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Matt's Editorials: Sailing is a Metaphor for Life

That feeling of incompetence

Have you ever felt you didn’t know anything about computers? I do all the time, and I have been using them since my first Apple IIe.

Still, there is just so much to know and so much to learn. And, the rules keep changing. Things that work on one computer don’t work on my next one. (Why Microsoft does this I don’t know, but I wish they would call me and clear their “improvements.”)

Anyway, the process of job search is really what I wanted to talk about tonight. Much like that new computer you got, the process itself often times seems like it has a mind of its own. And, it probably does.

The truth is that NO ONE actually knows everything about job search. It may seem that there are experts in the room when you go to meetings, but you may know more than lots of others on some aspect of the process that they haven’t even thought about.

That said, like the latest accounting rules, it pays to do a little research. There are lots of good books on all kinds of job search related topics. I would suggest you read as many of them as you can to give yourself a solid grounding on issues large and small and to glean out sections that are specific to you.

The process appears to make no sense at times because there are so many elements to it. And, the job market at the senior levels is not well organized. (As a senior financial executive, I hate things that aren’t organized, don’t you?)

Understand that an expert is someone who knows just a little bit more than someone else. For some matters on which you have devoted your considerable energies, you may be the expert. On others, you may need to buy the book “Job search for dummies.” It can vary by day, week or month depending on what we are discussing.

The most important thing is not to let your feelings of incompetence stand in the way of your progress. You can make mistakes galore and do very little damage. Like accounting, there is always that “correcting journal entry” to save the day.

So, have at it with a little more confidence. The so called experts don’t always know more than you because it is YOUR life about which you are trying to make decisions. And, how can “they” know anything about that?

Regards, Matt

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