Wednesday, June 12, 2013

BREAKING: On the Internet, "The Chemjobber" might be a dog. Or a duck.

Healthy skepticism about this blog, courtesy of the LinkedIn ACS discussion group (thanks to an astute reader):

I don't really have much of a problem with people being skeptical about me. That said, I am amused that there is no evidence about me. None at all, really.

[As for my credentials for analyzing the job market in chemistry? Well, I guess it has to do with it being my main hobby for the last four-and-a-half years. Look, I'm just a guy. I tell people what I can measure, I tell people what I have seen published (and where they can see it for themselves) and I listen to what people have to say. All in all, it's a pretty great hobby.] 

How awesome is it to be called "The Chemjobber"? Too awesome, really. It reminds me of concern about "The Batman."

33 comments:

  1. He/she gives great advice - perhaps you could forward it to the guy whose Ph.D. Chemist wife is looking for a job in Denver.

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  2. "The Chemjobbber" is totally awesome! You should start using that from now on.

    I appreciate all the info that you find, but you should start acknowledging all the info that you don't find. ;)

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    1. The unknown unknowns

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  3. It could be worse... you could be librarianjobber.

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  4. The Chemjobber, striking fear into the hearts of... librarians apparently?

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  5. Seems like a healthy dose of skepticism, and I would hope anyone in the job market would see you as only one of many resources. But the same goes for the sources she recommends - it's not like one has to choose between The Goddamn Chemjobber and a careers service.

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  6. We've already BEEN to career services, we've already HEARD conventional wisdom about employment outlook, and we've already APPLIED to dozens of jobs, all without success. The Chemjobber is actually working to SOLVE our problem where all these other methods have failed. I trust anonymous comments on here more than any career services person or librarian out there.

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  7. Because he's the hero the ACS deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A chemist.

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    1. Shame that Tom Hardy is going to kick the crap out of him, though.

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  8. this site doesn't present itself as anything grander than a water-cooler discussion of the chem job market. the thing is water-cooler discussions are a lot more likely to cut through the bullshit and get to real-world experiences. discussions like this are the ONLY place i've read about things like 40 hour unpaid consultations being a part of the job interview process. if it weren't for this site and others, and something like that happened to me, i would probably think i was in the process of getting hired (not being exploited)

    that Evaluate.html link is a joke. it's the same argument as "wikipedia isn't a trusted source, therefore you haven't demonstrated to me that the earth is round. come back with proper documentation"

    @4:22 - zing!

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  9. I read the ACS LinkedIn discussions, and they can easily go off on some tangents. The person posting about Chemjobber’s lack of rigor, so to speak, is a chemical librarian. She means well, and tries to make good suggestions to people, but most suggestions consist of recommending a site or book for people to peruse. Interestingly, a large number of the discussions on this ACS LinkedIn site revolve around the difficult job market for chemists. If anything, those discussions are more negative than what I read here on Chemjobber. Many of the posts there are from new graduates who are having a tough time finding a job, and who are dismayed to find that the job market is not as rosy as their professors have painted it to be.
    I’ll stick with this site – it’s more realistic and less negative.

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  10. "I trust anonymous comments on here more than any career services person or librarian out there."

    Exactly. ACS / NSF are a propaganda machine, faculty advisors have not a clue, as well-intentioned as most are, and the mainstream press provides nothing but bullet point from elsewhere. I can only hope this blog saves a few 22 year-olds from making the same wholly uniformed clueless decisions with lifetime consequences that so many of us made!

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  11. Clap your hands if you believe in "The Chemjobber". :-)

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    1. Unstable IsotopeJune 13, 2013 at 9:15 AM

      *clap clap clap*

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    2. *clap clap clap*

      I trust the duck. :D

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  12. The irony, of course, is that the ACS LinkedIn group is a complete joke. Daily conversations generally consist of a few pathetic grown-ass men hurling insults at one another saying "No, YOU don't know how to read! Go re-read my post!" Then the librarian will try to interject with some actual literature, at which point she gets criticized. I've never seen conversations on this blog devolve into schoolyard name-calling like that group.

