Post from Transformation Tom™- Know That Tenure is a Curse and a Blessing: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - June 21, 2016 - News - No Comments

Know That Tenure is a Curse






Yes, employers want it both ways. They may advertise a position asking
for only three-to-five years of experience, but have a description
that looks impossible to do unless you have ten-to-fifteen years of this
experience. Some of the reasoning is to keep the compensation expense
reasonable. This makes good business sense, since there are more applicants
than jobs and competition is intense. With over twenty years of
experience in the financial industry, I started most of my conversations
with that fact, thinking that the tenure would elevate my status. I quickly
found out how careful I needed to be in communicating that information,
because I was aging myself—and potentially increasing my price
compared to the competition. I no longer wanted to lead with that fact.

Instead, I used a more targeted approach. As previously mentioned,
I averaged eighteen months a position for twenty-three years, so I used
language that made sense to the particular conversation. I batched some
jobs together to elongate the experience level. For example, “I was in
operations management for a total of five years.” Instead of singling out
each role separately where I had project management, risk management,
and compensation management experience, this method does the math
for the recruiter or hiring manager, instead of them having to add up all
of my experience in different positions. By no means did I misrepresent
myself, I just spoke the language and didn’t invest so much energy into
detailing how long I had certain responsibilities in each designated role.
I became better at explaining the overall impact I had when I was in the
role, which seemed to move me further into the conversation. The quality
of the meaningful work that I executed and delivered became the higher
priority—not the length of time spent doing that work.


Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

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  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
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