Thursday, April 28, 2005

What should I, my friends, my group, or my division be doing now?

After a phone call discussion with Doug, he suggested that the following might be useful to readers of this blog. I apologize for its length. There seemed to be a lot to include.

I am an ex-LANL technical staff member (biophysics and molecular biology) who now runs a small business consulting and contracting with pharma and biotech. I am broadly trained in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, programmatic efforts, human relations, management, business development, and teaching.

Last year, I was asked to apply for the open division leader position in B division. As part of my due diligence, I asked myself “If I am offered the job, should I take it?” This analysis led me to create 5 year strategic plans for B division, a number of other divisions, and the Lab as a whole. Since I have written a number of business plans complete with detailed financial spreadsheets, I tried to write similar things for the Lab.

My main questions were:

  1. What is a best prediction of the structure of the Lab in 5 years?
  2. What should I or colleagues be doing now to protect ourselves?
  3. Should any of us plan on being here in five years?

Last fall, my answers (many, many pages of analysis) focused on the forces affecting entire divisions and the Lab as a whole. Last winter, my answers started to include expected behaviors of potential bidders and of politicians during the recompete and its aftermath.

In the last month, following a number of phone calls whose essential message was “Get me out of here!”, I have started to focus this analysis on credible strategies for individuals and am helping some colleagues (new hires, mid career, and retirees). Some people’s best strategy is to stay here. Other people’s best strategy is to be prepared to leave but not to leave right now. For certain folks, leaving now is a good idea.

So far, for most individuals, I have had 70% solutions. I already know about 70% of what they need to know to plan for their future and that of their family. I have credible predictions about the future of their funding, their division, often their group, and a number of benefit issues. I do not yet have the detailed individual fine tuning that would allow me to include a person’s wishes about living in the mountains, continuing to work with particular colleagues, putting their children through school, etc. However, it does not take much time to do this fine tuning, case by case.

In response to the ‘Get me out’ phone calls, I have started to offer a flexible service that resembles a strategy planning service and a placement service. Among the things I have offered to individuals and groups are:

  1. Future analysis – Quantitatively, where does my group or division seem to be headed.
  2. Hedging analysis – What should a person (or group) do now to protect their career and retirement
  3. Placement analysis – What employment opportunities might exist outside the Lab. This analysis relies on my 3,600 active contacts in the U.S. in areas that span the talents of Laboratory personnel.
  4. Resume writing – Many lab staff have not written resumes in years. I write them constantly and can help others.
  5. Actual placement – Headhunters and others call routinely looking for talent. With headhunters I get paid by the company for finding a person to fill a need. If I am paid by the person, then I find a good place for them to go.
  6. Business issues – Does leaving the lab and trying to start a business locally make any professional sense for a particular person.
  7. Intellectual property issues – Some people have what they consider to be valuable intellectual property. Together we assess its value and how to develop it.

I can’t afford to offer these services for free. (My landlord expects me to pay the rent every month. ;-) ) I can offer them at reasonable rates. Since I am not funded by any government agency, I can work, without conflict of interest, for best interests of the person instead the best interests of a sponsor.

The rates resemble Federal Express rates. For instance, I know how long it takes to upgrade a resume. I charge hourly rates for the appropriate number of hours. If you want the revised resume in a month or two, the hourly rates are low. If you want the resume tomorrow morning, the rates are much higher. If you want the resume later this afternoon, treat me really nicely.

If such analysis might be of use to you or your friends or if you just want more details, please contact me.

Eric Fairfield


Sorry, but this posting is like a commerical pop up!!!!
Unfortunately, my anti-pop-up software didnt catch it.
Bloodsucking parasite ...
Eric Fairfield is posting to sell something -- he has been in los alamos a couple of years, and is constantly selling his "expertise". He actually is quite weak, and all the products I have seen by him are marginal at best. He has applied for a number of management positions at the lab, but never made any short lists (some posters will naturally assume that means Fairfield is good). he has a very high opinion of himself (not unlike UPTE, and its ridiculous assertions that they negotiate "for you" -- it is the home of absolute slugs that always claim they were "whistle blowers").

Don't read Fairfield's post for anything more than
it is - opportunistic advertising. You will have more value buying jewelry from QVC.
This is really sad. You are trying
to sell something. Who the hell
are you?
Ah, yes, here come the vultures, ready to feed on the carcass of worried and
worn-out LANL employees. And to think, Eric can even give us odds on whether
a group or division will be around after the new contract. He must be a
Ah, yes, here come the vultures, ready to feed on the carcass of worried and
worn-out LANL employees. And to think, Eric can even give us odds on whether
a group or division will be around after the new contract. He must be a
Fairfield is a jerk. This bloodsucking has not place on the blog. Anybody who would pay for his advice is a fool!
Well, doesn't work.

Must be a really prosperous business -- he can't afford $5 per month for a Website.
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