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The Curious Dance of the Job Seeker

So today again I've been drawn into reading another article on what should you put or not put on your resume article. Probably the umpteenth one I've read this year. You get into this self-judgmental dialog: Should I do this? Should I do that? And Oh my God I did it wrong that time!

None of that helps. I find it curious how the Job Seeker starts to makes this dance trying to present him or herself as the perfect candidate for a job. Twisting and turning, fixing a resume here, tweaking there.

But what does this accomplish? It's patently obvious to me that the process is broken because it treats people like interchangeable cogs. You need an engineer? Then only an engineer will do.

I wonder about pople like Robert McNamara who is the subject of the documentary "Fog of War" which I saw this weekend. He went from the government to working for Ford. It was clear he didn't get that job because he had "previous automobile working experience." Yet his contributions led him to become the first President of Ford that wasn't a Ford.

I think it would be so much easier if the jobs weren't about requirements and "must-haves" but about shared goals. Want to build better cars? Talk to us, let's see if there is a place here for you. But that would require hiring the person first and finding the job they'll do second and that's not how companies work.

I'm looking for a job as a Scrum-master because their job is to fix things that aren't working. But fixing is a bad analogy. Problems aren't typically mechanical that have a solution like a mechanic replacing a belt. The machine analogy breaks down. Sometimes you need to sus-out if the problem is a side-effect of something else, and dig, investigate, think. I do those things so effortlessly I think I'll enjoy that job immensely.

In my previous workplace, for example, hiring would typically occur after the need for new personel was dire. But then there wasn't any time for training, and people sat idle. This happened so many times I wondered why. I would have loved to dig into that. Was it a late request from the dept. for more people? Was it difficulty with the budgeting? I'm sure they all played a part somehow. But the net result was that the benefit of hiring a new person was typically lost, and no-one seemed to care.

So possibly hundres of people read my blog. Does the quantifiable nature of it then derive the value? Is my blog a factor of ten less valuable than one with thousands of readers? Yet everything now has to be quantified. "I improved sales by 60%." some articles recommend you write. Like that is not a meaningless statistic if you don't explain how you got there.

Until it changes though, I'll tweak here, tweak there and cross my fingers. In between I write, I code, I sleep, I am.


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