb.]

Gaining confidence is a common thread through a series of
stories of women entrepreneurs in the T. Corrigan and J.
Desai’s piece in the WSJ describing what it was that each
overcame in their careers to become successful.
  C. Fiorino-  overcame dropping out of law school by
being given the chance to exceed an entrepreneur’s
expectations, first at an entry level position.  Then,
developing skills and interests where her leadership
skills could be honed.
   B. Comstock-  wisely learned how she could propel her
curiosity to dispel her lack of confidence to compete with
competent peers.  This attention switch has allowed her
prove to herself and build a reservoir of courage to try things.
   L. Tilton-  challenged her self-image of being a
victim of circumstances
  and posed herself with goals
that had value and meaning so that she became a positive
force for good.

These stories of courage and building confidence are
central parts of what catapulted these leaders as
entrepreneurs, not only as first rate presenters.  So, garner
a perspective of what a technical presentation is used for,
besides the results and conclusions.

 

comments (0)
06/06/13
Seeking Jobs. “Present Shock” and “Tour of Duty”
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:50 am

HT and I have known each other for a few years and collaborated
on some projects successfully.  He is looking for a position
and seems overwhelmed with daily pressures.

He seeks a position that will last for a decade or more and
provide a sense of security for himself and his family.  Is that
realistic in today’s economy, workforce demands and personal
preferences?

Recently, “On Point” presented a segment on “tours of duty”
employment cycles based on a Reid Hoffman HBR article.
While this may not fit everyone’s picture, it is a reality for
several fields and locations.

It is a mindset that “freelancers” share.   In order to be
successful one needs to adopt an entrepreneurial spirit
about your job search.  Douglas Rushkoff has written an
interesting book about some of the forces that generate this
reality in “Present Shock” where HT and others seem “overwound”
with too many pressures.

Rushkoff points out that
1.  we have lost the sense of our life’s narrative and are pushed
into many pressures in the moment– work, car, rent, daily events,
etc.
2.  we are constantly interrupted by various communication
media and find we are at the beckon and call of ever changing
things at the same time– constant needs.  (He calls this digiphrenia.)
3.  we relate to global trends (unemployment, advertized “happiness”,
dominance of ‘branding’, loss of beginnings and endings, etc.).  This
leads to despair and loss of hope.  We need to define our separate
agenda and purpose.
(Rushkoff– Fractalnoia)

It is hard to separate ourselves from the tornado of effects
and become grounded.  Reassess what steps to take.
Suggestion:  Do a personal self assessment and pursue
mentors to establish goals and create a narrative.  It may
involve a tour of duty.  Worth considering.

1 comment
04/25/13
Entrepreneurs. 8. Failure and the unpredictable
Filed under: Interviewing, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:57 am

One of the routes to interviewing candidates for
start up companies uses “case study interviews.
In class, we used a case study interview on a small
team.  One member of the team was an engineer and
capable for visualizing the problem;  another member
was confident, but would need preparation to equally
participate in problem-solving.  Shortly after they
began this mock interview the second person asked
to leave and end her participation.  Frustrated.

So used to studying for the test and textbook answers
in academic training, this new situation where the
answer was not clear, assumptions had to be made
and more data was needed overwhelmed her. 
Fortunately she was coached into how to participate
as a facilitator, notetaker and visual thinker.

Entrepreneurial cultures accept failure as part of
the learning process.  They tout:  Fail quickly and
learn from each one
.  The WSJ printed an anecdote
that is abstracted to make a point about the origins
of death certificates
and its result in forming three
new industries, namely statistics, life insurance and
public health.
“the English king in 1665 desired to know why his
tax revenue was decreasing.  His collectors reported
that people were dying.  So, the king ordered that
each death needed to be certified.  And, “each week
why don’t we write down all the reasons each person
died this week…”

“What questions did you ask today?

Early military training can develop problem solving
skills, to think quickly on one’s feet and successfully
work in teams. 

Finally, an intriguing real life personal care products
entrepreneurial story
was reported where Jon Flint
used a scientific approach to develop proprietary
formulations that could not be copied by others
and met their claims.  He never thought he would
enter this field but a stroke of good fortune by
collaborating with renown Robert Langer  led to a
number of successful formulations.

comments (0)
04/03/13
Entrepreneurs 7. Proof of Concept Centers
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 4:27 pm

For those thinking about working in a start up or
looking to go out on their own, Desh Deshpande
of MIT and Department of Commerce circulated
informative reference material.  See:
Proof of concept centers  2  3 

comments (0)
02/23/13
Entrepreneurs. 6. Culture and Valuation
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:54 pm

Over the last few months, due to the recognition
of the role of start-up companies in a tough economy,
we have done serious research into critical elements
of a ‘going on your own’ or ‘joining an emerging
enterprise’ career path.

