The American Chemical Society is perhaps best known for their incredible resources related to publishing (i.e. ACS Journals) and information services such as Chemical Abstracts and SciFinder. But did you know that they also have exceptional resources specifically developed and maintained for chemists as a key benefit to their membership?
Over the past few years through my involvement in the ACS Younger Chemists Committee and Career Consulting, I have become acclimated with many of the career resources made available to younger chemists as they prepare to enter the workforce or advance their career. Below, I will summarize some of my favorites, and I encourage you to add your own that you’ve discovered in the comments at the bottom of the post!
- Looking for a way to hone your leadership skills? Apply for the YCC Leadership Development Award: https://acsycc.org/awards/leadership-development/
- This is an incredible opportunity for younger chemists to interact with ACS leadership while participating in intensive leadership training, free of charge! Throughout the weekend, there are events focused specifically on younger chemists needs, participants attend two ACS leadership courses, and there is wonderful networking throughout. It will certainly help you jump start your career, not only in ACS but also in your professional life.
- Interested in navigating to a career outside of academia? Use the ACS Career Pathway info for Industry.
- The industry resume example is a great template for crafting your first resume or updating your current one. Admittedly it’s a little boring, but this formatting will be most common to many employers and it should be followed to make it easy for them to evaluate you as a potential employee.
- For more business/consulting paths, you can work with an ACS Career Consultant to tailor your resume to remove some of your research experience and focus on communication, problem solving, and leadership skills.
- Not sure what direction you want to go with your chemistry degree? Navigate through the various Career Pathways and use the ChemIDP (Individual Development Plan).
- Looking to learn about what chemists in various career paths do? Check out these bios of chemists working in various industries.
- Attending an ACS Meeting and looking for programming about developing your career? When you attend an ACS National Meeting (or Regional Meeting) there is always Career Navigator programming available. Make some time to swing by and meet with employers, schedule that appointment with a personal career consultant, or attend a lightning talk: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers.html
This is just a snapshot of some of the excellent resources available to ACS members. Let us know what would help you grow in your career as a professional chemist, and we’ll see if we can find a way to help! Contact us here: https://acsprof.org/contact/
Author bio: Natalie LaFranzo is the Vice President of Market Development at Cofactor Genomics, an RNA diagnostic company driven to close the precision medicine gap. She is also an active ACS volunteer and career consultant.