Know thyself

I had some apprehension as I boarded the flight to Brazil. I was leaving my family and friends to live in a foreign country with a foreign culture and language. I knew that for the next two years I would onlyspeak to my family on Christmas and Mother’s Day. As I walked down the loading ramp onto the plane I felt both exhilaration and self-doubt about the new opportunity. I was excited about the possibilities.

Since I had training in the Portuguese language. I had some confidence that I would be able to speak the language and hit the ground running. Boy was I wrong.  It took me three months to really understand the language and 6 months for me to be able to speak adequately. By the end of my two years Iwas as fluent and close to native speaking as I was going to become.

I think that being out of work can muster up some of the same feelings. There is some self-doubt, nervousness, and worry. On the other side there is an opportunity to ponder and explore the opportunities in the market to gauge a person career opportunities.

Potentially many candidates see this as an opportunity to work in a field which they would like to or work in a capacity that they do not have ready available knowledge but have an interest.

In the current economic hiring climate we are experiencing we are not seeing the type of segment or industry hopping that I have seen in previous years.

In my discussions with hiring manager’s in today’s marketplace most have very targeted and specific searches.

Imagine if you will an overworked and tired staff.  The manager and leader of the group has been fighting with the Executive team about the need for an additional resource. After months of fighting and internal wrangling the manager receives approval to hire one candidate. That candidate maybe the only candidate they areable to hire all year. The manager needs to make sure that the candidate that is hired is able to meets certain criteria.

1. Able to perform about 90% of the position as it stands right now.

2. Ability to hit the ground running. There can be no lag time. Immediate  verifiable impact.

3. Ability to pick up the other 10% in a very short amount of time.

4. Ability to fit in with and mesh with the team. The new hire cannot upset the balance of the team.

The manager cannot and does not have the latitude to “take a chance” on someone who is a “quick learner”. Even though the potential candidate has the ability to pick things up quickly and maybe a great potential fit after 6 months of training. The opportunity is now and not in six months.

Current experience and the correlative experience is key to landing a successful position. Look for positions that you can achieve success. Look for companies that work in the areas where you have specific demonstrative skills.

Going from a Unix Administrator to a Linux/Unix Administrator is not a huge jump. Going from the Kroger Meat Dept. while taking Linux/Unix Admin classes at night is a much larger switch.

Good hunting. As they say in Portuguese, Boa Sorte (Good Luck).

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3 thoughts on “Know thyself

  1. The language training you receive at the MTC is unrivaled and invaluable… until you arrive in your host country and actually have to speak to someone. 🙂

    Be grateful you went after the 1960s when the LTM was in practice. You memorized EVERYTHING and if you didn’t pick it up fast enough, you failed and they sent you to Alaska or North Dakota instead.

  2. I was born in the great state, my friend. Plus, my dad and uncle are religion scholars with an emphasis in the church. Their book on their missions to Mexico in the mid-1960s was published in 1997. Way better than Groberg’s, by the way (then again, I make an appearance in my dad’s book).

    I’m not ashamed of who I am or my culture, but I’m not exactly conservative and I think the movie “Saturday’s Warriors” is STUPID. I tend to freak people out on both sides of the aisle so I keep that part of my life private, lest I be unfairly judged.

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