Fixation, Specialization, & the Gig Economy

STATUS REPORT

The future has already passed.

The increasingly temporary nature of job assignments in part-time and full-time roles is destined to increase. Statistics have not been revealing how common this form of employment truly is. Many leave this reality off their resumes and try to present what recruiters are looking for than state the truth. But it is already statistically known that Millennials have already experienced an average of 20 jobs. 20 before midlife. Is this not a gig economy for the majority? Surely some trailblazers among Gen X and emerging Gen Z also relate. And this data does not represent the reality of most job GAPS, with most of Gen X and younger unable to afford to buy homes in the USA. Most still live with their aging parents as adults, and no provisions are in place for the majority to know how to financially get by once their parents eventually pass away. Even the uncapped unregulated passive income of rent is atrociously unaffordable for most Americans. What is happening here?

The business climate change induced by employer norms over the past 30 years is far more compelling and alarming than how technology decisions have been impacting the natural environment of the planet. As if the latter was not startling enough.

Specialization, specialization, specialization. There has emerged a new dynamic in the human experience that no one seems to be talking about in depth – until now. This subject of job hopping, instability and burn-out is nevertheless a pervasive concern too many face and have not found answers despite the pressing need.

So often one is pressured to present a strong, compelling and focused image to their prospective employer, that the individual is not operating from their composed center. They’re looking to recruit passionate archetypes, superheros, more than real human beings (who are innately more well-rounded and moderate). The employers increasingly demand what are often nearly neurotic forms of task fixation and specialization which frankly, most cannot sustain for too long. It is not their true natures but only a facet of their individual expression and type of experience they can contribute.

Perhaps Hollywood has it right. There are so many unrealistic “roles” one can take on until the show ends and you need something new. How can employers offer more authenticate job descriptions to curb the excesses of overspecialized, hyperfixated high performance which inevitably leads to short term projects and potential toxic burn-out without right livelihood social, emotional, and financial rewards?

It is like eating your favorite food – perhaps, it is blueberry cheesecake. You are offered the cheesecake, which you really truly savor – yet are required to eat more and more and more until frankly you’re sick. It’s become toxic, too much of a good thing. Same with any talent, no matter how much of a genius virtuoso you may be.

THE GREAT CONTENTION

The most diligent, talented, productive, high performance workers tend to experience the greatest job hopping, and shortest durations at jobs. Those who are allowed to work at a minimal, slow, or moderate pace actually last much longer. We see them in the workplace everyday. They know the manager through longtime associations, or their father worked for the corporation years ago and already gave their lifeblood to the current CEO, so they’re set. They’re socially in. They’re part of the new professional aristocracy that gets to sit back and soak up the benefits of having a longlasting job, – the few among the many – based on the balance they’ve achieved between education and networking success of attaining belonging. Yet again, those who last actually produce the least in terms of intelligence and technological and labor value, and more it seems in shared corporate emotional “belonging” instead.

It’s the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise has been winning, and the hares have been struggling in what seems to be an inverted, unjust rewards system for years. The harder and more productive the hares work, the less “belonging” they may discover when surrounded by too many slow paced, moderate tortoises. Most hares get booted soon after new project milestones have been attained. An establishment versus temporary hired help mindset kicks in.

[In the enneagram, it’s like a virtual war between the 3’s i.e. the ideal yet short-lived selfless achievers, and the 6/9’s as the passive self-security-oriented flow goers.]

This dynamic division between two axis – two basic types of workers at cross-purposes – need not persist. Individuals and employers can learn to heal this great divide of extremes by rethinking how to rebalance the entire scene back to one of general moderation and the spirit of inclusion, as well as task load rebalancing when it comes to project ownership and contributions.

