AACC Career Meeting Recap, So. Cal.

Dave Jensen davej at sedona.net
Mon Sep 30 04:22:30 EST 1996

I attended a meeting called "Refining Employment Skills In An Era of
Change", presented by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry
chapter in the Southern California area. It was attended by about 100
scientists and technical professionals from academia, industry, and
clinical environments.

"Patterns Of Change" - Presented by Owen Ash, PhD, AACC secretary and VP
of ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Dr. Ash's company deals with exotic tests that many hospitals and
companies are not doing any longer, both in the development of new tests
as well as the standard battery of clinical chemistry work. He commented
that although his talk was about the rapid change undergoing the
healthcare and scientific job markets, his company currently has over 80
open positions. Salt Lake City is a "boom town" now, and this is one
reason for the growth. Other points that he made include:

- Less positions in clinical chemistry in the future in the hospital
environment. Most positions there will be BS/MS level medtech or
chemistry jobs, while the PhD and experienced clinical chemist will find
more jobs opening up in private service firms: labs that have specialized
and thrive on work given them by the big healthcare institutions.

- A hot area for the future will be in information systems within the
healthcare arena. Those who combine a medical technology background and
computer expertise.

"Dealing With Stress During Difficult Times" - Presented by Wiley Johnson, PhD.

Dr.Johnson presented a fascinating study of the factors which induce
stress, and in particular how these develop in and around the career. The
job seeker is, obviously, one of the biggest candidates for stress. Here
are a couple of points that Wiley made:

- It's not change that people resist and which causes stress, it is transition. 

- The six areas most affected by the transition period: Relationships with
others, Personal Identity, Sense of the Future, Sense of Meaning, Loss of
Control, Turf.

- He reported on his belief that a full spectrum of emotion is healthier
for the nervous system than just a steady diet of positive thinking;
advises that people push on through their personal transitions with a
positive outlook, but when the negative occurs, to recognize it and to
experience that emotion as well.

"Great Resumes" - Presented by David Markowitz, Markowitz Associates

This was primarily a hands-on workshop style session in which we discussed
various forms of resumes described by the speaker. We learned how to
prioritize the material that needs to be on the resume, and how important
the first third of the first page really is.

David Markowitz strongly advised having a number of resume or CV formats,
made up for different kinds of jobs. "In the old days," he said, "the
batch size of a resume was about 200. You'd take it into the printer and
have them run a couple hundred copies on their offset printer. Now, with
personal computers and Microsoft Word, we have in effect a batch size of 1
resume. Customize, customize, customize."

A great comment about age discrimination: "There's no such thing as age
discrimination. What you run into is SALARY discrimination. It's just
plain cheaper to hire someone with less experience."

"Insider's Secrets To The Science Job Market" - Presented by Dave Jensen

I gave a talk about the five paths to the job market and how to optimize
all the various aspects of the job search. Material from this available at
http://www.bio.com/hr/search/search_1.html, and readers of this newsgroup
have heard enough from me that I don't need to present it again here.

"Effective Networking" - Presented by Susan Linn, Orange County Networking

Susan gave a hilarious talk about the importance of networking. Although
she had to speak over the din of the luncheon, she was superb. In effect,
her presentation taught us all a handful of solid networking ideas. We
came away with a new appreciation of how networking is a LIFE skill and
not just a JOB SEEKING skill.

"Strategies and Resources For a Successful Search" - Presented by Ray
Griffin, Sr. VP, Drake Beam and Morin, Inc.

A Vice President of the world's largest outplacement agency gave a great
talk on the joys of the job search. Ray brought a lot of humor to his
talk, as well as a number of excellent recommendations. Here are a few of

- Read the excellent book "Transitions" by Wm. Bridges, and his favorite
called "Emotional Intelligence", by Goleman. 

- Regarding the use of networking resources: "No one is going to take your
career as seriously as you are. Take control over the process."

- 20% temporary employment through specialized agencies will go up to 40%
by the year 2000. He forecasts new meaning for the word "temp."

- The best interview question that he was ever asked by an interviewing
candidate (when he was in industry): "What are the problems around here
that wake you up in the middle of the night? I'd like to help you solve

- Your two greatest friends while networking and interviewing:
"Persistence and a positive attitude."

Hope that this recap was of interest. If you attend a career related
seminar, please share your thoughts with me.


Dave Jensen
Managing Director, Search Masters International

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