Technical Newsletter

The Whitaker Technical Newsletter, created and disbursed monthly by our recruiting management team offers insight on industry trends, career planning and the job market (as we have since 1983) as well as a current listing of our available positions. If you’re interested in receiving our monthly newsletter, please complete the sign up form below.


 

April 2017: Successful Telecommuting

“Virtual Office” “Remote Worker” “Satellite” “Off Site” “Telecommuting” “iworkers, eworkers or Web Workers” “Portable Professionals” “Digital Nomads” “Non-Cubical Dwellers”  There are many names  for the  increasing number of professionals working in a nontraditional office setting. According to a GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com 2016…
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March 2017: Prepare For A Year With More Interviews

2017 rebound underway?  In our limited view of the overall refining and chemical marketplace, we've experienced a very sluggish 2016 that ended with a flurry of mid and high-level management hires. Although it's not unusual for us to see last…
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February 2017: Spring Clean Your Career

After a full weekend of near record temperature highs in Houston, “Spring Cleaning” is on my mind.  I know I’m probably a bit ahead of the curve on this, but having just put together:  2017 Goals, final tallies for 2016…
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January 2017: Overcoming Changes in the Workplace

2017, an economy on the uptick (maybe), a new administration with a stated commitment to support American businesses and lots of changes coming for the New Year. Good changes? Bad changes? Truth is we really don't know, but psychologists tell…
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December 2016: How to Have an Effective Performance Review

Pay and recognition are two of the most important factors that impact employee morale, performance and growth. From a company standpoint, if your business isn't keeping up with market trends, you can run the risk of losing talented employees and…
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November 2016: Being Thankful in the Workplace

In the U.S., this is the month for giving thanks. We give thanks for the love of our family and friends and for the joy of life's bounties. It is a wonderful holiday - one without the pressure of giving…
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October 2016: Politics in the Workplace

From the Presidential debates to lawn signs and TV ads to the Voters' Pamphlet in your mailbox, there's no denying that election season is in full swing. During a presidential election season, political discussion and debate are prominent, often at…
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September 2016: Refining & Chemical Salary Trends

A couple of months ago, Whitaker embarked on our first-ever salary survey for engineering and technical professionals in the refining and petrochemical industry.              See the Results  We decided to initiate this effort quite simply…
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August 2016: How to Manage Stress at Work

Early August puts us smack in the middle of the summer vacation season! Although it sometimes makes it more difficult to connect with candidates and clients who take vacation during this period, I'm always glad to see folks taking a…
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July 2016: Top Business Trends To Drive Success

The calendar page has turned to July which means that half of 2016 is now over. Hard to believe that time marches on so quickly! However it causes me to pause and reflect on how we have measured up to…
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June 2016: How NOT to Network

LinkedIn, Twitter, Classmates.com, Facebook, Google+. Pinterest… “networking” opportunities are everywhere.  Wikipedia lists OVER 200 current “major active social networking websites” excluding online dating sites. Ironically, with all this “interaction” I still believe that technology is actually making people LESS sociable…
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May 2016: Body Language During Interview

On a recent rainy Sunday I had the opportunity to go see the movie “The Revenant” and it struck me that for all of the great screenplay and dialogue, the really gripping part of the movie was what wasn’t said…
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April 2016: Effects of Accepting a Job Below Your Skill Level

With the downturn in the oil industry these last several months, many very qualified professionals have found themselves looking for other positions.  And not surprisingly, there are more people available than jobs for them readily available in the marketplace right…
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March 2016: A Good Mentor is a Gift From the Universe

I learned recently that someone who had been a long-time mentor to me in my many years in the business had recently retired.  It got me thinking that I probably never really shared with him how much I appreciated all…
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February 2016: How to Love Your Job

While February is famous for many holidays including Groundhog Day and Presidents Day, everything pales in comparison to Valentine's Day.  What could be more worthy of celebration than love?  But "love" shouldn't apply just to the important people in your…
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January 2016: Boost Your Career in 2016

Welcome to 2016! The calendar is empty, our goals have yet to be accomplished and new opportunities wait to be discovered. There’s this feeling that we’ve been given another chance to get it right. With empty calendar in mind, we…
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December 2015: Twelve Engineering Products of Christmas

It’s impossible to miss the signs of December – frosty mornings, traffic around the malls, calendars filling up with holiday celebrations, and hopefully for most of you a healthy dose of holiday spirit filling your homes and your hearts.  On…
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November 2015: Building a Culture Of Gratitude

