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Archive for January, 2013

Job Opening: R&D Project Engineer (Implantable Medical Device)

January 31st, 2013 Comments off

R&D Project Engineer (Implantable Medical Device)

The Bridgeway Group (Irvine, California)

Posted: January 31, 2013
Address: Irvine, CA 92618
Type: Full-time

Job Description
This position is responsible for the research, design, and development of endovascular access, delivery systems and implantable medical devices for the treatment of peripheral and neurovasculature diseases.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Establishing product customer requirements, concept prototyping, conducting and overseeing product design and development (including verification and validation), material selection, risk/failure mode assessment, performance and safety. 
  • Development and validation of test methodology 
  • Physician Interface 
  • Performing pre-clinical in-vitro and in-vivo testing 
  • Directly supervising one or more associate engineers and/or technicians 
  • Documenting of all project outputs 
  • Complying with applicable FDA / ISO13485 requirements 
  • Assisting with pilot-production and post-production GMP compliance

Previously in Jobs Opening:
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Books on Hold: Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty by Dylan Evans

January 30th, 2013 Comments off

Books on Hold is a blog series dedicated to books I have seen in passing and requested from my local library. See more in the series at the end of this blog post. — Douglas

The inability to properly gauge and understand risks and act in a world of uncertainty is one of the biggest limitations in most people’s thinking today. It leaves people apt lash out in fear or worry themselves into sickness. I’m looking forward to read what this book has to say about developing a better understanding of risks.

Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty by Dylan Evans

* Discovered via  Knowledge Blocks


There is a special kind of intelligence for dealing with risk and uncertainty. It doesn’t correlate with IQ, and most psychologists failed to spot it because it is found in such a disparate, rag-tag group of people – American weather-forecasters, professional gamblers, and hedge-fund managers, for example.

This book shows just how important risk intelligence is. Many people in positions which require high risk intelligence – doctors, financial regulators and bankers, for instance – seem unable to navigate what Evans calls the “darkened room”, the domain of doubt and uncertainty.

Risk Intelligence is a traveller’s guide to the twilight zone of probabilities and speculation. Evans shows us how risk intelligence is vital to making good decisions, from dealing with climate change to combating terrorism. He argues that we can all learn a lot from expert gamblers, not just about money, but about how to make decisions in all aspects of our lives. Introducing a wealth of fascinating research findings and using a wide range of real-life examples–from the brilliant risk assessment skills of horse race handicappers to the tragically flawed evaluations of risk that caused the financial crisis–Evans reveals the common errors in our thinking that undermine our risk intelligence. He also introduces a host of simple techniques we can use to boost our RQ, and a brief test to measure our RQ. Both highly engaging and truly mind-changing, Risk Intelligence will fascinate all of those who are interested in how we can improve our thinking in order to enhance our lives.”

Previously in Books on Hold:

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Breaking the negativity cycle — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

January 29th, 2013 Comments off

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As we all know, it is easy to carried away with the emotion of a crowd. Whether it is cheering at a football game, singing along at a great concert or crying along with the audience at a movie or play, we can experience great uplifting emotion. While we can get carried away with good emotions, it is even easier — and I think, greatly damaging — when we are carried away with the negative emotions of a crowd. When we ride the downward spiral of negative emotions, we can reach depths we never could have imagined. Often in our careers and in our lives, we can be faced with overwhelming negative emotions from groups both large and small. For our own, personal, self preservation, though, we need to to break the negativity cycle when it occurs.


I often visit career groups and speak to their members, both formally and informally. One almost universal, trait of these groups is the ability to “turn dark” at a moment’s notice. When faced with career challenges, financial troubles and long term unemployment, one person can start a trend that brings down the entire group within minutes. It is a simple truth of human nature that “misery loves company.” When we are feeling down, we want to express those emotions and others often respond in kind. Unfortunately, this leads to a cycle where each story, each action, each comment leads deeper and deeper into the darkness. While we all want to be empathetic and seek to understand what others are feeling, when we lose ourselves in the darkness we are helping neither others or ourselves.

Situations like this rapidly take the form of a “bitch session” where every complaint, every slight, every unfair action is re-lived and reinforced. Instead of letting go of negative thoughts the group digs a deeper and deeper hole. In some ways, where there are limits to how positive we can feel, negative thoughts seem to know no bounds. We just get more and more depressed the longer the cycle continues. This is just one reason why you need to break the cycle. Otherwise you are likely to bring yourself so low that you are no longer able to take action against your circumstances and only make them worse.

