Toying with the title

Here’s the scoop. What I have done, successfully, over the years is management consulting. Here’s the rub. That isn’t a title that gets hired.
I think the challenge is to spin my skills into ‘value-add’ statements that are so enticing that the reader can’t help but want to talk.
Bottom line, I am a horrible resume writer. I have paid real money to have it written for me, more than once, to no avail.
I hate Candidate Tracking Systems. They only work if you the role is completely repetitive and leaves absolutely no room for decision-making or creativity.
A productive member to a new team is so much more than the skills that pass through the algorithm. Plus! The tracking system is only as good as the recruiter using it.
Recruiters have a rough job. At the core level, they are sales people. They have been hired to find ‘x’ any ‘y’ will pay them. For years, I called the company that actually paid my ‘my pimp’. Why? I never heard from them, unless something was wrong. Communicating with the ‘people’ who were actually performing the activities that got everyone paid was outside of the company’s scope.
This arrangement actually worked for me as I am rather autonomous and driven by a good set of core values. I believe in an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. So it works.

I am a catch. I apply my core values to everything I do.
I need to find the place that appreciates those core values, too.
Maybe I will spend part of my day dissecting my current marketing document (that is all a resume is) and flipping it, focusing on what I deliver as a management consultant.

How do you say….

what you really did?
This whole write, re-write, write again thing is driving me bonkers! I have a variety of folders and sub-folders to keep track of my resume efforts.
Next steps: I think what I really need to do is continue converting my calendar notes into my freeform prose elsewhere on this site.
Maybe I should add something about managerial consulting as that seems to be more descriptive of what I truly did/do? All of these other things are just part of the role. Hmmmm.

Mature workers workshop

I spent the bulk of yesterday taking advantage of yet another workshop at the local WorkSource office. What an amazing resource to have at my fingertips!

I was impressed with the presenter. He definitely has been there and done that at least once in his life. This experience gives him the ability to deftly address any of the random items that might come up from the group. It was a good, lively discussion and I learned a lot.

One of the best things that is coming out of these encounters is the opportunity to practice my soft skills. It is fun to practice my active listening skills and figure out how to communicate with such a variety of individuals. It doesn’t hurt that I received a couple of compliments. My favorite was for having the ‘intestinal fortitude’ to have successfully navigated working with the perceived ‘children’ at my previous position.

Facts are facts. It is a challenge to overcome the age barrier in the new digital environment. Learning how to scale that challenge is something I am going to continue pursuing, probably for the rest of my life.

Taking advantage of the resources

Holy frijoles! Friday I went to another WorkSource training. The instructor wasn’t nearly as good as the LinkedIn lady, but the material was sound.

O*Net – I had forgotten about O*Net. I was first introduced to O*Net when Avaya imploded. I can’t say its visuals have improved immensely over the last fifteen years, but at least you don’t have to telnet into the site anymore.

Career Coach – this one was new to me. Essentially, it is a really cool tool that is buried on the WorkSource site. During the class, we did a quick walkthrough of the information, but for this tool to be really helpful, the job-seeker needs to spend a little of their own time walking through the activities. I really like the tool and it will be interesting to compare my ‘thoughtful’ responses to my ‘quick-hit’ results.

The last link we reviewed was the WorkSource homepage. It was interesting to hear how many folks in the room hadn’t spent much time there.

That didn’t go so well…

Debrief, retrospective, whatever, this post is a follow-up to yesterday’s interview.
It happened. It didn’t go so well.
It is always a good exercise to interview, when you have the opportunity.

To be fair, I am not sure I really wanted that job. I did my homework. I knew a lot about the interviewer before this was even scheduled. Remember that the IT world is actually very, very small. A little tidbit to tuck away for future reference the next time you really want to tell your employer to ‘take this job and shove it‘.

I have a tendency to be verbose. I knew the interviewer prefers straight, direct, concise answers. Fine. I know how to edit myself, too, when needed.
I went into this interview with a freaking checklist of questions for him. That is how this whole thing works.
You – Mr. Interviewer are looking for something.
I – Ms. Interviewee have reviewed the information and believe I have something to offer.
Assumption: the fact we are even having this conversation assumes some level of interest on both sides of the equation.

This encounter was established by this erroneous assumption about Mr. Interviewer who knew what he was looking for and I (Ms. Interviewee) had enough of his checklist to fit the bill. I went in not really caring too much about getting the job. It really didn’t fit my minimum criterium. I do not know why we wasted our time. It was evident from the onset of our conversation that this gentleman was not really interested in learning about me and what problems I could solve for him. If I had been more perceptive, I would have picked up on this situation sooner.

It wasn’t really the questions, so much as the lack of information exchange that made this whole thing very awkward. No one will ever accuse this interviewer of being ‘warm and fuzzy’ and probably the reason he likes concise is because he is one of those managers who has been doing the same thing for so long, he can’t see outside of his ‘checklist’.

I know I upset him when I changed the pace and tenor of the conversation. He made it absolutely clear that he would be leading this discussion, thank you very much. I knew right then and there that I was done. But it was really good experience.

Haven’t been the same…

Today’s post is about preparing for a phone interview I have this morning. (I have a love/hate relationship with phone interviews.)
The situation is: I need a job.

  • This one is something I could do.
  • The pay is reasonable.

Now do I want to do it?
I view this initial interview as a conversation. This is a two-way street.
The interviewer is attempting to ascertain if I will be able to do what it is he envisions needs to be done to help his organization succeed.
Got it.
In my opinion, we have already completed this checkbox item, or else we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
I have asked for the Job Description – I really believe that anyone doing any kind of a search for someone should have taken the time to define what they really need and not just a gut level awareness that they need something. The response was so generic, that it gives me cause to pause, but reading the list provided me a little insight into the hiring manager’s style and gave me a hint about what has annoyed him in previous interviews.
I need to communicate with him that I am flexible and comfortable with change.
I need to get him to define his terms. What does he consider a ‘scrum meeting’?
I need to know how they treat contractors.

Ultimately, I decided to do the interview. It is scheduled. It will be a good opportunity for me to exercise my skills. This means, I was able to get beyond the gate-keeper in the process. My biggest challenge has been getting the youngsters to understand me as my non-traditional experience doesn’t fit well into the new millenia checklists that have been developed over the last few years. I don’t think it is ageism as much as it is inexperience.

since you had your little crash…’ The first lyrics I heard from the album that quickly became my favorite. It is one of those songs that I still remember where I was and exactly what I was doing when I heard it for the very, first time.
Note to self: write a post on the entire album, it might be a fun little trip down memory lane.

Eagles_HellFreezesOver

Updating is hard to do

As more and more of our lives become digital, separating our personal lives from our work lives gets more and more complicated.
For years, I have had multiple subscriptions to various ‘cloud-based applications’. As a consultant, I have a fiduciary responsibility to keep the accounts separate. Fine, I will do that, but the cloud-administration and login tools need to meet me halfway.
The quickest, easiest way to manage the various accounts is via hardware and login-tokens, which is essentially how I administered my stuff for the last 6 years. What I didn’t do was keep the software up-to-date on my personal system. This is killing me!
Adobe is a beast! As most of the time when I needed that software was for work, I only kept it fully updated on my work machine. Fine, that worked. For the rare occasion I needed the suite for personal use, I would just login with my personal account. No harm. No foul. Adobe was getting paid licensing fees for both accounts, I just wasn’t taking the time to update my personal copies.
I am paying for that shortcut, now! It has taken me forever to update my applications!