Typical day on the job:
I spend about 50-70% of my time on information analysis and drawing chemical structures. About 10-20% of my time is spent training other analysts in our processes, and a small percentage on quality control, ensuring that others are providing accurate information to our databases. The rest of my time I assist with testing and documenting new software, solving problems that arise in the department, and aiding management with various projects. Meetings are a very small part of my position.
I work in a small office. It is not much larger than a cubicle, but it has a door, so it is easy to manage how much noise and traffic I deal with. I already mentioned that I can't live without two 24" monitors to do my work. Other than that, I have a pretty basic setup of computer, desk, a chair for visitors, and bookshelf space. I also can't live without my iPod dock for music. Although I do not share my office, I often travel to other parts of the building to consult other people in my department.
Salaried full-time employees are required to work 40 hours a week. Because of my project responsibilities, I generally put in a little bit more than this. In my department, we have flexible working hours, so I generally work between 9 or 9:30 a.m. and 6-7 p.m. Some of my colleagues prefer to come to work much earlier and leave earlier.
Tools you can’t live without:
Most of the software we use was developed here at CAS to meet our specific needs. I can't imagine doing my job without our dual 24" monitor setup, reliable internet, and good technical support. Additionally, I use Excel on a regular basis for reports, and Word and PowerPoint on occasion.
Best productivity trick:
When I analyze documents, I have a very specific routine that I follow that I rarely deviate from. Having a particular order for things makes it easy to be both thorough and efficient.
Best career advice you’ve received:
To focus on one task at a time and do it well, and not to get overwhelmed looking at the to-do list. Also to always work with integrity.
Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:
I am a very detail-oriented and conscientious worker. I am good at both time management and written communication.
Favorite ACS resource:
I enjoy the ACS Meetings. They are a great avenue for learning about the latest research and networking with others.