Originally published on 20 September 2016 on LinkedIn.
The modern professional world is geared around expertise, experience and strengths. LinkedIn prompts you to detail every element of your professional life then rates your profile and awards individuals based on these ratings. Connections endorse you for all manner of skills, whether you have them or not or whether they actually know you or not. Job advertisement have a list of requirements which include every conceivable skill just short of fixing the office’s plumbing should it go down on your watch.
Is this unrealistic?
A very wise man and a great entrepreneur once told me the first thing any organisation should do is decide what they are NOT. It will allow the organisation determine what it truly is and make steps towards improving those capabilities. In short, it makes you more focused.
So, I am going to embrace my limitations and list them here.
- I am not an analyst. The thought of having a daily and intimate relationship with a datum set makes me ill. I appreciate reports borne of good analytic skills but don’t expect I will be able to do it day in and day out.
- I am not up with technology jargon. Once I thought I was not very tech savvy but I am learning this is not the case. I do understand the concepts but find the jargon too heavy and at times, misleading. As Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
- I don’t like selling things. I do it but it takes a concerted effort on my behalf to overcome my anxieties. However, if I look at the sales process as a problem to be solved for the client, then I can sell the solution as I like solving problems. Problem solving makes me happy!
- I find email to be one of the worst communication tools on the planet. As a result, my emails (and apparently my LinkedIn posts) tend to be in bullet form and resemble an IKEA assembly manual. Whilst I am working on my email writing skills, I will be talking to the intended recipients as my verbal communication skills are vastly more developed and persuasive.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but feel it is a great place to start.
Now some may argue this is a career limiting move to publicly and irrevocably suggest I am not the best candidate. I would argue the opposite. Yes, it will put off some prospective employers who miss the subtly in the post and whose expectations are generally unrealistic.
However, one prospective manager will get a little chuckle and see an individual open to self improvement and growth. I have a feeling that person and I would get on just fine. Plus, who wants a know it all for a colleague?