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Career tip: Regularly reassessing February 21, 2014

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.
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Everyone has certain things that are either motivators or demotivators towards their work. The motivators are what drew the person into the area of work that he or she does. Motivators and their opposites, however, are not lists chiseled in stone. They change as situations and experiences change one’s values and perspective.

A job is a continuation. Once started it has momentum driven by one’s employer and the work that needs to be done. Schedules and priorities vary over time. When one works day to day, week to week the mentality is tactical, short term in its thinking. How do I get these things done well in the required time? This question gets asked over and over each day and each week.

A career is a long term thing that is based not on tactics, but on strategies. Long term versus short term ideas ought to be in place. But if one is working day to day and is focused, career issues are never looked at. Over time the person becomes uneasy and more detached from the work. The motivators decrease and the demotivators grow.

A person who wants a career and long term success needs to occasionally, once or twice a year, set aside time to look at the motivators – things that make the work enjoyable and rewarding – and the demotivators – those things that are unpleasant and unfulfilling – and assess how they are in the current job. Also, has the situation and experiences since the last assessment shown that there are new motivators and demotivators. Then, the person should think about how to increase the motivators and decrease the demotivators.

If these can be changed, the overall work satisfaction will increase (and usually performance does, as well). If not, then the person might think of a career change, a transfer, a new position, a new job with another employer- whatever the mismatch between motivators, demotivators, and that person’s ideal entail.

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1. PK - May 21, 2014

Mr Fetz,

My wife has a masters chemical engineering degree but hasn’t done anything with it in 15 years. Could you please suggest ways to jumpstart her career again? Or is the competitive nature of the industry make that impossible?

fetzthechemist - May 21, 2014

The easiest thing for hr to do is to get active in the local meetings of the societies for chemical engineers. In the US that would AIChE and there are ones for women engineers, too. There she can network, check out the lay of the land and learn what is going on, and hear a good talk or two. Industry needs talent and the number of ChenEs coming out of school in the past decade has declined, so she needs to prove she has experience. Most chemical plants an refineries still are not state-of-the-art, so that means competence in 1990s technology is not a weak point.


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