Tag Archives: education

How to make your skills official

You need to make your skills official.  You need to get someone to put their stamp of approval on them.

A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender, therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber stamps.  (H. L. Mencken)

Today I could apply for a job as a writer and have a real chance of getting it. Four years ago it would have been much tougher. I can now prove I am an author, a writer and a man of letters.  My published articles prove it.  One particular article proves that I am an expert at finding IT security folks and possibly an expert at computer security.

In reality I was a writer and a recruiter before the articles were published.  Yet, today I am much more marketable as both.

School did not make it official.  Someone putting their reputation on the line to use my work is what made it official.  Someone with a bit to gain and a lot to lose said, “We’re proud to have him write for us.”

I have seen programmers with 3 months of experience beat out programmers with years of experience.  The reason is that the rookie looked more official.  Someone trusted the rookie with a big role in a major project and he pulled through. He was excited, passionate and had the obvious imprimatur of his boss. The senior programmers who lost were always background support doing 40 hour weeks with no enthusiasm and no risk.

It’s official when you’ve proved it in commercial competition.  Not just when the team gets the job done, but when YOU personally made it happen.

How can you make your accomplishments and knowledge undeniably official?

Something to do today

Send an idea for an article to a publication or website about your field.  Submit it and see what happens.  They may ask you to write it.


Later:             Illegal questions

No BS interviews work

How to quit

The old boy network

Exploit the old boys

The money question

I want to be a fireman when I grow up. What about you?

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.  (Aristotle)

I went to a Boy Scout camp where a fire company put on a rescue demonstration.  They had 3 cars.  One by one they ripped them apart using hydraulic tools.  Right then I decided that I want to be a fireman when I grow up.  I was 49 and ineligible, but I’m willing to dream.

A friend told me that he was the fastest machine operator at the plant where he worked.  They always put him in the job that would challenge him the most. If there was a bottleneck, he would clear it up.  He also cried at times because he hated the work so much.  He studied to take up a different profession for 8 years.  He struggled with very low paying jobs, serious health problems, and a wife and kids he solely supported.  This month he started working as a Mechanical Engineer at a major DOD contractor.

Why do people stay in jobs they hate? No one is legally bound as an indentured servant or slave anymore.  Why do people need help finding what they like to do?  There are a lot of reasons.  Fear, money, social pressure and unexplored possibilities can all be reasons.

You are a slave if you believe you cannot change.  You are free when you think about, study for and work towards a change for the better.  So take a little time today and write down a list of things you always wanted to do.  Make a list of jobs and careers you might enjoy. 

Need help? Every university has a department to help students discover what they would like to study. The internet has sites to help you choose a career.  Every state run job center will give you interest and aptitude tests for free.  Friends and family are always happy to tell you where to go and what to do when you get there.

You may want to consult a career coach like me.  I not only train people to get jobs, I can coach you along the path to getting the job that fits best.  www.agicc.com/my-best-future.htm tells a little more about it.

It is worth taking time to find out if you really want to be a fireman, mechanic, professor or plumber.  If you start working towards a career goal you can always turn back later and be better off for trying.  However, you will never get anywhere without taking the first steps to think about, study for and work towards a change.


Something To Do Today

Make a list of every hobby you have attempted.  List every subject you have studied.  Rank them all as “liked”, “don’t care” and “disliked.”  Look for a pattern.  You may be surprised.  Take an interest test or two.  They’re actually fun.  Many are free.  Give me a call.  I can help too. Bryan Dilts 717-975-9001