Bad job descriptions . . . norm and embarrassment

Do you want traffic to your blog?  Write about bad job descriptions!  I mean it ~ bad job descriptions.  See, I know how to do SEO.  Bad job descriptions.  People put bad job descriptions into Google.

Amazing.  But they don’t have to search far. Job descriptions are uniformly bad, spinny and scammy and show woeful lack of understanding of the purpose of a job.

In the throes of a general election, Britain, home of satire, has produced this wonderful spoof of the typical HRM effort at describing what we do at work. Jobsgopublic.

It’s funny, very funny, but not so much for the HR profession. When will we lift our game?

The most important choice in your life: Are you big enough to step into your own dreams?

What do you really want to do in life?

Whenever you go near a positive career coach, they are going to ask you what you really want to do in life.

Guess what?

You are going to list excuses. Because if you were off following your dreams, you wouldn’t be talking to a career coach!!

Are you normally a wuss given to excuse making?

Probably not.  If you were, you wouldn’t be spending good money on a career coach.  And we will charge you a lot, just to make sure you are not!

What is holding you up?

So you paid your money, and you know you are up some sort of psychological cul-de-sac and you are making excuses.  What the **** is going on?

For a start, you are behaving normally.

We all have moments when we wake up and are confused about our purpose in life. Typically, this happens when we have been intensely busy.  While we had our heads down attending to detail, we took our eye off the bigger picture.

We are also shy.

It is normal to keep our dreams a little hidden, even from ourselves. We fear success. We are terrified of getting what we want because at that point, we are exposed.  What if it turns out to be a disappointment?  What if we won’t be who we thought we would be?

Making the most important choice in your life

When you go to see a career coach, that is the choice you are making.  You want to know whether you are big enough to step into your own dreams.

Well you won’t know until you try!

Here are five know facts about positive careers that I have rewritten from another blog.  It is a good example of positive career coaching.

#1 You won’t find what you love until you take the time to imagine it and draw it in exacting detail

#2 You won’t move forward until you can name and imagine your fears in excrutiating detail

#3 You’ll become purposefully efficient when you work on actions that move you forward and decisively put aside actions that don’t move you in the direction you value so deeply

#4 You plan will appear not to work until you move toward your destination which puts all other destinations aside

#5 You will get discouraged from time to time and when you do, you have two choices. If you are involved in an activity that does not take you forward, put it in your waste bin with relish and move on to something that does!  If the activity has proved to be an obstacle that you must move through and over to reach your destination, get on with it!

Writing the perfect job description is  #1.

  • Take your job description and rewrite it to match your dream job.  Put in your job title.   Write down who you report to and who reports to you.  Do the whole shooting match.
  • Now review your daily activities and remove what does not take you towards your dream (if you can).  Leave what takes your forward and what you do for love and fun.
  • Get moving!
  • Now do #2.  Imagine your fears in excruciating detail.  Imagine the villain to your hero as sympathetically as you imagine yourself. Let the story of you life unfold!
  • And when you are discouraged, take a walk in the park, get over the immediate emotional shock, then decide.  Where does this setback fit in to your journey?  Is it an obstacle that you will enjoy conquering on the way to your perfect job?  Or is this just trash to be put aside and ignored?

Get writing that job description!

Until you have it in technicolor glory, then you will be stuck at your crossroads wondering whether you are your boss is writing the story of your life?  That is the choice you are making.

Do you have what it takes to conquer your fear of being successful?

Weekend fun: 21st century job titles

Traditional loom work by a woman in Konya, Turkey
Image via Wikipedia

Yours sincerely
Jack Maddock
P.I.G

Printed Information Gatekeeper or what we latterly knew as Editor.

Does your job title fit the work you do?

Or does your job title sound as if HR picked it from the Bullshit Job Generator.  Human Data Orchestrator, perhaps?  Lol!

And what title might you suggest for my colleague who is a network engineer (computers) and makes a healthy living connecting shopkeepers and restaurants with London markets, the old fashioned way?  Well, to me he is a supply chain something or other.  I can see it all fits together.

It obviously all fits together but we just don’t have the right vocabulary for jobs like his which are interesting and integrated but I suppose not “functional”, using that word in the theoretical sense.

I’ve been looking around for good job titles.  Here are common ones.

  1. Chief something office – often Chief Inspiration or Happiness Officer
  2. Metaverse Evangelist
  3. Knowledge Concierge
  4. Knowlege Valet (being a concierge in training)
  5. Instigator
  6. Brand Champion

Inpired by the resurgence of Concierge, I looked around for lists of jobs from days gone by.

They are an interesting read if only to find out the origins of British names.   It is quite extraordianary, thought how specific these jobs were.  Jobs today are much broader.