Our series topics include:
1.  iEconomy and patents, noting “standard essential”
patents and other emerging patenting tactics
2.  Interactions with Venture Capitalists, noting the
role of the elevator pitch and other success factors
3.  Hiring priorities for emerging companies, noting
understanding the culture and company story
4.  Starting a company on your own, noting important
first steps to consider– attorney
5.  Disruptive innovations and different kinds of
support in an emerging enterprise.
6,  What works in making initial contact with start-up
companies, note “warm introductions” and multiple avenues
of contacts through committed networking

This entry highlights two topics brought up in the
Accelerators blog that are commonly overlooked
by entrepreneurs, namely, the importance of company
culture
and determining the valuation of the
business
.
In the rush to get the business moving, whether it is
product or service into customers’ hands for use, it
is important to define your core values and traditions
in the early months and days.  In successful firms, you
will find a certain “vibe” in every person you meet which
has a direct impact on outputs and raising of funds.

The value of your firm is not what you think it
should be, it is what others, often experts in
the market dynamics, are willing to offer.  It is,
first of all, a negotiation which centers on trust,
not winning and losing.  There is major caution
in how you go about working with people who
are, often, very experienced.  It can not hurt to
involve mentors and trusted colleagues who have
experienced different negotiating styles.

comments (0)
02/02/13
Entrepreneurs. 5. VCs, Angels, Disruptive innovations
Filed under: Job Offer (Situations), Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:53 am

Those individuals who desire to go off on their own,
join a smaller emerging venture or split off from
an existing organization or university are part of
a group called entrepreneurs.

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
Entrepreneurs often have a different “value proposition”
than existing organizations.  Disruptive technologies,
Christensen notes, separates existing and entrpreneurial
ventures.  Their markets and customers are different
and they expect that the advantages and cultural norms
will take hold over time. 

Examples:
traditional classes in universities           MOOCs
brick and mortar retailing                        Internet commerce
manned military fighters                         unmanned drones

ENTREPRENEUR’S SUPPORTERS
An entrepreneur is a class of innovator who can lead,
build strong functional teams and understands how to
motivate and sell ideas.

It might be useful to explore the nature and roles of
angel investors or groups and venture capital VC organizations.
A business management view reveals SIX stages:
 - seed funding, often by angel investors [will say more]
 - start-up funding for market assessment and product
development
 -  early production and sales funding
 -  working capital funding for product refinement and
new market introduction
 - expansion funding
 - bridge funding to “go public”
Interestingly, certain VCs can focus on different segments,
localities and industries. The amount of help, time
frames and expectations can be different and depend on
each situation.

Angel investors take large risks of possible significant
gains, for example, 20x to 30x gain over 5- to 7 years,
in a win-lose venture.  Angel investors or  groups need
to be accredited by the SEC.  Many will seek confidential
and proprietary information as part of due diligence.
The entrepreneur must formalize and monitor
confidentiality (as non-disclosure agreements are not
the norm).

3 comments
01/23/13
Entrepreneurs. 4. Initial steps suggestions
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:31 pm

At a meeting last week, I met with several interesting people.
Some were in mid-career looking for a change, others desired
moving for differing reasons and a third set sought to become
involved in a start-up with ideas of their own.  One fellow, CM, in
particular had developed useful technology in a university
laboratory under sponsored research and sought counsel.

Before my individual sessions, I toured the exhibition and developed
a connection with two entrepreneurs who are developing a business
and were willing to share and teach others in Entrepreneur Avenue
of the Exhibition.  You can find their story and business plan at
this link.

They were JL, the principal and CEO, and WR-B, the operations
manager of an emerging genomics firm that had a terrific business
model and story to share.  The CEO was quite forthcoming in offering
that the first step should be to:

Obtain and secure an exclusive IP license for technology for low cost
from the technology transfer office.

Then, the second action item, which can be worked on in parallel,
is to:
 
practice and prepare your sales pitch for what you will sell, make or
provide as a service to an experienced attorney

Having convinced a reputable, legal representative knowledgeable in
the field will aid in refining the sales pitch to each group that your
team decides to bring into the effort.  They will have connections,
organizations and recommendations for funding sources, VCs, etc.
They will have insight in critical negotiation steps.