I'm sure many of you and your families are in the throes of preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday celebration, with great anticipation of turkey and all the trimmings.  Around the Thanksgiving holiday, it's natural to turn our thoughts to…
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October 2015: Boost Your Career and Save Your Life

We all know who they are - the people at work who always seem to know just the right thing to say at just the right time.  They are the "cheerleaders" of the organization, the go-to people at times of…
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September 2015: Lessons from the Happiest Places on Earth

About a year ago, a young man named Pharrell Williams released a song called "Happy" from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack album.  It became an instant sensation, winning the Grammy Award for Best Music Video and Best Pop Solo Performance…
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August 2015: Rapid Growth Spurs Historic Demand for Midstream Infrastructure

The rapid growth of oil and gas production in North America between 2009 and 2014 spurred a cycle of historic demand for midstream infrastructure - the gathering, processing and pipelines that bring crude or natural gas liquids from the wellhead…
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July 2015: Summer Health Hazards

Now that the July 4th holiday weekend has come and gone, summer is officially in full swing.  Many of us have vacation or "stay-cation" plans which may include getting together with family or for some parents, getting away from family! …
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June 2015: Vacations Positively Impact Work Performance

It's that time of the year again...summer is rolling around and kids are wrapping up their school year.  It's time to think about planning that summer vacation, or perhaps a "stay-cation."   If you're debating whether or not you can "afford"…
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May 2015: Avoid Hiring Mistakes

For many, May brings thoughts of impending summer vacations, beautiful "sleep with the windows open" nights, and for the unfortunate few, spring allergy season. However in the corporate world, May signals the imminent influx of new graduates into the workplace…
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June 2014: Creating a Healthy, Comfortable Workspace

In the last two or three weeks, I've had conversations with three different people who have opted for stand-up desks or other rearrangements of their work environment, and it occurred to me that this is becoming quite the rage. So…
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July 2014: How to Play it Safe, Heat Hazards at Work

Hearing the announcers at the World Cup in Brazil comment on the heat and humidity, "much like Houston, Texas" it reminded me that not everyone is prepared to deal with 90+ degree temps and 80+% humidity.  For Houstonians like me,…
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August 2014: Time Management Tips to Achieve Your Full Potential

If you are good at what you do on the job ... if you are a conscientious, committed professional ... two things will be true: (1) you'll get more to do, and (2) you'll want to do it all well.…
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September 2014: The Importance of Punctuality and Keeping Appointments

I'm sure that your lives, like mine, revolve around "keeping an eye on the time."  Whether for personal or professional obligations, we can't get away from our time obligations and the need to stay on schedule for fear of turning…
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October 2014: Improve Refinery Safety Performance

An article entitled "Can Oil Refineries Fix Stupid? - Improve refinery safety performance by establishing the proper leadership culture" by Steve Pagani that appeared in the e-newsletter "RefinerLink" on 9/7/14 (http://www.refinerlink.com/blog/Can_Oil_Refineries_Fix_Stupid) really struck a chord with me.  And of course…
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November 2014: Workplace Happiness, Engagement, and Performance

It's that time of the year where there's a definite nip in the air, orange and red leaves cover the ground, and the smell of pumpkin pie and turkey are imminently around the corner.  So it's appropriate that our thoughts…
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December 2014: Holiday Etiquette for the Workplace

In keeping with our annual tradition of our December newsletter addition being more "in the holiday spirit", I thought I'd share some excerpts from a poll that was taken for "About.com" by Susan Heathfield, a management and organizational development consultant…
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January 2015: Biggest Challenges Facing Employment in the Downstream Energy Industry for 2015

I was recently interviewed by one of the nation's leading energy magazines and asked my thoughts about the biggest challenges facing the downstream industry in terms of employment for 2015.  My answer was echoed in this article by Dorothy Davis…
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February 2015: Overcome a Toxic Boss

Valentine's Day (or the Feast of St. Valentine) has been traced back to Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love flourished in 18th century England and is still celebrated today in various ways all…
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March 2015: Open Communication in the Workplace

If you're in the Baby Boomer generation like me you remember the Billy Joel song where he sang "Honesty Is Such a Lonely Word... " In the dictionary, honesty is defined as truthfulness and fairness, not cheating and stealing, yet…
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April 2015:  Communicating effectively via email

Having just returned from a bit of an extended holiday weekend in which I was blissfully oblivious of anything work-related, I invariably came back to a mountain of emails in my inbox.  This is not really an atypical occurrence for…
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