What job title fits what I do?

I’m a work psychologist, sometimes known as an industrial psychologist, or occupational psychologist or organizational psychologist.  Which of these old titles fits my work?

I liked “chapper” on the Scottish list. This poor fellow’s job was to wake up the baker before sunrise!

I hate alarm clocks but putting that quirk aside, hmm, this is what I do for a living!

I alert people to opportunity and get them moving even when they feel like staying put!

I could also be a piecer – the child that fixed broken threads on a loom.  I do a lot of that but not so much for the sake of weaving but as way of alerting people to opportunity.  Fix this thread, then  . . .

How would you describe the work you do?

Does your job title do it for you?  Or do you need a new way of describing your work?

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CEO and Me

What do HR Managers do?

What do HR Managers do?  Who do IT Managers do?  What do any staff managers and trusted subordinates contribute to the leadership of an organization?

What does the boss do and what should subordinates and staff managers do?

While I have been in the UK, I have been struck by the confusion and discomfort that local HR practitioners feel over their role in the management team.

Learn from Henry Kissinger about advising the boss

People who do feel under appreciated, or who are looking for better ways to describe their role, may enjoy this piece by Henry Kissinger, where he describes the relationships between the members of the ‘security team’ at the White House – the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary for Defense and the National Security Adviser.

The contribution of the National Security Adviser seems to mirror my understanding of the HR function.

  • “to ensure that no policy fails for reasons that could have been foreseen but were not and that no opportunity is missed for lack of foresight.”
  • “takes care that the president is given all relevant options and that the execution of policy [by various departments] reflects the spirit of the original decision.”
  • “insisting — if necessary — on additional or more complete options or on more precision in execution”

UPDATE: For an HR Managers perspective on the Recession, I have written a summary on a new post.

Tribal IQ and Social Media

Paul Imre has thrown out the challenge: what is Tribal IQ?

Metrics gurus will ultimately want a set of numbers. This is a take influenced by corporate anthropology. I have lifted it almost entirely from a one-pager written by Dr Phil Baird, Vice President of United Tribes Technical College in North Dakota. With slight modifications, Phil Baird’s vision for his college fits almost exactly what we have been talking about:

What does it mean to provide communication infrastructure for a community, which is, in its barebones, exactly what social media does?

Mirror who we are

#1 Tribal IQ defines who we are: our past, our present and our future. We define our IQ ourselves and we recreate it everyday in what do, with each other, and people around us.

Support the everyday re-creation of our community

#2 A community manager is keenly aware of the way we recreate our culture on a daily basis. Our mission is to support our members as they regenerate our group through everyday activities

Recognize the competing definitions and internal dynamism of the community

#3 Sometimes our groups are complicated. Within one community, we may have multiple groups who have competing demands and between them add an invigorating tension.

Range of our challenge

Our groups might have a narrow or broad focus, be superficial or deep, and be short or long-lasting. The issues defining the group might be concrete and specific, such as supporting Obama for President, or they might be helping diffuse and long-standing such as communicating with local government through FixMyStreet.

Expansion of the role of IT & Geeks

In this year of 2008, the question many of us are asking is how we are using social media to support the needs of our community. IT experts are being drawn directly into the discussion of who is our community and what are its needs. We are drawn into the discussion about how our community functions, how it expresses itself, and how it recreates itself on a daily basis. And not least, how we facilitate our community’s activities, how we affect its internal functioning, and how we make it easier to fulfill its needs, including, the need to reflect on its needs and change the way members interact with each other and the outside world.

Moral challenges of community managers

As resources are always limited, we have to prioritize and help our members prioritize. We have to map out clearly what we will do and align our map with the wider map of the community’s needs. In this way we are drawn into the debates on management and governance within our community, our tribe.

Strategic work of community managers

We also need to address the challenges appearing on the 10, 5, 3 and 1 year horizons. One of the challenges of community regeneration is the arrival of ‘digital natives’. Every generation brings with it the challenge of incorporating new members and new ways. The generation joining the adult ranks of voters, workers and managers are digitally savvy and bring with them new skills, different attitudes and higher expectations. They will refresh our communities and highlight they way we interact, on-line and off-line, and the way construct our past, create our present and co-create our future. As Dr Phil Baird said in 2007, “What will their Tribal IQ bring to our Tribal College?”

The challenge is no longer for the community to understand IT. It is for IT to understand community

Social media is here, and IT has become communal. The challenge is no longer for the community to understand IT. It is for IT to understand community. I believe we will see joint careers in managing IT and sociology, anthropology, political science and psychology.

I like the 21st century! Comments?

Next social media camp is on July 5 2008 in London – follow the link for immediate registration, presentations, details, and so on.

 

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