The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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03/17/15
Industrial Career Paths. Business Cards and Goal setting
Filed under: Networking, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:28 pm

Preparing for a presentation on what happens in your First Year
and two items are part of what many face in industrial careers.

One is business cards.  There are many different flavors, colors
and lay-outs for these 20th century devices to network and share
our identities and contact information.  Recently Schumpeter in
the Economist wrote about this tool
that somehow survives in
the electronic age.   The main comments to the article that
help us are that they form physical reminders that bring us
to the top of a pile,
and more important remind us of the
critical realization that face-to-face interaction forms the
basis of connections in human relations
.

The second is the morphing of goal-setting (setting objectives
)  by individuals consistent with the organization’s goals. 
Schumpeter, in another recent piece, argued that many studies
have shown how ineffective top-down, poorly worded, annual
account checking the boxes “goals” (really objectives) to complete
annual performance reviews are. 

The article and accompanying comments point out that negotiated
objectives on a more flexible time scale that can allow for not
meeting desired deliverables is the modern day approach that
leads to successful companies.  The Google Glass example
brings this out.

comments (0)
09/14/11
Wise skills. Committed networking
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:05 pm

We spoke about 21st century skills that are needed
to manage our careers to deal with the 24/7 frenetic
pace and information overload in our first seminar
- workshop discussion.  Eight “wise skills” were
offered that each of us needs to develop and
companies look for in successful candidates.

The “wise” skills are differentiated from the “soft” skills
and technical or “hard” skills.  Included in the wise
skills are:

1  recognizing the need to disconnect and recharge
ourselves.  We can’t expect to run continuously at
full tilt without burning out at some point.  To do this
effectively, we need to develop and coordinate
schedules.

time management routines  2 

be allies for each other

4  value the importance of face to face communication

5   mentors and sponsors  3 

6   reverse mentoring

7   goal setting  4

8   committed networking

Focusing on committed networking, we pointed out
the way “networking” has been trivialized is that it
is information sharing.  It seems in the Internet
dominated age as passive with no formal
commitments or common items of work or
collaboration.  There seems to be little connection
between participants.

Networking, to be effective, needs to be more helpful,
more persistent.  5   One needs to be memorable,
provide value and significance.  Command
(not demand) attention, but be helpful.

If you know you want to network with someone, you
don’t settle for “no”.  This does not signal the end, it
reveals, “not now” or “not in the present form”. 
Repackage and try again, not taking the negative
response personally.

2 comments
06/15/10
Objectives. For yourself, for your team and project and for your resume
Filed under: Public Relations docs, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 5:39 pm

It is not easy to author your objective(s).  To
make
things worse, it is even harder to read
someone else’s
objective when it is formed
with someone else’s
thought process and words.

No wonder advice for resumes can be to skip
writing an objective statement.  That is, unless
you
are relating one that is specifically using
the
keywords and clear message that you are
seeking to meet what a company is seeking.

OBJECTIVES VS. GOALS
It is tempting when writing objectives to
confuse
and even interchange goals and
objectives.  One
well-conceived document
(
Tulane Univ.) articulates goals as providing
PRINCIPLES guiding actions,
attitudes and
behaviors. 
Objectives are specific, concrete
STEPS to meet elements of goals.  Several

objectives may be needed to reach a goal.

Goals:  broad, general intentions
           can be abstract and hard to measure
Objectives:  focused and concrete achievements
                   can be tangible and measured.
It is commonly said that we should be persistent
with
our goals and flexible with our objectives in
pursuit of
our goals.

OBJECTIVES FOR DIFFERENT AUDIENCES
Having narrowed down objectives to focus on
achievements, we need to distinguish different
audiences.  When we are defining what we want
to do to be granted a Ph.D. we recognize there
is a specific audience, your adviser and
committee,
that must be satisfied, in addition to
yourself.


When we are defining our objective for seeking
a technical position with a specific employer, we
need to use the keywords and resonate with the
key skills and abilities the employer seeks.  This
is
done in a resume in really two sections, the
OBJECTIVE and HIGHLIGHTS.

Audience analysis strongly influences each
objective for resume for each position.  It is
strongly suggested that attention is paid to
what each employer seeks.

Not long ago, we posted an entry about
“SMARTER” OBJECTIVES that can be
constructed for yourself and for project teams.
Note the different audience here, as opposed to
a resume objective (briefer, specific) and your
thesis work (outlined to attack a problem or
explore a concept, can be subject to
interpretation)
Smarter objectives are an acronym for
 

Letter   Term             Less frequently used terms
S          Specific
M          Measurable   Meaningful

A          Achievable     Appropriate, action-oriented

R          Relevant         Results-oriented
T          Time-bound    Timely
E          Exciting           Evaluated
R          Recorded        Rewarding, reviewed

For objectives,
  - know the difference with goals,
  - understand what your audience will seek, and
  - think hard how you can create satisfying personal
or team objectives.

comments (0)
05/06/08
First year on the job. “Smarter” objectives
Filed under: Mentoring, First Year on Job, Leadership, Mature professionals, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 6:38 pm

While listening to a guest speaker talk about
the importance of doing things well in your
first years in a position and what things to
do, she spoke about “SMARTER” objectives.

This is an improvement on SMART objectives,
the acronym commonly referred to in project
and leadership circles for appraisal and performance
management systems.
Looking at wikipedia they list (The link
provides suggestions of origins and other
elements.) the terms as

Letter   Term             Less frequently used terms
S          Specific         Significant, stretching, simple
M         Measurable     Meaningful, motivational,
                                    manageable
A         Achievable     Agreed, attainable, assignable
                                    appropriate, actionable,
                                    action-oriented
R          Relevant        Realistic, results/results-focused
                                     results-oriented, resourced
                                     rewarding
T          Time-bound   Time-based, trackable, timely
E          [added]          Exciting, evaluated
R          [added]          Recorded, rewarding, reviewed

Understanding these terms in the context of the business
and project goals will help define workable objectives.

Another new learning is that these smarter objectives can
have shorter time-frames for review, reflection and revision.
Whereas it was institutional to do this at mid-year and year
end, she spoke about one-month, two-month and three-
month intervals, especially when first starting out, in fast
moving areas, or more fluid areas.

It was very good that the students were exposed to these
concepts.

2 comments