When ambition outweighs ability

We all know them, have seen them, snickered at them when they aren’t looking. Hey, I’m sure we’ve all been that person.

I had to sit in a review the other day and tell a guy that basically he wasn’t as good as he thought he was. I didn’t enjoy being the teller, and I’m sure he didn’t enjoy being the hearer. But it’s part of the gig.

I sat down Saturday night and looked at the job I had ahead of myself. We are doing renovations at home (I know… long drawn out story, getting closer to the end day after day) and we’d bought some floating floorboards which I had bravely decided to lay. “It’s easy” people told me.. “I laid my own, easy and it looks great”. I was confident I could get it done. Here’s the thing, I suck at being a handy man, two left thumbs if you will. I can carry things and hold things and dig stuff etc, but doing intricate stuff which will make a difference. Here I was about to undertake a project which will be seen/noticed every single day of our lives.

I should have seen the warning signs. People close to me had asked me “Who’s helping you?” I was insulted… After all I am a man… I can use power tools for good instead of evil.. I can build stuff..can’t I?

I’m not sure if this is just a guy thing, but asking for help on such things seems to take a bit of your manhood with it. But as that legend Harry Calahan says in Magnum Force.. “A man’s got to know his limitations”.

Luckily I survived the experience (so far) I swallowed my pride or quashed my personal ego and called my Father in Law, and he happily came over the help (Thanks Fred). We learned from each other (although truth be told I learned more from him…) and currently it is straight, looking pretty good, even if in the whole day we only achieve half of our iniital goal. I am pretty excited and proud. Will be even more so when it’s finished.

Could I have done it on my own? Very very doubtful. Have I learned from the experience, so as next time (heaven forbid) I’d be able to do it.. Damn straight. Am I greatful my nearest and dearest were “brave” enough to point this lack of ability out… begrudgingly yes…. Probaly saved me thousands.

Same applies in Recruitment. Recruiters, have the strength to tell people “they’re Dreaming”. We need to tell people to “Focus your attention on jobs you will win and can do straight away. jobs you are going to look good for. ie if you are a sandwich artist at Subway, and your goal is to be a National Sales Manager for an IT firm, don’t apply for that role yet…. work your way up to it. Plot a course and stick to it. Whilst you may think “it’s worth a shot”, trust me it isn’t. Would you want to work for a company that would hire you as that without any experience?”

I’m not saying give up on the dream. Just set a realistic and achievable course.


Posted on February 28, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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