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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Rise of the salesmen

Recently I have been looking around for a new role, but I have yet to find one that interests me (with the exception of Apple, which is difficult to get an invite to a job interview let alone land the role).

I have recently been approached or applied for some IT support roles and , despite several decades of support experience, it appears that the agencies managing the recruitment process are overlooking me for roles that are similar
to my current role. This situation appears to be because they are looking for some management view of what the ideal candidate should be.

Recently I queried one of the agencies and had an open and honest discussion about the role, which I decided to turned down as it’s too similar what I’m doing just now and I’m looking
for something more exciting and dynamic (guess that’s what happens when you have a creative streak and like Apple kit rather than the same old Windows desktops and server systems).

The initial feedback from the agency was that I didn’t have the skill set for the role, but on getting the job description it closely matched my current role, except the description had been written in management terms so unless you understood the role, in my opinion, it would be difficult to find a suitable matching candidate.

This has got me thinking, how many roles have I missed out on because some can’t marry the management view of the role with the reality of what support role is really about? Then I realised that even when you do get a chance at an interview it’s not about ‘if you can do the job’ but it’s who is the best sales person, who can persuade the hiring organisation that they *are* the droid they are looking for.

What I’m saying here is that, from my viewpoint, it looks like it’s the sales people, the liars, the BS artists who find out what the hiring company want and then promise to deliver (and later buy the book, pick existing staff for information and eventually get found out for the frauds that they are.. possibly even get great references so that the company can off load them ?), these sales people / con artists are the ones who get the jobs.

I guess I have had some lucky beaks in my career, being at the right place at the right time. My first IT role, fresh out of college, I failed the interview and it was only at the request of the senior support engineer that I got the job.. since then I found out the owner of the company soon realised that I was a great asset for the company as I worked hard, constantly taught myself new skills and had a passion for the job that meant that I wanted to share my knowledge with my colleagues and improve the company in the process.

Even my current role, again I failed the interview, but something I said at the interview stuck with the manager and I got a call a week later offering another position that had just come up. I started a few days later, weeks before my colleague who had successfully passed the interview and after nearly 10 years in the same role it’s time for a change. By the way he’s a good guy, I have loads of time for him and he is a genuine, honest, modest and hard working individual (just to clarify before I go on).

So, what do you have to do to get a job nowadays? Do I have to lie, cheat and become a sleazy sales person and amend my CV and online profiles to create a false facade that fits in with this cookie cutter system in order to advance my career or is there a better way? Can you be yourself, can you be humble and honest and land the role you want or have the salesmen taken over?

This is my dilemma, after spending my life in Scotland I’m not the type of person that finds it comfortable putting on a front, preening feathers and showing off, thinking I’m something or somebody.

I’m not something, I’m just me, I make mistakes, I learn from them and I develop my skills as I am given the opportunities to gain those skills (or take the opportunities to try things when I’m bored with the same dull routine) and I get things done.

So how do you move onto the next opportunity when you have to put on an act and you don’t want to be an actor. How do you sell yourself when you hate telling lies and prefer humility to brash showmanship?

Personally I don’t know and until I can find a resolution to this issue I guess I’m stuck where I am.

Side Note: I realise that, to some, there is a bit of a contradiction between their beliefs and a statement I made at the start of this post.. I’m referring to the statement that I would love to work for Apple (or a similar creative organisation). To some, this appears to contradict my humble, almost shy persona. To me there is no contradiction as I don’t see Apple as being a sales lead organisation, instead it appears to me to be a technology company that want to support it’s customers and provide the best technology, support and environment for it’s customers. If this isn’t the ultimate goal of IT support then maybe I should rethink my life’s work and find a new career. That’s what I want to provide to my employer, customers, friends and associates..

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