From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

September 2011
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Job search obligations. Serial mastery, social capital in interactional roles
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:59 pm

There are so many excellent comments to make about an
unbelievable telephone conversation I was a part of the
other night.

PR called and asked if I had time to talk.  Things were well
with her new position that she recently accepted.
She was calling on behalf of a friend who was with her.

Her friend then picked up the conversation where he was
recently downsized by BIG FIRM B with excellent performance
and great relationships.  He had previously worked for
BIG FIRM A, a competitor, and while seeking a position
with A when he moved was not able to transfer, thus taking
a comparable position with B.

BIG FIRM A, however, invited him in for an interview.  During
the interview, they indicated that they were quite impressed
and asked if he was currently available to start.  He replied that
he was, but wanted to follow though on previous commitments
to interview with BIG FIRM C  Company A, pointedly,
asked him not to interview with C and suggested they wanted
to proceed in the hiring process.

He still wants to interview with Company C, to establish a
his value in the market place and learn about C.  How can
he do this?  he asked.

RESPONSE:  This is a challenging situation that one mis-step
or mis-statement might lose a strong employment opportunity.
First, we established what salary and benefits were acceptable.
One benefit that is desired is to immediately “bridge” his
previous service from his previous employment.  Pay, benefits
and business tools were expected to be comparable to what
he had when previously employed at A.

Second, plan to interview with company C.  Contact them and
confirm all details.

Third, Contact Company A and express strong interest in working
for A.  Ask them if they offer a position to have all details in
writing including his desire to have service bridged.  Indicate
that with the offer in hand then you could discuss this with
your significant other.  It is less than a firm contract without
the offer paper.  [Inquire if there was anyone else party to the

If a request comes to not interview with Company C, indicate that
you will consider their request but have them realize that it
might be considered bad business practice to land an interview,
then cancel it to take a position with Company A, if they are
a potential customer.

He was pleased with the input.


A valuable article appears in a recent issue of the Economist
on the Future of Jobs.
It presents an observation (McKinsey Global Institute) that
there are three types of work and that chemical, biological
and engineering disciplines and research are “interactional” . 
They rely on knowledge and expertise and collaboration
with others.  This type will not go away, be automated or
be offshored, in the future.

The other two types are already and will continue to be in
decline in the US– “transformational” and “transactional“.

Nonetheless, new strategies need to be developed and
new tactics enacted.  This is what I observed with PR’s

There is a stronger need for each of us to continually
adapt and upgrade our skills and strengthen our abilities
and knowledge.  Lynda Gratton has identified a “serial
mastery” process which the ACS has made serious strides
in meeting for members with it professional development
and technical education program.  (see the Economist and
book by Gratton)

In addition, significant social capital and committed networking
will become key in our future.  Elements of these are:
1.  an expertise “posse” to deal with problems, situation and
2.  mechanisms for continual refreshing of new ideas and
technologies [stay up to date]
3.  close caring community [emotional stability]

Clearly, PR reflected this by being able to call to intervene on
behalf of her friend with his job search problem.

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