You want to provide an incentive for them to want to work with you.
“skin in the game…”

I found JL’s comments unique, well qualified and directly pertinent
to the client’s specific request and I could not offer it any more
eloquently.

comments (0)
12/22/12
Entrepreneurs 3. Accelerators blog and thoughts on Hiring Priorities
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:31 am

Although the entrepreneurial spirit is recently
highlighted in ACS, it is honestly nothing new.

High risk, high reward opportunities on one’s
own or joining with others have been available
since high tech was high tech, and chemical
ventures had to split off from larger companies
or universities.

Take a look at a WSJ blog article on what start-up
mentors, Brad Field, Neil Blementhal and others
suggest.  It reveals behaviors job seekers might
consider and offers what they may find in their
interviews and first days on the job if offered
positions.

 - both culture fit and technical skill are important
[Preparation;  find out about the culture before
the interview.]

 - having failed ventures is good, if people learned
from them;  know your own talent level and what
you can contribute

 - job descriptions and company story need to be
dissected and tested ;  understand incentives.

 If you are interested in Entrepreneurial business
employment, the Accelerators Blog is a place to
peruse.

 

1 comment
11/17/12
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
market.

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

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—
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

5 comments
10/19/12
Entrepreneurs. iEconomy and Patents. Charles Duhigg
Filed under: Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:49 am

With much attention promoting the entrepreneurial
spirit for STEM graduates
to excel and thrive,
Charles Duhigg has unearthed the evolution of
some roles patents play in a recent NYTimes
article and podcast.

Duhigg observes that we are now in the
iEconomy and that patents take on strategic
roles of defining new concepts even before
successful demonstrations or products are
prototyped as we have moved from an
industrial economy to a digital and often
virtual economy.

We have written about patent trolls previously.
While these are mentioned, entrepreneurs are
paying attention to the patent landscape
in “different
lights and using microscopes” when thinking about
business ventures, venture capitalists, competition
and the law. 
One interesting area, new to me, is “standard essential”
patents that are significant in many software and presumably
hardware concepts.  They are neatly defined by the
example of the railroad rail gauge on moving from one
state or country or company to another.  In order for
the public to be served, standards had to be agreed upon
and set.  Then, all users had to agree to license and
share for fair compensation.  

1 comment
04/15/12
YCC Career Symposium. Feedback and Feed-forward
Filed under: Interviewing, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 10:31 am

The truth of the matter, in offering a presentation or workshop,
it is not what the presenter presents, but what the audience
members
take away and experience that imprints a learning
cycle on their brain neurons. 
When they sense a situation in which they face something
they can relate to a previous experience they can react,
respond, initiate, clarify,  or pursue.
[Importance of critical thinking over didactic thinking.]

The Northeast Student Chemistry Career Symposium yesterday
in centrally located Holiday Inn in Brookline gave attendees
  - perspectives on careers
             science policy
             entrepreneurship
             academic research
             industrial research
   - discussions on networking and communications 
   - discussions on resumes and references
   - practical experiences in mock interviews

FEEDBACK
The feedback we sought and received taught us that the audience
received and internalized the messages that

1.   the interview does not start with an employer contacting a
person based on being attracted by a well written resume.
It starts much earlier.  It lasts well beyond leaving the location
after an on-site interview.
2.   interviews are unnerving experiences that can lead to
stressful or pressure-packed feelings.  Preparation, practice
and persistence are key in developing interpersonal skills to
be successful.
3.   interviewing continuum as a big picture model shines a
light on different aspects of search, narrowing down,
preparation, performance and improvement cycle that needs
to happen throughout your career.
4.   clarifying precisely the documents needed to apply for
specific positions was revealing.  Although different presenters
offered reflections on resumes, it almost never satisfies everyone
in the audience, since each person is a different case.  Public
relations documents might be best handled individually.
5.   some presentations required the audience to be there for
the whole presentation.  Other presentations were designed
to deliver at least something of value for those who moved
from one to another presentation.  Presentation design (not
overly dependent on power point, highly interactional) makes
a difference.

FEED-FORWARD
Some behind the scenes conversation:

DON’T EXPECT YOUR FIRST POSITION TO BE ONE
YOU HAVE FOR YOUR WHOLE CAREER.  CONSTANTLY
  - INCREASE AND BROADEN YOUR SKILLS AND
  - LOOK OUTWARD AND FORWARD.

WISE SKILLS
ARE INCREASINGLY MORE IMPORTANT.

Advisers expect certain things out of grad students to
get their positions– get publishable results, publish them,
have good relationships with your P.I. and interview
to find out what you will do next.
Real life experience says one thing is missing– the grad
student must be proactive, develop skills, set goals and
learn how to be assertive and make decisions.
The adviser will not do this.  It is the grad student’s
responsibility.

 

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