Monday, October 21, 2013

"If you are a job seeker, please remember to remain positive and turn challenges into opportunities!"

ACS President Marinda Li Wu writes on ACS efforts to boost employment in this week's C&EN (emphasis mine):
At the American Chemical Society Council meeting during the ACS national meeting in Indianapolis last month, the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) reported that unemployment is down for ACS chemists. When I ran for ACS president in 2011, unemployment for ACS members was at an all-time high of 4.6%. It has now dropped to 3.5%. 
Jobs for our members, as well as advocacy to promote a better business climate to support those jobs, have been among my top priorities as ACS president (C&EN, Sept. 2, page 54). So I am happy to see recent improvements in both salaries and the job market. Full-time employment for chemists is now at its highest level in five years, according to the latest ACS Comprehensive Salary Survey (C&EN, Sept. 23, page 9). Yet I know many members are still looking for a job, and ACS is working on several fronts to help them... 
...What can we—as a society and as individual citizens—do to help create jobs or demand for chemists? I asked this question at the council meeting in Indianapolis to solicit valuable feedback from our councilors. This discussion topic generated many new ideas and suggestions that are being shared with pertinent committees to consider for possible action. If you have any suggestions to answer this question, I welcome your ideas at m.wu@acs.org... 
...If you are a job seeker, please remember to remain positive and turn challenges into opportunities! I welcome further suggestions to help members looking for a job at m.wu@acs.org.
Perhaps it's my lugubrious nature, but if I were unemployed (I am not), I would find such a reminder to be irritating. Oh, well, it's probably just me.  

15 comments:

  1. Another wasted efforts by ACS President! Certainly, her point of view does not instill any confidence. Can someone remind her that people have been staying positive for years from the time the "shit hit the fan" in the pharmaceutical and other areas of chemistry discipline? The things is ACS is perhaps an impotent organization and people run there to be a president perhaps, to bulk up their vitae.

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  2. CJ: I learned a new adjective! Lugubrious, yea baby, yeah!

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  3. Common theme of the ACS president & candidates is that good times will come again someday.

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  4. Does that include my area of materials science. Does this now mean that there is one more job than last year for me to apply to? At least I'm not a CERN physicist, how's that for positive?

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  5. reminds me a sad joke about a patient who was put on Prozac because of his embarrassing psychosomatic problems. Three weeks later he comes back to the doctor with wide grin on his face. "So how are you feeling today?" "Wonderful, just wonderful" "Do you still wet your bed at night?" "Yes, I do - more than ever. And I feel wonderful about it!"

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  6. Another reason to stop sending money to ACS -- the leadership must be inhaling (and has been for years).

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  7. In your role as a quasi-journalist, you should have stipulated 'emphasis mine' for the emboldened text cited above. Times are unquestionably tough. She's telling people to keep their spirits up, and I'm fine with that--as I am with you when you more or less say the same thing in many of your posts.

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    1. Re (emphasis mine): I think I did, yes? Unless you're saying that I should have put it next to the emboldened text, which I think might be a fair point.

      As for "keeping your spirits up", here I feel I must disagree. Perhaps I am wrong, but I feel that I really actively avoid telling people (especially those in difficult circumstances that I myself am not in!) to cheer up or "turn challenges into opportunities." As I am ever fond of repeating, chemists (and scientists in general) are uniquely allergic to modern motivational speaking.

      Anon, I really appreciate your comment and look forward to hearing your response. Cheers, CJ

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    2. Thanks, CJ. You have an endearing habit of ending entries describing the latest pharma meltdown with the phrase 'best wishes for all involved.' I generally read those as meaning 'another door may well open soon', or 'keep your spirits up.'

      What should she say to those looking for jobs? Write it down and see if it can withstand blog-level scrutiny.

      I'm pretty sure you wanted ACS keeping its eye on the jobs situation, and here you have the president of the organization reporting out to the membership on this very topic. I don't see her closing sentence as 'motivational speaking.' She's simply telling members to stay positive and be creative.

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    3. Anon, I can't say that I fully agree, but I appreciate your thoughts. I think you've issued me a worthy challenge. So, thank you again. :-)

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  8. Don't have a regular job and have to choose between food and rent? Never a better time to start that diet! Be positive!! Wooooo!!!

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    1. I would choose the rent. Just remember: calorie restriction will likely extend your life. Eat like an elder Okinawan, like me :)

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  9. It's great that we've reduced unemployment amongst ACS members by 1.1% (that's my bout of positivity for the day). However, that's only meaningful if it came from actual rehiring of chemists instead of the possibility that a large portion of the unemployed have simply dropped out of the ACS membership.

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  10. Don't let yourselves get distracted by the puppet government, folks. It's Madeline Jacobs and Rudy Baum that are the real lugubrious irritants.

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  11. Positive? I have had one FT job since graduation. Cant afford stupid ACS benefits to TAKE ADVANTAGE of their resources because why? Because their university affiliates and mentors pandered PT status for the greater greed of the budget. Then when ACS appears to be sympathetic, they have stipulations on what kind of membership waiver you can get. Was told via email "You needed to be a paid member in past year, so sorry you haven't worked in 6 months or had a full-time one in benefits since your grad date of 2010, but screw you, give us $150 and we will help our precious struggling chemists."
    Im fuming at this point.

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