Negotiations. 8. Relocation Benefits

I received a request from PP after he received a long
sought after job offer.  He accepted the offer which he
pointed out included a $2000 relocation reimbursement.

“…Since this is my first industry based job, best
professional practices to follow as a new employee.
One item is the company has not followed up on its $2K
relocation allowance, which they offered during phone and
on-site interviews.Other things not mentioned in the hard offer was processing
my O-1 work visa.

I am expected to relocate in early November.  Please let me
know what you think about my relocation allowance?”

It is critical to understand your critical first step in accepting 
a job offer.  Besides signing the appropriate document, you
should devise an acceptance letter that re-affirms key elements
of the offer letter agreement and items that were discussed in
all the interviews and information exchanges.  This should be
sent either at the same time as the acceptance documents or
soon after.
Included in the letter is a request to know a direct contact person
to whom you can consult with issues, questions and concerns.
You should be able to contact them at any time and feel 
You should ask for a company annual report and employee
Clearly, this acceptance letter would specifically address 
relocation and working visa processing.
The Balance blog lists things that can be included, and
should be confirmed orally and confirmed in writing:
– househunting, including transportation, hotel and meals
– costs of selling and purchasing, including closing costs,
commissions, legal and recordkeeping expenses
– Position searching help for spouse
– travel expenses and temporary housing for the move
– Temporary housing in cases where the home is not
readily available
  – moving company expenses and logistics for packing
loading, unloading and unpacking, as well as insurances
Please realize that the details of the relocation policy
need to be confirmed 
and in writing.  Also it is critical to
confirm the specifics of what  forms, receipts and
timing of submission / reimbursement in advance.
I recommended that PP should not be hindered from
asking for information and suggestions at any time.
A more comprehensive relocation benefit discussion
is provided by Money-zine . 
Not to be lost in this discussion is the tax breaks you are
entitled to for job change as long as it involves a move
of employer greater than 600 miles.  Please note that if
the job search occurs over a significant period of time
with various expenses they can all be claimed, but you
are responsible for keeping receipts (credit card
documents may be enough, if accompanied by expense
You should not shy away from pursuing a firm understanding
of responsible people, timelines and your role in employment
papers.  This has been a topic in this blog.  We know the
visa situation has changed and will change again so it is
critical to be well informed and have a back up plan.

CV Content. In the Internet Age.

Innovations in the way we present ourselves, our
research and technical work should impact how we
format and what we include in our CVs for academic

General guidelines for having
  – the document be in screen-readable sized font,
– your name on each printed page with a page number,
  – keywords that reveal that you understand that you
meet requirements (musts/wants) of the position being
  – your experience section state accomplishments led
by action verbs offering ‘


  – sufficient information to evaluate your academic
credentials and accomplishments (your thesis and adviser,
titles of presentations, patents and articles)
are certain.  Just as the essential need of a signed cover
letter that cites all the documents in your package.
Reviewing so many documents usually means that
they are in electronic form and items should be digitally
While several references suggest Purdue’s Online
Writing Lab and registration in ORCID, please
consider the Rice University listing which nicely
provides items to consider including as topics.
In addition to those, it is now important to include
web-pages, blogs, open access articles on both technical
and topical interest, Internet commentaries, and
appropriate communication contact points (texting,
More and more academic position applications will ask
for teaching philosophy, diversity statement, research
proposals, list of publications, patents, and presentations
 and list of references.  All of the information should be
appropriately integrated to support each other.
Of interest to many academic positions is seeing your
contribution and participation in “service” to department,
university and field of endeavor and presentations to
organizations  and audiences outside of your main field.
Special mention should be made about CVs for outside
the US.  If you are seeking positions in Europe, you should
develop a CV in the Europass format.  (See also )

One Response to “CV Content. In the Internet Age.”

  1. site admin Says:

    Suggestions on providing open access work is described .

Financial Considerations in your first Work Decade

You learn and train in a wide range of technical skills,
develop writing ability creating public relations documents,
perfect public speaking and presentations in universities.

