Typical day on the job:
About 40% is spent answering emails. About 30% is spent doing reports and other paper projects. About 20% is spent in meetings. The last 10% is spent talking to people one-on-one in their offices or in mine.
I have my own office as does almost all of our staff. We are a very integrated program, in that there are many office and hallway conversations during the course of the day. At this stage in my career, I no longer work directly in a laboratory.
It's pretty fast-paced, at least for my job, and I would estimate I work around 50 hours per week. Normal work days are 8 to 5:30 and working through lunch.
Tools you can’t live without:
I use Microsoft Office suite and a Web browser.
Best productivity trick:
Mercilessly delete emails that aren't relative to your job. Learn to use templates for emails so you don't have to recreate them. Avoid meetings that are unproductive.
Best career advice you’ve received:
Don't turn down opportunities that are offered to you.
Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:
Ability to handle many complex technical and personnel issues simultaneously. Good time management. Even tempered. Ability to spot political sensitivities before they become an issue. Ability to work well with many different types of personalities.
Essential habit you wish you’d started earlier:
Time management. The ability to say "no" to requests that will take more time and energy than they are worth, or when your plate is full. The ability to focus on mission and not let setbacks dissuade me from proceeding.
Favorite ACS resource:
ACS staff. They are phenomenal. No more needs to be said.