The simple fact is, to break the negativity cycle, you just need to turn away. With a little awareness, it is easy to see when a conversation begins to turn negative. For me, it is almost something palpable that I can sense. The tenor of the conversation changes and you can feel it sliding into negativity.

When you sense this change occurring, there are a few actions you can take. First, try to turn the conversation in a more positive direction. For myself, and some others, positive thoughts are based around direct actions that can be taken — and achieved — now. If you can move people to action, you can often break the cycle of negative thoughts. Give people something to do. Suggest actions they can take immediately. Take a break in the conversation and allow everyone a chance to re-group and let the negative emotions settle.

Of course, sometimes, there is no way to break the cycle amongst a group. Once rolling it can be very difficult to stop, especially if there are people in the group who tend to be negative at most times. You can try to move the conversation elsewhere, but they will drag it back down over and over again. In these cases, there is little else you can do but turn away. For your own self preservation, you must distance yourself from such people and such conversations. It doesn’t matter if this is a group of peers, a collection of friends or even your family. If you surround yourself with negativity, you will surely be caught up in the cycle yourself. Recognize this fact and then protect yourself from it.

Does this mean you turn away from family and friends? In some cases, yes. You may be able to deal with them when you are secure in your own thoughts and actions, but if you are afraid you might be pulled along by their negativity you owe it to yourself to distance yourself. Think of yourself, your life, your career and what you want to accomplish there. Building the career you deserve is hard enough without being weighed down with the negative thoughts of others. I know personally that fighting against my own negative thoughts, my own fear, my own depression, is difficult enough that I need to distance myself from others who seek to involve me in their own negativity.

Long drawn out bouts of negativity are good for no one. When conversations turn to complaints and anger — and away from positive thought and actions, we can all be pulled down into the depths of our own fear, worry and depression. For our own sake, and for the sake of those that depend upon us, we must look for the immediate, direct actions we can take. We must look for the positive steps we can take today and use them to push our negative thoughts and worries into the background. They will never disappear entirely, but if we learn how to combat our own negative thoughts — and how to break the cycle of negativity we can face from others — we can move on to great things instead of bemoaning our fate. Break the cycle wherever you face it — personally, professionally, within your family — and everyone will benefit from your guidance.


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Job Openings from Tuesdays with Transitioners – January 27, 2013

January 27th, 2013 Comments off

Job Openings from Tuesdays with Transitioners

Jennifer Oliver O’Connell, organizer of Tuesdays with Transitioners posted these job listings recently. Join Tuesdays with Transitioners Meetup group to receive these job listings directly via and email.

Job Listings from Tuesdays with Transitioners – January 27, 2013

  • Network Engineer Opportunity (Los Angeles)
  • Salesperson for Jewelry Fundraisers
  • Attorneys for work in Luxembourg
  • Couchsurfing is Hiring! (San Francisco)
  • Senior Accountant (Orange County)
  • Senior Accountant, Technology (Orange County)
  • Corporate Staff Accountant (Orange County)

Link to Tuesdays with Transitioners for details on all these positions

** Find more jobs on the Career Opportunities Job Board from

Archive: Consumerism and Your Career — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

January 25th, 2013 Comments off

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There has been much talk about excessive consumption over the last few years and how it effects our lifestyle and our lives. One aspect that seems to be ignored, though, is how excessive consumerism can effect your career. Frequently, when talking with people I find that they have made major concessions in other aspects of their lives only so they could obtain the supposed trappings of success…the expensive car, the elegant clothes or the large house. Basing your career choices solely on the amount of money they provide can lead you into the, all too familiar, trap of having all the material goods you have ever wanted, but finding yourself very unhappy with the life you need to maintain in order to acquire all those material goods.

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Freedom vs. Stuff

As consumers, we are bombarded with a constant stream of advertising telling us what we need to make us rich, beautiful and happy. Every street corner, every bus, every television and radio tells us that if we only buy one product or another, we will achieve the perfect life. The trouble with most of this advertising, though, is it regularly confuses what we want with what we need. Once we lose touch with this important difference, we can find ourselves buried in consumer debt and an endless treadmill of trying to buy everything that advertising tells us we need.