Do you get an introduction into solid financial practices
and decisions when you start your career?  From a number
of recent interactions I sense most don’t have those
conversations or know people they can feel comfortable
to ask.
Some situations, for example:
– start at a position and get reduced in staff in less than
– decisions at sign-up starting a position at the new
company-  stock options
– accepting an offer and relocation benefits
– financial planning questions and answers
Columbia University offers ten items worth bringing
to mind.  The last hits home — money is not an end in
itself, it is a means to create personal satisfaction and
value.  Leading among the ten items are:
1.  figure out your required and optional expenses
2.  include creating an emergency fund, insuring yourself
and life essential properties
3.  manage your loans, payments, and credit record.
The time value of money can be estimated by the
rule of 72“.
The financial world is changing constantly.  The recommendations
and rules of the past in general may not be applicable.
Think 401Ks, IRAs, pension plans, how you use tax returns
and estimated tax payments.
Create a “financial notebook” for yourself as a continuing learning
tool.  Learn from your mistakes.
Seek financial counselors or mentors you can go to.
If you work for the federal government, student loans can be
Beware of becoming overly dependent on algorithms for
Suze Orman offered seven helpful tips useful at all ages.

2 Responses to “Financial Considerations in your first Work Decade”

  2. Choice/ Decision on Health Care Insurance:

Stress. Revealing and Responding Behaviors

Are you feeling stress in yourself?  Need to make decisions?
Too many things to do and not enough time?  Meeting with
new people, people with opposing views or too many people?
Feel cramped or feel inhibited?

These things can happen in relaxed times or in business
situation.  They can happen without notice, rapidly or
with a time suspension or delay.
GP contacted me about a post graduate role and her
uncertainty over her visa situation, application process,
negotiation of starting date and leaving date situation.
GP has interest in an informal offer, but feels she faces
a series of hurdles, which create anxiety and stress.
She “presented” a stressed mindset in our conversation.
So it was important to (1)share that several other colleagues
each faced similar challenges and dared to commit to
a course of action and take it as a learning experience.
The crisis occurs when catatonic behavior schizophrenia
locks us from moving forward.
(2)Compliment her for moving forward and following up
on an opportunity that is within her reach.
(3)Deal proactively with barriers she foresees.
However, knowledge alone will not necessarily reduce
her stress.  Alice Boyes has offered some proactive
physical, mental and behavioral ideas, a couple which
I had not known for relieving stress, –
  – running your fingers over your lips
  – slow down when you feel a stress or anxiety build
up, pause
Some were ones that have worked for me–
  – going outside into nature
  – deep breathing
  – power posing (Amy Cuddy)
  – muscle relaxation;  Yoga
  – speaking openly with trusted mentors
  – try new things, test things out, learn from others
Author, Boyes, has several others, since it is true
there is no one “magic bullet.”
To formulate positive movement forward we discussed
several things that references are asked when we are
contacted.  Done as a collaboration, we built positive
hope in the direction she is seeking.
  a.  how long is our professional connection and in
what contexts.
   b.  what are clear strengths that will be valuable
in her next position, provide examples with stories and
positive outcomes.
The reference, me in this case, needs to personalize
the examples.
Then, (4) provide a “lifeline” to contact whenever
she feels the need arising.

2 Responses to “Stress. Revealing and Responding Behaviors”

  1. Mid-career, experienced people develop stress and
    can also tend to” title=”Fast company stress”>micromanage as a result.
  2.” title=”A Sklover proverb- put things into perspective”>Sklover offers a simple proverb to put things in perspective.

Interview Preparation and Follow-Through.

JZ contacted me about preparing for an upcoming
interview and she is concerned about being an
international professional who has pursued her
dreams.  She believes –”she does not have the
freedom to choose passion if they are not traditional
career paths.  …I have H4 visa (spouse- H1B) and need
sponsorship to work.  [Situations are such that I
want] to add income by looking at a job related to my
graduate degree.”

