A New Start

ACS is changing the way that we deliver our services to you. We made them easier to access and easier to find. We also are exploring new platforms for delivery.

This blog is just one example of these changes.  The switch from a static newsletter article to the blog format is meant to provide you with the opportunity to interact.  Through constructive dialog, we seek to continually improve service and to gain insight into employment practices within the chemical community.

During the coming months, you can expect to see articles on industry trends, job-search strategies, career management, non-traditional careers and retirement planning.  I will also make way for guest authors from time to time who will share their perspectives on the workplace.

As you may have also noticed, we have undergone a name change.  Not only has the website of the American Chemical Society changed from chemistry.org to www.acs.org, but Chemjobs has changed to ACS Careers.  This change reflects a consolidation of services and a renewed focus on the needs of our members.  Our goal is to become a one-stop-shop for chemical professionals at all stages of their careers.

At www.acs.org/careers, you can expect to find job listings, career advice, professional and leadership development opportunities, ethical and professional guidelines, and industrial trends in the chemical sciences.  Additional projects in development include an online learning center and the ACS Leadership Development System.

Starting in 2008, online courses will be added to the more traditional instructor-led career development workshops that we currently provide.  Additionally, courses are being developed in less technical areas such as communications, management and finance.  These skills are necessary for success in business, but are seldom included in chemistry curricula.  Therefore, we will be making them available through an online learning center early next year.  Courses will be tailored to the chemical enterprise.

The ACS Leadership Development System is approximately half way through its development cycle.  Comprised of sixteen courses (9 facilitated, 7 online) built on a competency framework, the system is on-target for completion by the start of 2009.  Several courses in the system were piloted earlier this year, and the remainder will be piloted in 2008.  To participate in the pilot programs look for courses to be offered at upcoming ACS regional and national meetings this year and next.

Collectively, the implemented changes in web design, utilization of new technologies and development of new services reflect a paradigm shift for the Society and its members.  Through enhancements in service, it is our aim to position ACS members in the best place possible to compete in a global and rapidly evolving market place.  Look back here each week for more.


David Harwell, Ph.D., is assistant director of the ACS Department of Career Management and Development.

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