This creates another major issue. If we are constantly trying to pay for all these expensive goods, we begin to sacrifice other important aspects of our lives. There is a palpable fear that runs through the lives of some of my friends and acquaintances. Faced with the need to pay for all their expensive acquisitions, they live in desperate fear of losing their jobs. They have little savings and live week-to-week, making just enough to pay their bills or, even worse, only paying the minimums on the credit card debt.

As you might imagine in such an environment, there is little room for thoughts about career growth or career change. Instead of working to improve their career, they desperately cling to their current job and its steady paycheck. As you might imagine, this opens the door to all sorts of problems. First, it makes them more susceptible to overwork and abuse by their managers and their companies. They can’t afford to lose the job, so they don’t complain about unpaid overtime or shady dealings within the company. Second, it prevents them from looking for new jobs and new opportunities. They are trapped in an endless cycle of “make the money/spend the money” every month.

The cold truth is, people who have engaged in excessive consumerism have sacrificed their career freedom for expensive, and often unnecessary, stuff. In the past, I have written about the importance of being able to say “No” to abusive bosses, golden handcuff severance pay plans and companies who deal in the grey areas of legal business. If you trap yourself with outstanding debts, you leave yourself no recourse when faced with these issues.

Want vs. Need

Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t feel free to have your cafe latte in the morning, buy a new computer every so often or even drive a very nice car. I only ask that you consciously make your decisions to consume instead of allowing advertising and peer pressure to push you into bad situations. If you want to purchase an expensive item, save up the money, or at least a large down payment, before you buy. Spend some time thinking about the purchase and discuss it with friends and family. Ask the very important question, “What am I sacrificing in order to have this item?”

In many cases I think you will find, like I have, that 99% of the purchases you consider are mere “wants” while 1% are truly “needs.” Even the computer I am using to write this column could be considered a “want.” I could just as easily write using a pen and paper or a typewriter, but I have decided, consciously and purposefully, that I enjoy the convenience and usefulness of the computer. The important point is that I have thought about the purchase and not simply walked into the Apple Store and made an impulse buy, like so many other people I see.

You will see immediate benefits in your life and your career if you start to notice the excessive consumerism that surrounds you. You will have less fear over layoffs and firings. You will be more open to new opportunities. You might even have more time to spend with your family, since you won’t be working too hard to pay for everything you are giving them to make up for your absence. When you say no to excessive consumerism you are actually buying more freedom. You will be free to make the best decisions for your family and career instead of making decisions based solely on the bills you need to pay.


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Event: Douglas speaks on “A Year of Self Preservation” at Tuesdays with Transitioners

January 23rd, 2013 Comments off

Self preservation

A Year of Self Preservation with Douglas E. Welch @ Tuesdays with Transitioners

Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 12 Noon to 2 pm

Congregational Church of Northridge
9659 Balboa Blvd, Northridge, CA

Please RSVP on

It is a fact of nature that we often spend many hours of each day focused on someone else. We focus on our boss, our job, our family, our projects — but one person is usually left out of this focus — you! We can easily lose ourselves in the clamor for our attention. This year, though, I call for “A Year of Self Preservation”. A year of returning the focus to ourselves and our own lives, so that we can continue to help others.

It is my firm belief that we can only, truly, help others when we ourselves are in a good position. If we try to do too much, without the support of friends, family or a stable income, we risk placing our own life, work and income in jeopardy. This isn’t selfishness. Self preservation is about establishing a firm foundation where you can stand so you can offer a helping hand to others.

The tenets of A Year of Self Preservation are:

  • A rested parent/worker/caregiver is a good parent/worker/caregiver
  • Taking care of yourself first — not last
  • Knowing when and how to ask for help
  • Learning when and how to say — No
  • Distancing yourself from negativity and avoiding the downward cycle

Join Douglas at Tuesdays with Transitioners and see how you can make 2013 the best year possible.

What You Need: Decent technology and the skills to use it — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

January 22nd, 2013 Comments off

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It probably shouldn’t need to be said, but if you want to succeed in your career today – any career – you need a decent computer, a decent phone, a decent Internet connection and the technological skills to use them all. Trying to build your career without these tools is a tremendous handicap and will have you spending your life playing “catch up” to all the others who have had technology and learned how to use it. You need to have these same tools at your disposal to keep you productive and connected to the world. We live in a world that requires technology and you should do your best to engage in it.


