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General Career

Pay and Promotion Matter

A new working paper examines the exodus of women from the science and engineering fields, and upends some popularly accepted wisdom.

» Still facing bias and barriers

Networking Survival Tips

Networking can be scary! Use some of these tips and you'll be sure to make the contacts you need and that need you.

» May I have your business card?

 Job Hunt Tip Sheet

Looking for your next dream realized? Peek inside to find resume, job hunting, and interview tips!

 Summer Mentoring Webinar Series: Part I and II

Donna Dean, author of Getting the Most out of your Mentoring Relationships: A Handbook for Women in STEM, has given the first two in a series of three webinars on mentoring. Please click on the link to view each webinar.

» Part I

» Part II 

 Dealing with Difficult People

Everyone has worked with their share of bullies, badies,and whiners.  In this last article in the series penned by the X-gals, a group of nine women who met regularly in graduate school to provideone another mutal support, the archetypes of the academic  work world are laid out.

» Archetypes in academe...

 Other Career Paths
Looking for that viable and cutting-edge career? Good news, US News & World Report recently identified six areas within the job market that are recently expanding due to growing demands and a changing economy. Find out which careers are emerging due to key megatrends in our nation's economy.
» From wellness coaches to computational biologists

 Diversifying the Workplace
Case studies and a mathematical model created by Scott E. Page, a professor of complex systems, political science and economics at the University of Michigan, show how diversity in staffing produces organizational strength. Dr. Page also points out how breakthroughs in science have come from teams of diverse people - a reason why interdisciplinary work is a huge trend in scientific research.
» Diversity = Productivity

 Networking Know-How

Everyone stresses the importance of networking for career development and advancement, but what specifically can you do to maximize your networking potential? Joining a professional organization is "the lifeblood of your professional life," but your success is also dependent on your preparation and persistence. Always have business cards on hand and adhere to the "the reciprocity principle," building relationships by listening and engaging. Making networking a way of life, and strengthening relationships by utilizing your different contacts will expand your networking capabilities that are critical for career development and growth.
» Networking 101

 Tips for a Better Interview

Congratulations! You worked your network and landed an interview with the company of your choice. Now, you need to ace the interview. Get prepared by reviewing some common sense tips from pharmaceutical consultant David Jensen, who recommends that you first do your research. Know the basics about the company, and draft some questions to ask about the work you will be doing. Second, pause before answering an important question. This will add weight to your response.  Finally, follow-up. Contact either the person to whom you will be reporting or Human Resources to reiterate your interest in the position. With mindful preparation, considered discussion, and a thoughtful finish, you can improve your chances at winning a job offer.

» Interview guidance

 Non-Science Jobs in Science

In light of the recent unemployment statistics, students should not wait until graduation to begin their job search. The healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries are cited as having growth potential, but not necessarily in the areas one might think.  Companies in these industries may hold promise for non-science majors; political science students can find opportunities in healthcare policy, and those with engineering backgrounds may find positions within Healthcare Information Technology.  Other industries expected to grow in demand for science and non-science majors include government and education.
» Job searching in a tough economy

 Your New Part-Time Job

If you are in the market for a new job in 2012, you have already landed one new part-time "position": your job hunt.  To be successful in this increasingly competitive job market, plan to commit at least two hours per day on searching for that new situation. Cover all your bases.  In addition to combing the internet, you should also be searching within your network, trade periodicals, and job fairs.  Develop a system to track the innumerable applications, interviews, emails, phone calls, and new contact information.  Be persistent in following-up, but know when to stop.  Move on after three un-returned emails or phone messages.  Finally, prepare now for the time ahead when your enthusiasm may lag.  Silence from headhunters and interviews that lead nowhere may just be par for the course during this recession.  

» Job hunting in 2012

 The Secrets of the Talent Scouts

As collapsing financial markets and a rapidly deteriorating economy have touched off a race to retrench, many recruiters are still competing for top talent.A favorite starting point for talent-spotters is to cast a wide net, finding intriguing candidates who might never appear on rivals' radar screens. Recruiters are approaching companies and potential candidates in a different way.Silicon Valley venture capitalist K. Ram Shriram's advice to anyone trying to spot talent is this: Bet on passionate newcomers. "I prefer youth over experience," he says. "You need a spark of idealism, and that's much more likely in someone's first or second start-up."AT Gensler, the architectural firm, is bringing a new twist to its internship program. A major goal involves hiring students from United States universities who grew up in Brazil, Argentina, India, China or the Mideast and might eventually want to return to their native countries later in their careers. Recruiters also discuss incentives. While attractive pay is usually part of what brings talented people into an organization, recruiters say that there's a cadre of talented people who can be pried out of existing jobs only if they sense a chance to do historic work in the new setting. That may mean greater prestige, fame or a sense of rescuing a vital institution. In all of these cases, people are responding to nonfinancial rewards that no one else can match.
» Recruiting in this economy

