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How to Get A Job Without a Burning Bush Phil Brondsema Global Product Steward Celanese Chemical Co. Houston, TX in collaboration with Glenn Triezenberg Director, Calvin Career Development Office April 22, 2010. Career Path. BS Chemistry – Calvin PhD – Chemistry U-Wisconsin

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How to Get A Job Without a Burning BushPhil BrondsemaGlobal Product StewardCelanese Chemical Co.Houston, TXin collaboration withGlenn TriezenbergDirector, Calvin Career Development OfficeApril 22, 2010

career path
Career Path
  • BS Chemistry – Calvin
  • PhD – Chemistry U-Wisconsin
  • Dow Chemical – Midland, MI
    • Research Chemist / Process Development
    • R&D Supervisor
    • Project Leader
    • Marketing – Business Development
    • Project Leader x 3
  • Downsized 2005
    • Job Searcher
  • Celanese – Houston, TX
    • R&D Project Leader
    • Product Steward / Regulatory Affairs
    • ?
spiritual preparation
Spiritual Preparation:

You are no more alone when you are looking for a job than Moses was when he resigned his job as prince of Egypt and applied for a herding job from Jethro in Midean

  • The Will of God as a Way of Life: Sittser

How to make decisions confidently

  • Talk regularly with peers, mentors, pastors
mental preparation

Good At

Like to Do

Someone Pays

Mental Preparation:



is there a sweet spot

Job Finding is Inexact: 100 unknowns, 3 equations

Is therea sweet spot?

What am I

Good At?

What do I

Like to Do?

Is there a

Sweet Spot???


Who Will Pay?

mental tactical
Mental & Tactical:
  • Mental: Do your homework
    • Use Calvin Development Office as Career Coach
    • Types of jobs you’d like, are good at,
    • Locations
    • Identify & research candidate companies & people
  • Tactical: Develop networks of contacts and ask for help
    • Internships, profs, relatives…..
    • Professional societies
    • Make contacts, calls and visits
    • Ask for introductions, advice, discussion
  • What are you good at?

How good is good enough?

  • What do you like to do?

How do you know if you haven’t tried?

  • How do I find someone who will pay?

~6MM employers in the US

Most jobs are with companies with <200 employees

Lots of Uncertainty

what are you good at
What are you good at?
  • Self-assessment
    • Best
    • Medium
    • Not Sure?
  • Take the FE exam –
    • Resume’ enhancer
    • Calvin Pass Rate is 95%
    • Required to make PE an option
what do you like to do
What do you like to do?
  • Draw on all interests, not just engineering
    • Analyzing Auditing
    • Assessing Compiling
    • Communicating Developing
    • Conceptualizing Directing
    • Defining Evaluating
    • Detecting Formulating
    • Editing
    • ……

Source: The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide

scope engineering jobs
Scope: Engineering Jobs
  • Basic Research
  • Product Development
  • Process Development
  • Application Development
  • Equipment/process design
  • Tech Service
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Manufacturing
  • etc…
someone to pay
Someone to Pay
  • Multi-nationals (hardest to get into)
  • North American
  • Regional
  • Non-profits
  • Start-up
  • Country/region/state/city
be approximately right keep options open
Be Approximately Right, Keep Options Open
  • Make a list:
    • Definitely In
    • Probably In
    • Maybe In -- Don’t know
    • Definitely Out
  • Learn & Modify
ways to make contact
Ways to Make Contact

Employer’s Preference

Lowest Risk

  • Hire From Within
  • Job-hunter with proof of ability
  • Business colleague or friend referral
  • Trusted job agency
  • Ads: on-line or print
  • Unsolicited resume’

Job hunting ease

Highest Risk

Source: The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide

  • Network: with people in the general direction you’re interested.
  • Track: each contact and communications
  • Send thank-you notes
  • Example XL spreadsheet:
people i networked with
People I Networked with:
  • Bosses, scientists, leaders from Dow Chemical
  • Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Centers (GVSU, MSU, WMU, Delta )
  • Right Place (GR)
  • Friends and acquaintances at Calvin
    • Career Office
    • Faculty (I got introductions from my kids)
    • Development Office
  • Church friends – links to new circles
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th level network contacts: Insurance – Manufacturing –Nonprofit – Real Estate – Education………

Hello. My name is Phil Brondsema: Andy DeVries at the Calvin Development office suggested I give you a call.

I’m a technical and business leader at Dow Chemical and have been recently downsized. I am looking for a position in business development or technology development.

Could I visit with you for 20-30 minutes to see if you might have suggestions of people or companies I might talk to?

your personal resources
Your Personal Resources:
  • Calvin Career Development Office
    • Library, 2nd Floor Lobby
  • Professors
  • Internship connections
  • Parents (and your friends’ parents)
  • Phil Brondsema
  • Calvin Engineering Advisory Committee ~20 members
  • Professional societies
  • Pastor of church(es) in target area
your impersonal resources
Your Impersonal Resources:
  • www.swe.orgSociety of Women Engineers
  • www.shpe.orgSociety of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • Yellow Pages
2010 outlook
2010 Outlook:

The economic rebound is likely to speed up in the US this year, but in Europe things are not as good. There are mixed signals, for sure, but we are at the positive end, particularly in the US," Diamond told "Squawk Box Europe." We see very strong signs of an accelerated recovery as 2010 goes on" and a "material improvement" in US employment is likely to occur,”

  • Bob Diamond, President, Barclays
u haul 2009 migration trend report top 2009 destinations
U-Haul : 2009 Migration Trend ReportTop 2009 Destinations:
  • Houston
  • Las Vegas
  • Chicago
  • San Antonio
  • Orlando
  • Austin, TX
  • Atlanta
  • Sacramento
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Denver
us employment trends down
US Employment Trends Down:
  • Blue Collar is much higher than professional
  • Houston unemployment is much lower than Midwest

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

american chemistry council
American Chemistry Council:
  • Sales and captive (internal) use of major plastic resins totaled 6.3 billion pounds during January 2010, an increase of 9.1 percent from the same month one year earlier.
  • In chemicals, output is projected to rise 7.8% in 2010 before moderating to a 4.0% pace of growth in 2011, and 3.8% in 2012.
  • The Will of God as a Way of Life - Sittser
    • 978-0310259633
  • The Job-Hunters Survival Guide – Bolles
    • 978-1-58008-026-2
job hunting is hard work but it s less hard than being unemployed
Job hunting is hard work, but it’s less hard than being unemployed:
  • Take the FE Exam
  • Work ~4 hr/day at getting a job
    • Spiritual
    • Mental
    • Tactical
  • Get a part time job or volunteer

If A is success in life,

then A = x + y + z

Work is x;

y is play;

and z is keeping your mouth shut.

-- Albert Einstein, Jan 15, 1950