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Computer, smartphone, internet

Today it is easy and cheap to get decent, usable, technology. Computers cost a fraction what they did when I first started my career. Consider the fact that a 4MB upgrade for my original Mac Plus cost me over $400 and a 20MB hard disk was around $200. You can walk into nearly any electronics or office store — or search online — and find very capable computer systems for $400-$500. In most cases, this new computer will have more speed, more memory and more hard drive space than you will ever need, unless you are doing audio or video editing. Smartphones now come cheap with subsidized cell phone plans. You can even get an older model iPhone for free in some cases. Add to that all the great Android phones on the market and there really is no excuse for not having a decent smartphone to help you manage your life and work.

Notice my use of the word “decent” here. You need not spend thousands of dollars for high-end technology. In most cases, you are simply paying a premium for the name on the box. Purchase in the mid-range on price and capability and you will do well. You’ll get plenty of computing power without breaking your bank account. Of course, I would also caution you to not buy the cheapest technology you can find, either. Cheap equipment will fail often and quickly and means spending more money overall than if you had purchased a more expensive computer or smartphone in the first place. Don’t be seduced by cheap. It will only come back to haunt you.

I know that there might be a small number of you who cannot afford any technology. Perhaps your financial situation is dire due to unemployment, health or family issues. I understand it can be difficult to get the technology you need. Still, you need to do your utmost to bring technology into your life so you can use it to better your situation.

First, take advantage of any services provided by your community. Look to your local library for computer access. With the creation of cloud services such as Google Docs/Drive, Gmail and others, you can perform a lot of tasks without having a computer of your own. These cloud services allow you access to your files and information from whatever computer you might have available — including friends, family and other organizations.

Next, look for friends and family who might be able to pass down their older technology to you. I recently inherited a fairly current Android phone and an iPhone 4s from some of my clients who were upgrading their devices. These devices are still greatly functional, even without a cellular data plan. In larger cities, free public WiFi is becoming nearly ubiquitous and you’ll find that these devices can give you near-cell phone capabilities using only these free systems. They could provide a great leap in your connectivity if you don’t have the ability to purchase something outright.

Computer Skills

Even more important than the technology are your own computer skills. Knowing how to use a computer and its associated software or knowing how to use a smartphone is not some specialized knowledge that only a few people need. Everyone must know how to use these technology tools. In this day and age not having sufficient technological skills is akin to not knowing how to work a standard telephone, how to drive a car or how to cook your meals. Technological skills are critical to your life and work and should be gained and cultivated at every opportunity.

Learn about technology whenever and wherever you can. It doesn’t require expensive computer training classes. Want to learn about technology? Walk into any Apple store (or Microsoft store or Best Buy or Staples) and play with the devices you find there. There is no excuse for not being at least familiar with Macintosh, iPhone and iPad devices. Unless you live in a rural area (and even then, most of us visit the “big city” on occasion) you have a technology training ground at your disposal. Pick up the devices. Investigate them and what they can do. Stand at an iMac, login to your Google Drive account, edit some documents. Open programs that run on the Mac like Pages, MS Word and more. Most importantly, listen to the questions and answers around you. You can learn a lot by hearing the answers to other people’s questions.

If your technological skills are lacking, consider meeting with like-minded friends and family so you can learn together. There are usually one or two people in a group that have a bit more knowledge than the others. They can help get you started on the road to technology proficiency and then you can all learn more together. Of course, if you have the opportunity to take formal computer training – do it! This goes for nearly any training actually. If you don’t take advantage of these opportunities when they are available, you are wasting both time and money that could help to build your career. Don’t make excuses – ever — just go and learn!

Like the telephone, the railroad, the automobile, and the television before it — computer technology (in all its forms) is here to stay. You can’t ignore it. You can’t dismiss it. You can’t wish it away. Your career success depends on engaging with technology nearly every minute of every day. Unless you want to retreat to a monastery, a rural homestead or a hermitage, you will need to face technology and all that it can provide you. To declare technological ignorance — or, even worse, feel pride in your ignorance — is folly. If you do so, you are stubbornly and willingly limiting your chances of ever building the career you deserve.