    This is really just a continuation of the whole Royce Murray/Rudy Baum declaration that bloggers ain't shit.

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  13. I think that this site could still pass the website evaluation strategies that she links to: 1)the posts here aren't rants, they often present uncertainty and alternative theories 2)entries are recent 3) links are to recent information 4)links are to scholarly article citations 5) the links are well organized, work properly, and represent a variety of opinions related to the subject 6) chemical information is discussed in a way that makes it unlikely that you are a "hobbyist" in chemistry.

    She seems hung up on the fact that the site is anonymous and not published by a corporate/academic entity, and has ignored all of the other criteria for judging a website. Venerable anonymity has a long history including Ben Franklin's writings. Personally, after getting a PhD in a physical science, if I can't look at a piece of writing that has been stripped of identifying content and make a judgment as to whether the writing presents a reasonable argument/seems plausible then I don't deserve my degree.

    ps. I read the linked in posts and had this fantasy of hundreds of linkedin people trying to claim that they in fact were The Chemjobber.

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    1. It all reminds me of "Why God wouldn't get tenure".

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  14. "I trust anonymous comments on here more than any career services person or librarian out there."

    Yes, me too. I actually trusted an anonymous comment on the Ivory Tower section by an Anonymous that said that Geneva was 200% an inside job and didn't bother applying. I spent a day playing video games instead of preparing my applications and writing a cover letter/changing proposals. Other people who had a decent or better shot, or so I would have thought, for an interview at least, got all shut out. Still don't know if it was a 200% inside position or not, but at least thanks to the Chemjobber I saved a day and managed to build a pretty big Italian Empire by the middle of the 1600s.

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    1. Another happy ending brought to you by the Chemjobber.

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  15. Question: Has anyone gotten a job directly due to info from Chemjobber?

    The answer doesn't have to be yes for this site to be meaningful, I'm just curious. I'm new here so excuse me if this has happened many times.

    Regardless, the one thing that this and other blogs and internet forums do is really highlight the disconnect that ACS has with its membership. They honestly have no idea how to serve the membership besides publishing journals and charging an arm and a leg to subscribe to them.

    I guess they're trying different things, but its the same people trying those different things, so you end up with the same results. Basically, jack squat.

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    1. A job posted on this site and I got to the final interview for that company. Didn't get the job, but did establish good connections through it.

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  16. The Aqueous LayerJune 13, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Who are you? Who, who, who, who?

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  17. The Iron ChemistJune 13, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Wow, this lady's like the J. Jonah Jameson to your Spiderman.

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  18. Unstable IsotopeJune 13, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    The Chemjobber is like Cassandra or the canary in a coal mine. We'll call him the duck in the internets.

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    1. ^ awesome. I'd like the internets better if they quacked.

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  19. In this scenario I envision the ACS as Jack Nicholson's 1989 Joker. "Who ya gonna trust? Me? I'm giving away free job ads (for permatemp contracts that have nothing to do with chemistry). And where...is THE CHEMJOBBER? He's at home, washing his anti-STEM shortage posts!"

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  20. Stuart Cantrill • FWIW, I'd put more faith in what Chemjobber says than the vast majority of things I read on here...

    Take THAT ACS group!

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  21. You all are too kind. Thanks for making me smile.

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  22. Chemjobber friend OAJune 13, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Chemjobber helped me with my decision on going back to graduate school. I now have a MBA.
    http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/search/label/mba

    I certainly wouldn't have trusted a librarian with a career-Napolean complex for advice with that decision!

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  23. The Chemjobber writes a great blog, with thoughtful commentary backed-up with actual data (yes, actual data - shock-horror).

    Keep it up sir. Whilst we have you patrolling the interweb actually, you know, telling the truth, the ACS and librarians everywhere sleep a little less easy :-)

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