We corresponded refreshing what we had discussed
in person and in class five years ago as she was making
decisions for her family.  The times have changed in
the immigration world since then and that may influence
employment decisions.  These can be overcome by
thoughtful preparation, considerate follow through
and win-win comments during the interview..
Preparation Considerations
– your profile needs to show interest
and express background and experience in the chemical
–  Arrange an information interview to re-familiarize
yourself with OSHA, MSDs, and HazWaste and good
laboratory practice with people in the field.
–  Develop ~1 min. stories and jot down memory aids
for each bullet in your resume
–  Study the company and area around the company.
Look at its website, goggle people, look at Linkedin
profiles for connections.
–  Even if the interview is remote or virtual, dress as
if you were visiting the site.  Plan to be prepared a
reasonable time in advance.
–  Write down critical questions you wish to ask, Like:
What is a typical day like?
What are typical analyses and instrumentation used?
  What is the safety record of the company?
Who will you be reporting to, who will you replace
and can you learn key information from them?
–  Have pen, paper, your documents and a calendar and
computer handy.
–  Salary expectation study for range
–  Be prepared to offer names and addresses of
references.  Contact references in advance asking
if they are available to go to bat for you.
During interview
–  in the beginning introduce yourself and ask for
introductions of all participants, get correct spelling
and title and addresses (thank you notes)
–  hold back from talking about or asking for salary
and visa status before a job offer.
–  be ready to express your salary expectations based on
salary surveys for the region and title, if asked.
ACS Salary Comparator
–  Dress as if you are on site.  Think about safety
shoes and apparel.
–  Arrange for no interferences and test out tools
you will use, if remote.
–  Breathe, perform a power pose knowing that it helps
our body to relax and be prepared
–  Near the end, consider offering a test run to work
for a day or week, per diem.
–  Near the end, ask “what is the next step in the
hiring process”
Following Interview-
–  Formulate an After Action Review of the process
–  Write “thank you” notes to each interviewer
–  Be ready to follow up on each of their requests.  It is
not unusual these days to be tested on pertinent skills
plan to show that you can do them well.
–  Check with your references to confirm they have all
they need to work for you.
One Response to “Interview Preparation and Follow-Through.”
  1. Very interesting follow up. She learned in the interview
    that the laboratory was “flooded out.”

    The main tasks of the job involved reconditioning the
    lab equipment, reinstalling hardware and software, and
    getting the laboratory operational again in very short
    time frame.

    She decided this position was not in her family’s and
    her desired career path’s best interests.

Professional Behaviors. Habits can become Irresistible Addictions

The book by Adam Alter is interesting reading from a |
number of perspectives.  Irresistible– The Rise of Addictive
Technology and the Business of Keeping us Hooked

Alter asserts that addiction is not genetic in certain people
but every person is vulnerable to situations and attachments
to them.  The Internet and various programmable devices
with continuous positive feedback,
– persistent “goals” culture,
– games and media that incur ‘down the line’ charges [get
you into it so you must and want to stay involved.  But
to do that you have to pay.]
– escalation [where you get challenged and learn, yet the
computer enhanced tool increases or varies from its
otherwise predictable trend]
are examples Alter provides.
These addictive technologies develop habits where
you have little control.  Nearly everyone of us has
our own and various situations make us instinctively
crave for that infernal habit.
Alter does readers favors by pointing them out,
showing what is going on and suggesting things we
can do 
to forestall, limit or move on to something else.
Worth reading for many of us.
‘Habits gone bananas!’ 

3 Responses to “Professional Behaviors. Habits can become Irresistible Addictions”

  1. Modern day malady affecting two-thirds of adults—chronic
    sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is behavioral addictions’
    partner, the consequence of over engagement.

    Sleep quality has declined dramatically in the past half century
    and one of the major culprits is the bluish light that emanates
    from many electronic devices. Blue light signals morning, as
    we are inducing jet lag at night by telling our bodies that the
    day is beginning just before we go to bed. The pineal gland
    buried deep in your brain produces a hormone, melatonin at
    night. Melatonin makes you sleepy and the pineal gland stops
    producing melatonin as your body prepares for the day.

    Addiction is really about the relationship between the person
    and the experiences. The highest risk for addiction occurs
    during early adulthood.

  2. ReStart – world’s first gaming and internet treatment center studies
    reveal addiction indicates that a person’s mind learns to associate
    any substance or behavior with relief from a behavioral pain

    ”likes” in FB and reposts in Twitter, pictures, articles in Linkedin,
    videos in YouTube

    Tricks used:
    ”loss disguised as a win”
    “luck ambassadors”
    games with micro-feedbacks
    “beginner’s luck;” luck is engineered in video games
    quasi-need for completion of task

  3. HBR article tips

    1. match your interests to your communication style and strengths

     2. prioritize and remove your personal distractions; they recommend a whiteboard to make leading commitments and have a less visible cabinet
     3. create a time schedule giving your best working times for each day and best undisturbed full days
     4. avoid multitasking when doing important tasks; write down summaries of meetings and notes for all projects and expenses

Self Assessment Reflection.

