Thursday, September 15, 2005

Knowing What You Don't Know

My recent posting on running a successful enterprise and running a successful job search and how they were two different animals generated some discussion. Lifelong success at the former didn't automatically translate to success in the latter. One of the comments that came after that posting went up was the following:

Dave, I will add one more item to your list ..... loss of familiarity. We have had decades of experience in running companies or doing our jobs and are extremely familiar with what needs to get done under different circumstances. Not many of us have the experience running a job search campaign ..... and the natural tendency is to revert back to what we are familiar with and fill up our time with activities that are not necessarily valuable in terms of job search.

The comment got me to thinking of just how on target this person's posting was. Executives who are masterful at what they do in the business world frequently are virtually clueless when it comes to managing a job change, and one of the key reasons why is because, if they are lucky, it isn't something with which they have had (or will have) a lot of experience.

The result ranges from people who understand that they "don't know what they don't know" and make a concerted effort to acquire the appropriate knowledge and then apply it to what by then is a well thought out strategy. At the other end of the spectrum, one sees those who also indeed "don't know what they don't know" but are in denial. They then jump into the fray based on a strategy that can best be described as "Ready-Fire-Aim." For those at this end of the scale, it is usually accompanied by all kinds of frustrations and fault-finding directed anywhere other than at themselves.

They are quick to fault the market place for their lack of wisdom in not recognizing the value that they represent or would bring to an organization. It isn't that they lack talent or skill, more often than not, it is that they lack the real understanding of how it is that most people really end up making a change and the degree to which learning how to both market themselves and become really effective in extending and building their network impacts their chances for success.

No comments: