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.
My three presidential symposia from the national meeting—“Career Advancement Opportunities,” “Innovation & Entrepreneurship,” and “The Impact of Diversity & Inclusion”—will be covered in an ACS Symposium Series book to make the information accessible to all members of the global chemistry community. The latest developments on the ACS Entrepreneurial Initiative will be included. This book, as well as one covering my presidential symposia from the spring ACS national meeting, will be published next year.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many new ACS benefits and career resources are available for anyone looking for a job. Did you know that an ACS Online Job Club meets every Tuesday from 2 to 3 PM ET? The club uses Web conferencing technology to exchange job-hunting tips, promote networking, and offer support for unemployed members. You can join at www.acs.org/jobclub. Other valuable resources can be found at www.acs.org/unemployed. These include information on local section job clubs and career fairs, as well as access to the online InterviewStream service, which allows you to practice your interview skills.
If you are looking for a job or a career transition, I strongly recommend that you sign up for an ACS career consultant at www.acs.org/careers for helpful free job and career assistance. I myself have served as an ACS career consultant for almost 20 years—beginning well before I became CEPA chair years ago—because I have long had a passion for helping members advance their careers. Choose an experienced career consultant in the field of chemistry that interests you. You can get a résumé review, interview tips, advice on career transitions or salary negotiation, job search strategies, and more via phone, e-mail, or in-person consultations at all ACS regional and national meetings.
As an unemployed member, you get a reduced registration fee for ACS regional meetings. You also get free registration at ACS national meetings when you interview with potential employers at the ACS Career Fair or Virtual Career Fair. International employment opportunities are now available through the International Employment Initiative, which was introduced during the spring 2013 ACS national meeting. Résumé reviews, mock interviews, and various ACS Career Pathways workshops including “Finding Your Path” are available at all ACS national meetings, most regional meetings, and upon request via e-mail at email@example.com.
Popular new benefits for members include the SciFinder for Unemployed Scientists Program. Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of ACS, now provides up to 100 free SciFinder activities for personal use. To take advantage of this valuable benefit, establish “unemployed” status with ACS Member Services, and then visit the SciFinder for Unemployed Scientists Program page.
Another attractive recent benefit is access to ACS Publications. Unemployed members, like all ACS members, have online access to any 25 articles from all ACS journals, ACS Symposium Series e-books, and C&EN Archives. Log in to the ACS Publications website with your ACS ID to gain access.
Valuable in-person or online ACS Leadership Development System courses are free for unemployed members. And ACS Professional Education courses are offered to unemployed members at half price, although some exclusions may apply.
The ACS Salary Comparator at www.acs.org/careers is a free member benefit that provides detailed salary information on jobs in different subfields based on experience and location. The ACS Network is another online tool offering access to the chemistry community worldwide. Through the network, you can connect with potential employers and other professionals in your field of interest.
I would like to thank the ACS Department of Career Management & Development; CEPA; our ACS career consultants; ACS Publications; CAS; my presidential task force, “Vision 2025: Helping ACS Members Thrive in the Global Chemistry Enterprise”; and others for their hard work in developing these many new benefits and career resources to help members who are looking for jobs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.