Yesterday’s first year graduate student seminar involved
a pre-class homework assignment.

Since the group was large, eleven of the 16 preference
types were represented.  That meant that there were a
variety of learning styles in the seminar.

The larger group size meant that we could not go into
detail into each individual preference class.
We did reveal how preferences can influence us in both
subtle and explicit ways by asking each individual their
name and whether they were left or right handed and
whether they liked cats or dogs.  These are preferences
that are genetic and influenced by our early life
experiences… much the same as MBTI.
To maximize the experience we had each person
sit with their own similar preference groups and
complete and compare a Values and a Behaviors
instruments to go after an emotional understanding.
They learned that despite similar MBTI profiles their
values and behaviors revealed different trends and
these are also important to learn in working in teams.
The second half of the seminar involved two
exercises– one involved discussing projects which
troubled several since they had to come up with their
own project and a physical constructing project where
they had to describe their result.
-In the first, one outstanding group had an individual
take leadership and point out how each person, by
name,  would contribute to the expected outcome.
-In the second we had a group presenter relate a
story to describe their constructed model  she asked
for a volunteer to participate in a short role play and
provided a reward for the participant.
In short, they learned about themselves, about
working together in teams and how to interact
with others and develop a baseline for continuing
learning about themselves– this session was not
over at the end, but a beginning.

Taking the MBTI questionnaire is usually an individual’s
first step and not designed to be a stand alone process. It
should be accompanied by discussion, reflection and
research to learn more about other preference styles.

This builds a foundation for further personal awareness
and development.

The MBTI should be used in conjunction with the
principles below.
• No stereotyping; Psychological Type is a way of
understanding our preferences and those of other people.
• Everyone is unique; Psychological Type does not
explain everything. Within the 16 Types there are many
• It is not a complete explanation of human behavior;
It does lead to a deeper understanding and give a logical
model for why people do and say the things they do.
• No one Type is better than another.
• You should not use Type for selection because it looks at
natural preferences not abilities.
• All data is confidential including the four key letters
and should only be revealed with the permission of the

MUD Cards. 7-13-17. Getting Unstuck Seminar

MUD CARDS  Seminar:  Getting Un-Stuck:  Overcoming
Fears, Uncertainty and Doubt with Resilience and Good Habits

  1. Desired Soft skills to improve and habits to work on
    to develop and improve |||
    Positive, directed advice for improving habits;  wise
  2. “No” as a question
  3. Set goals—big, audacious ones. Work on them with focus.
    Take setbacks as opportunities to grow and learn new things.
  4. Be open to habits that support important skills
  5. John Woodenism’s
  6. Things to learn in grad school ||||
    importance of learning how to speak with your boss          |||
    [each boss is different and each one of us in different;
    find common ground;  show that you are motivated to
    follow boss’s interests]
    Learned some ideas on communicating topics effectively
    to different audiences
    Importance of working with co-workers with whom we have conflicts or little in common
    Writing short/concise documents
  7. Story about Farah’s [from Mauritius] career path
  8. Resilience- what it is [speed and strength response to
    adversity and unexpected situations]
    –  Toolkit                                                                      ||||
    Ensure central relationships in your life
    Be present for others in their challenges
    make positive meaning out of incidents
    discipline yourself to increase endurance to do the right things
    be curious and try new things
    These were clear and informative.
  9. Liked interactions in seminar where I learned from other
    people’s experiences in small groups.
    Fine experience to have different groups of people focus
    on these topics.
  10. Liked the concept of the multiple things I can do to develop
    important skills before I feel I need them. ||
  11. Items to be aware of with digital devices and answering on the
    phone. Some little things that matter:
    odd ring-tones
    leaving cell phones on table

Areas for improvement
Few tidbits that I disagreed with.  THANK YOU.  DID YOU SEEM

Wish the seminar was not during work hours.  THANK YOU.  IT IS

Remembering Names

Some people are in roles that it is an asset to remember and
use people’s names.  Sales, interviewing, teaching, politics and
guess what, leadership roles.

