What Would You Say You Do Here?

What Would You Say You Do Here?

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Originally posted 2015-10-06 10:28:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

You see, what we’re actually trying to do here is, we’re trying to get a feel for how people spend their day at work… so, if you would, would you walk us through a typical day, for you? – The Bobs

You see, some days I wish I could make this stuff up. Some days, I wish our 100 “Don’t Be That Guy” entries were all fake. We might not name names, but we can assure you, these are all real, even this guy.

Dave and I speak regularly at Michigan’s Shifting Gears Program, which is in essence, a program for people in career transition or that have been with a job for 20+ years and have been released back into the workforce.

One of our pillars we stand strong on is “have conviction of who you are and what you do”, don’t be afraid of saying, “I am in career transition, I was a (fill in the blank) for 20 years and am looking for my next challenge”…

It sounds much better than, “Well, I umm used to (fill in the blank) and now umm, I, umm, am doing (this) on the side and a little bit of (that).”

We have this conversation every month at our networking events:

ahfcoUs: “Hi, what do you do?”

Attendee: “Well, I do a little bit of Linux…a little bit of Microsoft…oh and Java! And I’m really into PHP right now.  And Ruby On Rails. Umm, I guess I pretty much do everything!”

Us: “So…are you a SysAdmin or a Developer?”

Attendee: “Oh, well,  a developer I guess.  But I’m a SysAdmin where I am now and I don’t want to really be doing that any more.”

Us: “So talk to me about your projects with Java, PHP and Ruby…that’ll help narrow down who I should introduce you to…”

Attendee: “Well, I just started dabbling, so none really…”

Us: “So you’re a SysAdmin who also happens to be an entry level developer who’s just looking to land their first developer gig.  Got it.”

Attendee: “Well, yeah, I guess…”

Again, simply stating “I am a Microsoft server admin, but I’m ready for the next step in becoming a developer” would have gotten you so much farther.

For years, I wouldn’t say I was a “sales guy”, I was a “National Account Manager” or a “Director of Business Development”. The day I simply admitted the fact that I’m a sales guy, have always been a sales guy, and will always be a sales guy was probably the best professional decision I ever made.

Now let’s get to “that guy”, shall we? Well, we recently got a LinkedIn request, and this person’s summary (un-edited mind you), is:

“A meticulous employee who has proved, through various efforts, to deduct and reduce issues; while maintaining exceptional subject knowledge in an ever changing field. Suited for short term growth, as most ideas for process improvement quickly set new standards for production levels; and is steadily able to provide coworkers, customers, and management solutions to problematic situations. Being completely self sustained allows for the ability to deliver during high pressure deadlines, and expertise at soothing composure into customers provides an equilibrium between public relation, and business needs.”

whatyoudo1bWhat you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Next time, just say you are “that guy”.

Now go read something else.

Bob Waltenspiel is one of the original founders and resident “Sales Guy” of the group, working for such tech giants as NTT, NEC, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and most recently Cisco Systems. Bob was recently awarded the Elite 40 under 40 designation from L Brooks Patterson, he serves on the Zoning Board of Appeals for the City of Auburn Hills as well as sits on the Oakland County Business Roundtable. Bob is also on the Board of Directors for the German-American Marksmanship Club, served for 2 years as the President of the Auburn Elementary PTA, and is a regular speaker for the Michigan Shifting Gears program, winning 2013’s “Outstanding Contributor for the Transformation of Careers and Lives”.

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