The basic model of what’s been happening is fourfold: imagine an X. At one pole, one practices steadfastness, acceptance/rejection, and temperance. At the counter end, one experiences a sense of right livelihood (being supported eg emotionally, financially, and socially belonging to the group with a sense of general passive resonance, “just going along with everybody, upper and lower”). This axis represents the tortoises who experience job longevity, perks, etc – yet those who stay the longest are actually not the greatest energy asset “producers” and achievers. The greatest producers and achievers – that is, the hares – are hired in and out constantly, asked to perform new and novel feats often more complex and specialized in scope to enable the organization to summon new reservoirs of fresh high charged energy to reach final objectives to meet new organizational performance levels. Once these projects are fulfilled, they pass on.

How do we reconcile the two axes to overcome this scenario of the have’s (tortoises) and have not’s (hares), with better integration for the good of all concerned?

What is the formula that has created this trend, and how do we work within it to create healthy, longlasting job security, profitability, and prevent burn-out for everyone? How can employers being longterm investing in the livelihood of their talent pools staff again? Can they learn to commit via more intelligently designed roles and workplace cultures which enhance the quality of life fairly and peaceably for everyone? What behaviors ought employees practice to abide within these conditions?

THE ACTIVE & RECEPTIVE POLARIZATION

Let us step back a moment and consider an elementary principle.

In Chinese cosmology, the essential natures of a physical man and woman are yang and yin, respectively. The yang is dynamic, assertive and projective – while yin is receptive, fluid, and adaptable.

Women did not heavily enter the workforce in the full multitude of all professions somewhat normatively until the 1980s. Since then, women are known to change jobs more often than men OR likewise have greater longevity at jobs than men, statistically. (Figure that one out. The reported stats vary!) It has been known for decades that when most employers see a woman of childbearing age, they are reluctant to hire her because they assume she might have a child that costs the business money via health insurance and time off, or might leave the job. In other words, they just see her and fear “change/lack of longevity/higher cost”. Yet the dynamics of the workforce over the last 25 years or more show these fears to be unfounded in most cases, as it is the employers and not the women who are reluctant to commit and give value. Women still earn significantly less than men in the same roles despite similar or greater training and performance. So the fear is clearly unbiased and projected here in terms of how much value she can add to the work environment. And oddly enough, the blind spot is that if the average employer sees a man with a family, they feel they owe it to society to give him the position to help him out. Single women, and those who are the responsible ones in their marriages to bring home the fully supportive income, get passed over and are still viewed as needing to be dependent on the man to provide. Yet since Gen X, most men have been reluctant to provide fully for a wife and if they do marry a woman, expect her to earn more. So single women anticipating marriage with low incomes struggle the most amid these unworkable social norms, as if she innately had nothing to offer. Go figure.

In fact, in some cultures it is joked that a woman is so profoundly capable of multitasking more than the typical male that she can perform what might require 5 men to do by comparison in modern tasks. Yet American norms often ignore this, or exploit it. In ancient times, it was the men outperforming women when thousands of years ago, most labor was hunting and agricultural – heavily labor intensive depending on average innate bodily strength norms. Certainly, times have changed.

One not need to physically be a man or woman, though, to discern how the basic natures of yin and yang can describe ones primary mode of operation in the workplace. One can in fact be the other despite their physical gender. Let me explain.

APPLICATION

The yin passive role are the tortoises in recent decades. They do not hyperspecialize or tend to introduce force or much change in the workplace. They are passive and receptive, accomodating, and emotionally reactive people on the job – for better or worse. They experience greater job longevity.

The yang active role are the hares who mostly struggle to find job security per market norms in more professions than ever. The roles they pursue, for whatever reasons, have been more focusedly intense and specialized, taking on the new challenges that others in the office are reluctant to undertake. It has been an illusion for many that if they just take on one more big project and prove themselves, creating big wins for the company, that their employer will be overjoyed with a sense of loyalty and finally accept them into the herd longterm. Yet it doesn’t happen, no matter how successful and amiable one was.

