Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Starting from Scratch



After 25 years of moving from one job to next within public sector, I have decided try my luck in the private sector.

AND I feel like a babe in the woods...

So, I am having to challenge everything I have thought to be true. Resumes are no longer a list of everything you have done, thus the bigger the better. Now more that 5 pages and you hit the bin. Sticking in a job for more than three years is now a liability. I thought that changing employer three times in three years meant you could't hold down a job. Not so, this shows career drive.

It is now day three of job seeking in earnest and even though I don't yet understand the rules.
Thus far I am very optimistic as I have looked on Seek and found lots of jobs I can do.

But it isn't "what you can do", it's what you can convince a prospective employer you can do.

I have had to learn new phrases too, well in this space anyway.
  • "competitive advantage" 
  • "personal brand"
  • "cultural fit"
So what the hell is my competitive advantage?

I suppose it is that I can pretty much see the problem at hand. Huh, I hear you say? Can't everybody see the problem? Cos, well, it's the problem. 

Not so much, most problems are mistakenly defined as the "negative symptoms" that result from the problem, so, the adopted solution is the one that attempts to cure the symptoms. This is why the solution fails to hold up over time.

Let me give you the "whack a mole" example from a wonderful lady Susan Scott's book Fierce Conversations. The story goes  that for the better part of her younger years her family has a mole problem, the moles would dig holes all over their backyard and it was her brothers job to set mole traps and then dispose of the moles that were caught. This went on year after year. 

Can you see what's happening? The moles are NOT the problem they are a symptom. So, what IS the problem, well, it turns out that its the "grubs".

Grubs are small bugs that the moles eat, get rid of the grubs and the moles have no reason to dig up your garden, and for $10 at any garden supply you can buy a grub killing fertiliser.

So knowing the problem, the real problem can be priceless.

As for personal brand and cultural fit. Your guess is as good as mine. I suppose I will figure that out as we go.