More than Our Past

Being in the midst of job search is quite the experience in the current job market, especially in comparison to the last time most of us found ourselves in this position.  Thankfully, most of us are very different too.  We have each other to help us keep our capabilities in mind and brainstorm alternatives.


We each bring something unique to our interactions, our own perspective, which is based on how we internalized experiences.  Plus how well we are able to communicate the means in which our experience and perspective will enhance the interaction.  For many of us, our skills would translate into a variety of jobs with the potential for different titles.


The root issue today, with the incredible stretch that most working folks have had to endure to fit all necessary tasks into the same eight hour day, is the loss of creative thinking.  Well, one of the issues – but my focus in today’s post.  Creative thinking is necessary on the part of the job seeker as well as the company hiring manager in order to match the right multi-talented candidate to the job.


phones have come a long way since this was a cutting edge model (public domain image)

phones have come a long way since this was a cutting edge model (public domain image)

Rote thinking, the opposite of creative thinking, requires that the candidate is only considered for a position if the candidate has already held that exact, equivalently titled position in their most recent role.  Rote thinking is very dangerous because it may not set up the candidate or the organization for growth.  Rote thinking has a high probability of dismissing excellent long-term potential for immediate concerns.


Now creative thinking is not entirely absent, just in short supply.  And there are certainly instances when rote thinking is advisable – I don’t want a doctor who doesn’t have the degree plus experience necessary to perform a procedure, and I imagine that I’m in the majority on this – credential checking is very important for certain jobs and skills.


This wholesale reliance upon box checking to ensure correct fit is not beneficial to business in the long run.  (8 years’ experience in XYZ software-check, 5 years’ experience in supervisory role-check, BA/BS in XYZ discipline or commensurate experience-check, Salesforce CRM experience required-missing…this one goes in the toss pile)  Wait a minute in that rote thinking, that box-checking mentality because Salesforce CRM is an easily learnable skill.  And of the requirements that I listed out, simply the least important.  It is understandable that there is no resource available to train right now, but the successful person will require some training in processes specific to the organization.


If you are reading for a solution to this issue, then there are plenty of other places to find as many solutions as there are people offering them.  Your solution will be applicable to your individual situation.  My ultimate point in writing this post is to make each of us aware of when we are applying rote thinking in an attempt to gloss to a simple solution and to make us stop and question the validity of that application.  It is most often a stop-gap to a short term solution that will be unrealistic in the long run and in light of our true intentions.  Parsing through all the parts of a situation and weighing the import of each segment takes time and energy – and certainly shouldn’t be applied in every case (i.e. finding the perfect parking spot means driving around and around and takes longer to do than the errand within the establishment) but is vital in certain circumstances.


If you encounter rote thinking in your activities such as job search, it can get you thinking.  If this thinking is endemic within the organization, then this is not the place for me.  Or if it is specific to some portion, then how do I get around it to my real target?  If you are engaging in rote thinking, ask yourself if it is really serving the purpose that you intend to address.


Reading from those in the Talent Acquisition Industry:

Lou Adler’s: Define the Job before Defining the Person



Beth Anne Reed has a background in Customer Relations, Process & Project Management and a deep interest in Written Communications.

© 2014 Blog to Work | Blogging your way to a job, All rights reserved

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