 References Upon Request

In an increasingly competitive job market, job-hunters need to maximize every possible advantage, including their list of references.  To set yourself apart, don't wait until you're looking for a job to request references.  Ask for recommendations from co-workers and former bosses on networking sites, such as LinkedIn, immediately after you've completed a successful project.  Maintain your list of contacts who have agreed to speak on your behalf to potential employers.  Also, provide a copy of the job description to your references and describe how your experience is relevant.  Finally, follow-up with your references to let them know the outcome of their recommendation.  Be sure to offer a gesture of thanks and provide some context if you decided to decline the position. 
» References

 10 Tips to Help Introverts Win at Work

Being an introvert doesn't have to mean being shut out of every important conversation, writes Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of "The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength." Making an impact as an introvert requires a little planning, she notes, like having an excellent question or a great story at the ready. If getting up close and personal every day is too daunting, she suggests using social media to get conversations rolling -- like AWIS's LinkedIn network.

» Break that shell

 Life Balance

 Working Mothers Magazine's 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers

Among Working Mothers Magazine's list of the top companies for working moms are a host of pharma, chem, and tech companies such as Pfizer, AstrZeneca, DuPont, HP, IBM, and Merck. Did your employer make it on the list?
» Where to go if you're a working mom

 Can't Decide When to Have Children? No Problem.

A faculty member and his female graduate student at Duke's Fuqua School of business have created an algorithm that, given your social interests and career goals, can tell you when to have children. "This decision is too complex to logically consider all the relevant aspects intuitively in one's head. Yet, for many, it is too important and consequential to simply go with one's feelings," the two write.

» But it won't tell you how to raise 'em

 What it Takes for African American Women to Succeed in Science

This research demonstrates that despite a great interest in science many young African American women find that to stay in afloat in the sciences they must "swim against the tide." Given the low expectations and race discrimination they often encounter, an unexpected conclusion, according to the research, is that they persevere.  The book, Swing Against the Tide: African American Women and Science Education indicates how these students succeed and what obstacles they overcome. Based on statistics, surveys, and interviews, the author shows this pool of young women should recruited and murtured to study science if the US hopes overcome an expected decrease in up and coming scientists. 

» Swimming against the tide


No Need to Rush: A Postbac Year or Two Can Help Your CareerConsidering taking time off before starting graduate school? Several faculty weigh in and agree that a postbac year can help students gain valuable perspective and skills that benefit them later in their educational careers.
» Not just a vacation, a career move

 Solid Advice for New Graduate Students

If you're in your first few months of graduate school, here are some helpful tips from Science Careers on how to ease into your Ph.D. work. Among them: get to know your department, formulate a detailed work plan with your advisor, and keep your lab notebook scrupulously

» Ph.D. success secrets

How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation

We all know letters of recommendation are critically important, whether they are for new job seekers, or for faculty members seeking promotion or tenure. But what exactly makes a good letter? How does a letter for a job applicant differ from one for a tenure candidate? And what do both types of letters often fail to mention? Read what administrators and faculty members have to say as they share their experiences with both kinds of letters. There is also a link to an article in Discourse and Society, by Frances Trix and Carolyn Psenka, entitled "Exploring the Color of Glass: Letters of Recommendation for Female and Male Medical Faculty," which explores the differences between letters for men and women and advises careful attention to the language used when describing male and female candidates to avoid biased evaluations.
» Tips for writing a letter of recommendation

 Postdocs: Top Places to Work

The Scientist released a list of best places for postdocs to work. Over three thousand responses to a web-based survey were received from readers who self-identified as non-tenured life scientists employed in academia and/or non-commercial research institutions. Click here for an overview of the findings.

 Tips for Black Academics Striving for Tenure

In The Black-American's Guide for Winning Tenure - Without Losing Your Soul, authors Kerry Ann Rockquemore and Tracey Laszloffy provide dos, don'ts, advice and support. One of the tips in the Q&A with Rockquemore includes being proactive rather than reactive in creating a professional network of support. She emphasizes the importance of knowing the institution's exact promotion and tenure process, as well as unwritten rules from department-specific norms to whether race can be explicitly discussed. Once the unwritten rules are understood, one can choose whether or not to obey them - realizing there are consequences for violating them. All faculty need to learn how to say "no" to protect research time, but it's especially important for black junior-faculty because of the disproportionately high number of service requests relating to diversity issues.

» Diversity and tenure




AWIS Community


"Don’t forget about alternative science careers because there are more of them than you think. Not everyone in science needs to be a researcher."

Read more about Kathie, her experiences with career transitions, as a woman in science and an AWIS member






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