Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Core Competencies

I'm now coming up on 3 months of unemployment. I never dreamed this seeking a new job would be so slow or agonizing a process. I thought I had such an attractive resume that, like every other time I've considered a new opportunity, companies would jump at the chance to hire me. And it's humbling to realize that it will probably be sometime next year before anything happens like a job offer. Selling a car to pay the mortgage and getting food from the Bishop's storehouse is just the way it has to be for now, so I'll deal with it, grudgingly.

This time around I want the next job to be my last career move, if possible. I don't want to make a mistake in joining a company I can't truly support with my passions or fit into their culture. I know more about what type of opportunity I want, so I'm picky. It's true that I'm not getting any younger and I've got potential liabilities. I've hopped around a lot of companies, I've pushed my career to do innovative things, and I'm a creative who doesn't like to be 'managed.' Whoever hires me will do so at a cost for such skills and experience. I'm not generic; I'm specialized. So, I shouldn't be surprised or impatient that it is taking time to get it right.

Recently I was contacted by a retained recruiter for a technical executive position with a new company and brand that will be coming out into the marketplace. I was excited by the potential to make a real contribution and possibly see my dreams come true with an innovative product technology that I've been developing for years. The recruiter was impressed with my resume and seeming fit with the position requirements, so he asked that I prepare a one-page "Core Competency" brief. He sent me a couple examples from other people he had worked with, and at first, as I read through them, I thought, "I'm not good enough. I haven't done this level of work." But then I put those fears aside and decided to list what I thought my own career and personal strengths were. This was an empowering exercise. I settled on eight core competencies, and then began to fill in details which demonstrated my experience or skill with each attribute. By the time I was finished, I wasn't feeling inadequate at all, rather, I felt like I had substance, was more than worthwhile, and that a company would be greatly benefited by my joining their talent pool.

The recruiter was quite pleased with the writing and content of my Core Competency brief, and selected me as a finalist in a slate of three candidates for the position. I was flattered. But to his dismay, when he went to present to the company, they informed him they had found a person on their own and would not need his services. So this was another disappointment, but at least it got me to think about the important qualifiers of my experience and how this has shaped me into the valuable resource that I will be in my next position.

How often do we take such stock in ourselves? Starting with humility, looking at weaknesses and then at strengths, we come to understanding and satisfaction. Thank God I'm an optimist, and most days I choose to see potential and the good in myself and others. It is a conscious choice, one that is not always easy, and one that I don't always do. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and lose my light of confidence, but I can always go to my Father, find the match of desire and relight my candle of faith. Such is the time for now.


Abelard Enigma said...

You need to 'toot your own horn' once in a while in order to be heard and recognized.

Some people are really good at that, constantly telling everyone what a great guy they are. Others of us have a much more difficult time with it.

One of So Many said...

Actually when i was looking for a job i read somewhere that the average time of unemployment is 9 months. I'm sure you don't want to hear that.

Of course, getting your resume out there, and doing all you can is about all you can expect.

I've taken up to a year to get a job. Sorry I can't be any more positive than that.

GeckoMan said...

I expect things to pick up after the holidays and the first of the new year. Hopefully, I won't have to wait much longer.

Bored in Vernal said...

Hi Gecko, you haven't posted in a while and I hope things are going OK with your job search. I know it can be a stressful time. Especially over the holidays. Good luck, and let us know how you are doing.