Sunday, 20 September 2015

‘’Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.’’

Anne Lamott

This quote rushed into my mind while pondering over the last HR article that I read on “how to get your perfect job”. Does it really matter how much you have gone into details reading the job specification or how perfectly you have tailored your resume and cover letter if the employer has not been “honest” enough to reveal what they are precisely looking for? It seems like an endless waste of time and energy to write and rewrite your resume and cover letter, trying to match yourself as close as possible to the successful candidate, to find out that you are not exactly what they have been looking for (again). 
“Master the skill to sell yourself!” – Yes, yes, yes!!! Why??? Am I a kind of an intellectual product, wrapped in a human body, which needs to be sold just like all those cheap detergents, junk food, and IT gadgets? Have you ever gone a bit deeper into the phrase “sell yourself” to identify the possible associative meanings or outline the emotional effect of it? I bet you haven’t or even if you have, you have found a good excuse to still use it. Furthermore, which part exactly of my humble human being they expect to sell – my mind, my soul or body? You can master any other skill that they might need, but not the one to sell yourself.
The human resource market looks like a twisted mirror – what you see is not what in fact it is. A “job seeker” is the one, reading it literary, who is supposed to seek. A “job offer” should represent the employer and what they have to offer. However, in reality, the one who seeks is placed in the position of offering and the one who offers has gladly taken the role of a seeker with the benefit to choose. As long as one accepts themselves literary as a “job seeker” their hard work to find a job will be always doomed to failure. No, you are not “job seekers” – you are “labour offerers”, and the “job offer” is nothing but a “resource seeking”.
In an ideal scenario, both parties – the employment seeker and the employer – should be in reciprocal positions as they both seek and offer at the same time. Eventually, the contract for employment will be an expression of their mutual agreement and trust. Don’t get dreamy, that’s just an ideal scenario which has nothing or very little to do with the real life! The real life scenario asks the “labour offerers” to “sell themselves” - Stand out, top up yourself, and show the employer to be how much you want that job! And here comes the reciprocal question – What has the “resource seeker” done or given so far, apart from asking you to go ape?
Cheer up; we all have had such moments in our lives! If a “resource seeker” needs to hire an IT gadgets professional, then they should go and search the market. There are numerous IT gadgets “labour offerers” and they can choose exactly what they are looking for. If a “resource seeker”, however, needs to hire an IT gadgets professional and additionally they expect them to be qualified as a “junk food” professional, then that’s a challenge for the “resource seeker” and not for the “labour offerer”. Not to mention that a “resource seeker” can invest a bit more to qualify their employer the way they expect them to be.
Trying to fit yourself in a given job specification, provided that the final version exists only in the HR officer’s mind, seems hardly possible. The more you try, the further you go away from the real you. Nevertheless, you need that job and you are ready to do anything, even to sell yourself. Your resume and cover letter shine with everything that your employer to be want to find. You have showered them with lies sweet lies and burning with desire to sign the contract. Here comes another tricky moment! How could a “resource seeker” expect from a “labour offerer” to be loyal, if from the very beginning they have asked them to lie?

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