Don’t Limit Your Career By What You Know

Jyoti Seth suggests focusing more on what you can do
Jyoti Seth, Vice President of Technology, GCP Applied Technologies
Jyoti Seth, Vice President of Technology, GCP Applied Technologies

Jyoti has over twenty years of experience in innovation and product development for the construction industry and continues to develop and commercialize customer-focused novel products and technologies in building materials sector enabling easier application, superior performance, sustainability, and multifunctional features. She works actively with professionals in the industry in understanding the current needs and translating into product attributes. She currently serves as the Vice President of Innovation for GCP Applied Technologies. At GCP Applied Technologies and formerly at W.R. Grace she held various technical and leadership positions with increasing levels of responsibility. She has been involved in developing flagship products for the construction industry. She holds multiple patents in the field of Building Materials. Before joining the industry, Jyoti was involved in teaching undergraduate Chemistry in various colleges. Jyoti received her Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India and did her post -doctoral work at University of California Riverside and Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Jyoti enjoys long walks, yoga and swimming. She loves cooking and relates it to doing chemistry in the kitchen.

I started my career as an entry level scientist at WR Grace. The work I did at that time was in a different field than my research during my graduate and postdoctoral studies. But I soon realized that basic scientific principles can help you learn new fields if you’re willing to put in the effort. I took advantage of courses available through organizations like ACS to advance my knowledge. This helped me develop the confidence needed to solve technical problems. I advise young scientists to focus broadly on what they can do in addition to what they know. As a scientist, building credibility in the organization is very important. So, look out for every opportunity to learn so you can stay at the forefront of the technology.

Scientists have to make difficult decisions, which organizations may not be ready for at times. One of my mentors taught me, “let the science/data make the decision.” That line has helped me take out my personal biases and emotions when delivering a not so wanted message.

Look at the broader picture for your career: Do what you enjoy and are passionate about. If you enjoy what you do, you are sure to bring your best. 

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

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