Perhaps you’ve made your usual New Year’s resolutions: Get to the gym more often, be a better friend, eat more fruits and vegetables, for which I commend you. However, if you’re looking to make resolutions that will have a direct impact on your job performance and career development, you’ve come to the right place.
Resolution #1 – Expand your focus. This month’s cover story outlines the necessary mindset changes required to move higher up your organization’s management ladder, the most important of which is to gain a larger perspective. “Lab managers need to expand their focus from internal matters and company politics in order to develop an externally informed perspective on business opportunities and challenges,” author John Borchardt tells us.
Resolution #2 – Mentor more. This month’s Leadership & Staffing article looks at the lack of good mentoring programs in most labs today and argues that this is a dangerous shortcoming. “One of the points of differentiation between labs that have survived and grown and those that have disappeared or been absorbed by larger organizations was the way they treated their people. Valuing, training, and mentoring the people who work in our labs is of critical value,” says Martin Mitchell, managing director, Certified Laboratories, Inc. (Plainview, NY). Driving that message home is Rebecca Pfundheller, president and CEO of Analytical Food Laboratories (Grand Prairie, TX) in this month’s Perspective On article, in which she says, “One of my favorite parts is working with the employees and seeing them grow and helping them. I like to help their growth and their motivation because, in turn, they help the company and everything, so it gives back tremendously.”
Resolution #3 – Create partnerships. Whether it is with your equipment vendors or your IT team, success in those relationships depends on how effectively you develop partnerships. Mark Lanfear in this month’s Science Matters article says, “In the economic crunch of the current global marketplace, the potential benefits of treating a vendor like a true partner and selecting the right one can be a make-or-break scenario, as all companies are realizing that the world of work has changed and strategic partnership planning is a must.” As for your IT department, author Joe Liscouski echoes the same message: “Informatics and computer-controlled systems are going to play an increasingly important role in lab work, and those tools are going to become more powerful, capable, and complex. For those tools to work properly, the underlying pieces need to function; and that, in part, is a role that IT groups provide. The smart choice is to develop an effective partnership that is mutually beneficial and synergistic. That requires planning and thought.”
While the benefits of these three resolutions won’t show on your scale or waistline, they just might improve your work life and advance your career in important ways.
Beginning with this issue, we are bringing our INSIGHTS supplement within the pages of the magazine. This month author Angelo DePalma tackles the very important topic of sample preparation, calling it “a tedious, time-consuming task but a necessary part of nearly every analytical workflow, regardless of industry or laboratory type.” Turn to page 65 to find out everything you need to know when making your next sample prep equipment purchase.
Happy New Year!