Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Get (rid of) Mano

I have been advised that in order to get a mainstream job in Australia I must strip my CV of any indications that I might be creative, imaginative, spontaneous, iconoclastic or have the capacity to truly think outside the box. For many (perhaps most) Australian employers all these things spell “great danger” because what is required is a plodder who will do things in the same way as they have always been done.

In addition skills must be very concrete – if you’ve authored a collection of poetry, that’s a demerit and a liability and indicates you’re probably a bit flaky, but if you’ve written a policy paper on implementing no leash zones for minature poodles under 7 kilos born after 2008 in the greater Randwick municipality then you’re potentially a very useful person!

Generalists and dabblers and dreamers are a danger, evidenced based experts who keep their vision narrow (but not necessarily deep) are an assett.

Perhaps this is all another dimension of what, in common parlance here, is referred to as the "tall-poppies syndrome" If you excel (in an area other than sport) you need to be cut down to regulation size. Of course, this tends to not be the case once you have truly made it - then, as anywhere, you are celebrated, and your succes becomes the collective heritage of all Australians.

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