Monday, September 28, 2009

The modern world of employment opportunities....

I still have not quite got my head around the "modern world" of how vacancies are filled.

I mean that advertised positions for most people are fast becoming a thing of the past. You either get blind dated to an employer through the necessary evil of recruiters, or bliss oh bliss! You marry yourself to your perfect partner ...the girl you think is prettiest and least likely to divorce you in the post nuptual period.

This was probably a status that evolved in the early 90s- a boom of graduates delivered on the job market in 1989-95 with far fewer traditional graduate vacancies available ! Advertising meant nothing- nepotism was rife and for second jobbers it was easy play to move using the slimy recruitment snake- there being so few yearlings in the big FMCG companies to go around suddenly yet no one interested in training new 'milk rounders'

Now the milk round must have set many an unsuspecting 1970s graduate off on a career of 'blamange development' or 'consumer strategy' from having studied medieval icelandic history as a major. Many intellectual soles got wed and familied up and were soon in middle management i P&G or kraft, or GE wondering what the fuck they had done with their imaginations. In the 80s it became marketing which was the big draw, no longer a wet kind of lunch at the ad agency, but a power dressed focus for driving the top line. lead many of us to study marketing and seek it's nicer company car with AC and leather....and promptly dump us on the reject side, worse giving kid on job creations ...non graduate pay, shite, salesy, DMey crap.

So what began in the 90s carried on...big companies got used to nepotism and down sizing was rife anyway, and the internet boom was yet to happen. SMEs showed some promise but already recruitment consultants were used heavily to just dump the work load of piling through tons of CVs for jobs in call centres, field sales, retail management trainee etc..all the shite a self respecting graduate should avoid.

Then come the internet boom and the marriage of bliss was born. I just love what you are doing at AP, P and P internet.....eager beavers and savey industry insiders could present them selves to the yahoos, googles, ISPs and amazons of this world...or the start up 'lifestyle' companies not to mention all the agency-boutiques.

So on the one hand the networker could find his perfect partner, while on the other the experienced account manager would be on a blind date to some new internet start up, just standing with it's back to the prepasice and it's mouth blazing all guns on it's own meteoric, unstoppable growth in equity!

It is not just a skill set, but a very deep ingrained mind set which I need to change. My generation grew up in the blissful ignorance of the milk round expectation- some graduating in the mid eighties being lucky, most everyone else I know graduating in non professions in the later or 1990 being lost into shite or some of their own special interest but hole financially speaking. We went out thinking the world needed us and would with only a little bit of prompting, beat a path to our door wiht an application form merely a formality before blue-chip doors opened and took us to the bosom of heirarchical glossy towers.

Unlike the jim bob or swag man of days gone by, we don't like turning up at the factory gates or the down town street corner and asking for work. God we may get told to stuff our five year university education up our ass. We may get some gate keeper, jaded of being stuck a loser, just sneer at our attempt to marry ourselves to the lovely bride behind the port cullis of mediocre " little " people.

Then we actually have to influence person, no longer just on paper. In other words those who are going to succeed most in changing jobs or from being unemployed, or of course fresh out of uni are those who can sell !

They can sniff the opportunity, network to the decision maker, get their elevator pitch time and sell them on themselves!

All the things I hate about sales and sales people. The presumption they are gonna win, the smugness,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What about Life Goals???

I have just been scribbling down some goals for sailing, which will help me decide if 2010 is a go, or no year. Shall I take "T" with sailing for a year, or maybe longer?

Anyways, it got me thinking about what actual life goals I have now.

I seem to have been on a way big family time period, which is part of one of my goals- acheived! Right location for family and me right now, absolutely. Affordable housing comes at of course, a price- fewer jobs and economic opportunities locally. We are down the road so to speak!

What about career though?

Well I have just had to grab the helm and trim the sails and set a new course based on my own abilities in this weather! So now it is to be back burner to my previous career and front ho for purchasing and log's. I think there are both challenges in this, a career path, valuable experience with people and systems and at the end of the day a stable nine to fiver which has enough structure and team work for me to thrive in.

My long term line to marketing director are somewhat dented by the fact I just dont kiss ass enough! I think this is however, quite possible and extermely likely if I go down the invest-managers type firms like Forrinova was, popping out with a spin out.

This would also be my means of doing financial momentum- over and beyond the establishment of house and home. I think I need to be in several share holding pies, and end up being a mini forrinova myself.

(this is a nicely ranting thread) ...which leads me to the fact that at some point I need the opportunity to build teams up around myself. In both sailing and work life! ( one important goal I should have set for long term in sailing, oops)

How to get there? Well, it is a case that I need to consolidate and move into a new, more administrative role which takes me into management. After this I need to move into a forrinova situation quickly, or a new start. I then need to build a PR profile with some quick wins and use that as a springboard to getting on the share-pay wagon.

I think the route is just as important as the eventual goals, ----wiat up , in fact more so! The route has to be defined with clear goals along the way

1. establish a 'bread and butter' job to pay the mortgage

2. get into some "gravy" - innovation norway, cvntre, birkeland

3. maybe get an on line MBA, or some kind of entrepreneurship, new shaping, spin out diploma

4. Get into a new start , recent start or management company for such

5. get into a position to take some glory and PR it!

6: ride the wave a little

7. Build a team around me

8. buy that team's asses.

9. use the team to get forward.

The eventual goals would be

short term life style: Mortgage, stability for the kids, local sailing, some better OD dinghy sailing, fitness

longer term- team, shares, capital, innovation

meeting the two is the challenge- there seems no easy bridge between the above short and long term unless I take a huge risk in about 3 or four years. Why not take the plunge now? Well frankly moving into semi-soft-VC is not cool with the banks right now. Get mortgaged first.

But an observation on myself now is that I am finally willing to look much further into the future than before. I am planning out 3 to four years for my even beginning to consider the next swing instead of my 1999 happy with a company car and pay at the end of the month. Back then I had no real plan and followed the path of least resistance which in fact was the absolute highest stress route for me- agency land was hell post KMP for me personally and I should have moved client side after McCanns. I guess I had ambitions, but I seem to remember just being happy to be back in Scotchlandshire.

I still remember the night in Edinburgh on which I knew my whole life would change for ever and short term, self centredness would have to give way to being a parent.

][edit= ]Finally I notice another thing on looking back on this blogg- there is no mention of money per se. No mention of which boat or car i will have. This marks a big change in me- placing value and the eventual building of a team around me before actual fast financial goals. Money is the noise of the engine!

Small Town Hues and Blues

Well the thing is about small towns that they are good and bad. Without a high ceiling they are claustrophobic and when the clique start to close in a little, then it becomes hard to not feel squeezed out.

On the one side it was a joy to walk down the street and take time to talk to someone - if I want- to see people with their newborns out for a tour, to feel the wind on the seaside down and see the boats in the harbour.

But on the other side there is the pigeon holing and tall poppy thing which is happening now to me. Best to get the head down a while. I never have really learnt this lesson, but often it pays to keep the head out of the way and not say much. Less is with small towns!