[They offer F-A-C-E:  Face the person, Ask how they like to be
called, Cross reference to links, Employ the name in conversation.]
In a recent podcast I learned another acronym that might be useful
to recall names that gives useful advice:  C-H-A-R-M. from Jim
 – Care.  Showing that you care enough to remember a person’s
name reveals a connection.
Hearing.  Often we are thinking of something else when another
person offers their name.  our attention is not focused on listening
closely, Distraction leads to not hearing.
Ask.  How do you spell it?  Where does it come from?  What is
the meaning or who were you named after?  How would you like to
be called?
–  Repeat  Say the name and impress yourself with the name, situation,
Marker.  imagine the names spelled on their face, or link their face to
another face with the same name and jot it down in another medium.
Previous blog entry offered consistent ideas.

MUD Cards. #12. 4-12-17

Rules of Thumb

2 minute rule   When focusing on a project If a new task emerges that takes < 2 minutes
do it.  If it would take > 2 minutes, postpone until there is a good break
1-7-7 rule      For each presentation slide 1 topic/slide;  max 7 lines, max 7 words/line
80-20 rule    Pareto principle;  can get 80% of task done in 20% of time;  the remaining
20% will take 80% of time to get things complete
60-20 rule    Presentation Preparation:  arrive 60 minutes ahead of planned start time;
20 minutes ahead plan to meet and greet people to know some audience members and
have “friendly faces” to look at and call upon for interactions
80-10-10       Peter Fiske;  professional position– spend 80% of time doing maximum
impact, high quality work on important goals;  spend 10% of time doing professional
growth and development;  spend 10% of time doing networking broadening and marketing
your brand
Rule of 72    Doubling time at various integer rates–3%-24 periods; 8%-9 periods

Importance – Urgency quadrants for tasks and assignments
2 × 2 matrix according to whether the activities are “Important” or “Unimportant”
and whether they are “Urgent” or “Not Urgent.”

Mindful Habits for Viewing Statistics
a.  data summary should provide measure of uncertainty and assumptions
b. if it has many significant figures (should put a ? in your mind)
c. central tendency expression, know  appropriate measure, sample
size, distribution of results

    1.           Visitors
Marisha, Shaniel, Mike

2.          Broad subject matter permeated with discussion and practical examples

3.          Open discussion in a protected environment
smaller class size encouraged participation of all

4.         Student input for topics:  negotiations, women’s issues, nontraditional
careers, difficulties in teamwork, handing in assignments late, etc.

5.          Flexibility:  start with planned agenda, allow discussion to flow and
adjust to areas of high interest and critical importance

6.         Notes online and in class helpful

7.          Resources made available:  handouts in class, class power points
circulated before class, class notes, observations and assignments
posted on course blog.   Links to other resources on Course webpage.

8.         Practical exercises in communication:  How to reach out to others;
small talk, introductions, need to get out of lab, conversations, writing,
Internet presence,

9.         Tools:  T-chart, formats for writing memos, thank you letters, cover
letters, resumes for different audiences and purposes

10.        Rules of thumb

11.        Mock Interviews

12.       Each session provided new lessons that were meaningful and applicable right away

13.        Importance of Thank you notes, formally written
There was an objection raised that this forced assignment felt disingenuous.  This was
listened to and acknowledged as sometimes we may not feel it is personally right.  hypocritical.
Provided a teachable moment, however.  Accept alternate viewpoints, acknowledge them
professionally, even if you disagree.  Avoid verbal or nonverbal retribution.

14.       Presentation tips and tricks, especially feedback on items individuals may not
have noticed or recognized before.

15.       Strategy to have all follow good habits and allow criticism and feedback

16.      Communication:  Gaining confidence and good experience observing others,
learning from them and then performing
-Oral communication—voice tone, meta language, eye contact
-Notes about missing classes, submitting drafts of assignments early to seek
feedback for improvement
-Networking conversations

17.     Provide a “safe space” to learn how to do things, practice doing things,
receive and offer criticism feedback

18.    Providing a positive attitude, accepting feedback graciously without
embarrassment and scorn

19.    Discussions bringing in personal experiences of class members and visitors.

20.   Scope of the class to develop thinking skills and habits
use digital tools, understand importance of pausing, keystone habits,
good questions, mentoring
[Good thinking makes having thought,  having thought leads
to a wider range of viable choices;  Good choices offer the
chance for good decisions that lead to a good life that lead to

21.     Holistic review combining career and life

22.    Setting goals:  target, back-up, Z plan