Sunday, August 18, 2013

Job Description - Part 1 - The negatives

I've been asked to write my perfect job description. This presents a great big giant problem for me. I've never worked to a job description. I hate them. They're just boxes to shove you into. They're important. I get that. But for someone like me... I kind of see myself as someone who finds a need to fill. I get in there, fill the need for as long as the need is there. The need needs to go away or I'm not really doing my job properly. Or the need should get to the level that it can be handed off to someone else. Probably someone with a lot less skill. It's job creation.

I've been thinking about this for the last couple of days and I keep coming around to what hasn't worked for me when working for other people so I figured it's probably not that bad a place to start. So here goes:

Do not impede on the Nevyn brand

Probably my biggest problem with working for people is that they try to get me to work to their brand. Some have tried to wrap me up in a brand (a uniform). There's the doing things in what I would consider a half arsed way in order to stick to a schedule and the like. Here's a hint. I'm quite an intelligent person. Assume I know what I'm doing and will ask for help when it's needed. If help can't be given, then some explanation rather than a straight out no really helps as it allows me to make a decision on whether I'm really in the right place.

Meanwhile, the Nevyn brand means a whole lot more to me than any branding you could possibly try to impose on me. If that means I'm spending more time with particular customers to get them to a place they're happy, then I will do that. It will probably mean I can spend less time with them at a later date and someone else can get the attention they need. In other words, the time needed by a customer is seldom constant and trying to force it to be is just dumb. It's a waste of everyone's time.

Actually... I think that's it. My big problem with working for companies is that they try to put me into a box and the times I've strived and shown them a little something they weren't expecting was when they let me out of that box.

Boxes are a pretty bad way of getting anything from people. I have no idea why we all seem perfectly willing to be put into them.

The other day I was talking to a friend about someone seeing me in the context of Tangleball. Suddenly I'm not just this kind of awkward geek guy at a party. I'm a person who's got all sorts of skills and is even a little creative and draws/paints etc. This is a golden opportunity. People often see other people in a particular context and all of those interesting bits fall down the wayside. Much like a CV and job description...

Meanwhile, I'm sure that my activities with Manaiakalani were kicked off by a very vague description of a problem. I had a few days before I had a meeting with Russell Burt and I kept coming back to the DHCP server. So I wrote it on my pad and went to this meeting. It turns out they'd already solved the issue though I did show off my pad with DHCP written on it. I was right.

This would be my ideal way of hiring people. Given a problem, how do they approach it? I'm fairly confident I could get the people I'd want to be working with that way... If only there was a way of doing this outside of a forced interview situation.

I often talk about having the right people. For example, I think there are a few things that didn't work at Tangleball which would probably work now given the context of the right people. You don't need positions filled. You need the right people working with you.

Anyway... so the title of this post points to the fact that it will probably be a multi-part thing. Now that I've got the negatives out there, I need to find the positives...

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