Previously in the What Your Need series:


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Job Openings from Tuesdays with Transitioners – January 20, 2013

January 20th, 2013 Comments off

Job Openings from Tuesdays with Transitioners

Jennifer Oliver O’Connell, organizer of Tuesdays with Transitioners posted these job listings recently. Join Tuesdays with Transitioners Meetup group to receive these job listings directly via and email.

Job Listings from Tuesdays with Transitioners – January 20, 2013

  • Executive Assistant to Commercial Agent of Below the Line Talent Agency
  • Part-time Administrative Help
  • Metro Careers is Hiring
  • Donor Relations Coordinator
  • Sr. Buyer of Raw Materials
  • The UTA Listings for 01-12-2013
  • Patent Litigation Attorney
  • Part-time Bookkeeper/Office Administrator
  • EHR Technical Analyst (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Business Development Executive (San Francisco)
  • Work-from-Home Opportunity with Etcetera Clothing
  • Various Positions/Opportunities
  • Human Resource Manager

Link to Tuesdays with Transitioners for details on all these positions

Categories: Announcement, Jobs Offered Tags:

Archive: A slap in the face — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

January 18th, 2013 Comments off

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A slap in the face

Vacations are a wonderful and necessary part of any career, but returning from a vacation can often feel like a surprising slap in the face. Pent-up demand for your time, emergencies, crises and the simple act of getting back to work can feel so foreign after even a few days away. So, while it is important to take vacations to prevent career burnout, it is also important to put some thought into returning from vacation.

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Take One Day

The best tack you can make when planning your vacation is to allow at least one day before and after your actual vacation to decompress and re-enter the real world. The day before departure can be stressful enough as you pack and make final plans. Don’t increase this stress by trying to solve every major problem before getting on the plane. This advice comes straight from experience. Before leaving on my most recent vacation to Hawai’i, I spent the last day struggling with DSL problems at one of my client’s offices. By the time I made it home that evening, I was barely able to complete my packing before falling into bed.

Allowing one day after you return from your vacation allows you to re-adjust to any time changes and get your home and life back into some order. There is laundry to do, food to buy, mail to sort and bills to pay, so give yourself at least one day to get a handle on these issues before jumping back into your work life. It is human nature to want to cram as much time into the actual vacation location as possible but by leaving yourself a day at home on either end you can keep the restful feeling from crumbling too quickly.

Most importantly, don’t let work know you are back until the day you return to work. Even if you have allowed a weekend at the end of your trip, if people know you are “in town” they might pepper you with questions and ask for decisions before you ever set foot in the office.

One sneaky way of getting back to work, without the hassles of interacting with your co-workers, is to take a few moments to check email and voicemail that might have arrived while you were away. Don’t spend your entire weekend with this, but do a scan for the most critical issues. This way, you won’t be blind-sided by potential crises the moment you walk in the door. Nothing can be more dis-heartening than returning to the office to an unforeseen crisis. Talk about a smack in the face.

Protect Yourself

Whatever you do, find some way to protect the rest and relaxation you have gathered about you on vacation. Fretting over bills and money, or worrying about personnel issues should not be your first thoughts. Your goal is to ease back into your work life, while carrying with you as much “mellow” as you can. This week, I have made a point of wearing my newly purchased Aloha shirts to client calls, as a way of sharing my vacation with my clients and reminding myself of the great time I spent in Hawai’i. Share your stories and pictures with your clients, even as you solve their problems. It will lighten your days and provide much needed, non-technology conversation while you work.

If you found something you particularly liked on your trip, locate local sources, if possible. Having a shave ice or a Loco Moco (a surfer concoction of rice, hamburger patty, brown gravy and a fried egg) while in your own hometown is a great way to recall your adventures and regain some peace of mind, even after a hard day at work. Travel should be mind-expanding and invigorating, as well as restful. What new experiences did you have? How can these experiences be used to improve your life and work? Can you bring the “Aloha Spirit” into your work life? How would it improve your career? You might be surprised just how much of your vacation life you can retain once you return to work.

Planning your return from a vacation is just as important as planning the vacation itself. Don’t let the work world drag you back into a deadening routine immediately. Use your vacation as a jumping off point to new ideas and new attitudes. The peace of mind, and the career you preserve, might just be your own.


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Jobs Available – Listings of all types at – Search by keyword and location

January 17th, 2013 Comments off

Looking for a job? There are a host of job listings available on every day.

Enter the keywords you are searching for and your location to get fresh and focused listings.

Career jobs

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