Another of my articles was published on the ACS Careers blog. This one is about a job interview experience I had, that was very unusual. When I give career-related talks, I always mention the strangest job interview of my life, and this was it. I learned a lot from this experience, so am sharing it in the hopes that you can learn something as well. It’s entitled Job Interviews…Trust Your Instincts – Check it out!
Archive for July, 2009
As a follow up to the last post, here’s another one on employment trends.
Forbes.com published a list of the The 10 Hardest Jobs To Fill In America. And lucky for us, many of them are math and science careers.
Another recent trend is flexibility in work – in hours, location, and so on. Even traditionally inflexible companies are finding Flexible Work Arrangements a low-cost way to motivate and retain employees.
One of the mailing lists I’m on has had a discussion recently on how professionals in our field can adapt to changes in the world. The conversation started when someone asked what cities were doing significant hiring, so they could relocate there and find a job.
While this is certainly an option, it may not be the best one. Just because an area has low unemployment doesn’t mean you will find a job there, let alone a job you like. Furthermore, that area may not continue to grow, and you may find yourself having to move again in a few years.
A better strategy is to be flexible not in where you will live (though that can be important), but to be flexible in the type of work you will do, and the industries in which you will do it. By applying your skills to a new field or industry, you can continue to learn and grow professionally without having to relocate (unless you just like moving!).
If you keep up on trends in your industry, and in the world in general, you can see the early warning signs of companies and industries that are on the declines, and ones that are growing. If your area is on the way out, start learning the vocabulary and quirks of ones that are on the rise, so you will be positioned to transition when/if it becomes necessary.
To help you out, Fortune magazine has published a list of growing market segments. Many of these segments are science-related, or could benefit from scientific input. Which ones are of interest to you? Which ones will you keep an eye on, or learn a little more about?
I just picked up a copy of the book with this title, written by Ellen Gordon Reeves. It’s billed as a crash course for finding, landing, and keeping your first real job. While I have not read it in detail, I think she does a very good job of giving the basics for those who have never gone through the process before.
I particularly liked the list of potential interview questions, and suggested strategies for answering them. While they are obviously for entry level positions, if you haven’t been interviewed in a long time they might be worth looking through to prepare yourself for what is to come.
PS. The answer to the title question is, Yes, under certain circumstances.