In fact, the harder and more distinct ones contributions, the less likely the group accepts them as part of the establishment. One is treated as an outsider, given minimal provisions (salaries) for right livelihood (adequate pay) nor concessions for moderation and temperance in the execution of new projects. The hare eventually starts to burn out, too, and once the employer instinctually senses this dissatisfaction of the hare’s essential personal needs not being met in recompense yet, still awaiting their due and sense of authentic group inclusion – or perhaps the group is complaining simply because they feel a job security threat from the hare and fail to support them – at any rate, instead of rewarding what is due to the hare, instead the tortoise/manager cuts the cords and the employer runs with the ultimate profits, redistributing them back to the predominantly passive herd who remains “in” mainly monitoring the status quo.

For many organizations, this passive herd is limited to those in upper organizational management and the shareholders. Everyone else is rendered exploitable talent, with no economically sustainable commitment to the true needs of today’s employee livelihoods, who often accept lower pay than they require out of desperation for income. Whatever one is willing to work for in effort to try to “prove” themselves as the vicious cycle sets in again, they recruit below market rates; the common billionaire industry including extremely well-paid recruiters from contract houses further skim temporary talent salaries even 50% or greater what the employee brings home; minimal benefits are rendered to the real producer (hare) who is investing the most in the entire venture, heavily dependent on an enduring yet comparatively lethargic system in order to shine, and then the project is up. Time to look for another job again, in a market whose online algorithmic application criteria for winning an interview is 180 degrees from the historical trends the employers create.

PROBLEM ROOT CAUSES

The two biggest problems are the basic conditions which employers have set up: 1) not allowing task moderation with new talent (hares) anymore, expecting everything done “yesterday” at what would be nearly neurotic levels of obsessive performance to meet their ideals, and 2) not permitting and enforcing enough real social integration and fostering inclusion in the visions, goals, and ideals of the organizational subculture, nor ensuring that staff is accepting and supporting the new hires as required in lieu of sufficient understanding of human natures in such scenarios. They often draw strong social boundaries between the tortoises and the hares, allowing minimal shared emotional enmeshment opportunities between the two. The class divide in how one is treated is enormous. The division is exacerbated by enduring employees, who tend to be reluctant to accept anyone new within their fold out of a sense of competition and fear of being outperformed, or outright disinterest and uninvolvement, leading to resistance in detailed training, cooperating, supporting, and various forms of discrimination on top of that (gender, race, perceived cultural religion compared to their ultra limited or distorted understanding) – any excuse.

Problem 1 – not allowing task moderation (or true talent implementation!) for new hires – leads to employee burn-out. When an employee (hare) becomes exhausted from overdoing (or underdoing!) what was required, when that liminal threshold of toxicity is reached, others in the the workplace – especially management – feel it. They perceive – “this employee suddenly seems uncharacteristically unhappy. They no longer ‘seem’ dedicated, because they had to (temporarily) detach and let go from the wheel. (Perhaps they even seem ill.) If they are not happy here with us, then they should leave.” And so the employer lets them go instead of giving them the needed break, increased emotional group inclusion and support, the change of pace, and the nourishment of financial and social recognition rewards among others in the establishment that any human would need to restart the next productive cycle.

Problem 2 – inadequate emotional subcultural group acceptance – leads to isolation, exploitation, and emotional starvation, and possible task/performance invalidation. Committing to the employer and tasks, and knowing the quality policy, is culturally not enough. It is one-sided, an emotional investment of the hare. The hare cannot be made to feel like one of the group simply for wearing a uniform or following a standard time clock and lunch routine. What they need is inclusive cross-training and true emotional acceptance within the organization so that respect can be built up. It’s like expecting someone to come to dinner who knocks at your door all day, yet you do not go to the door to accept them in, no matter how well they’ve dressed for the occasion or what side dishes and desserts they’ve brought along for the feast. Pretty wearing, emotionally, when trying to fit in and find job permanence.

Cross-training.

Remember when this was more common back in the 1990s? Yet how many initially considered it to be a threat – for one to be able to do others’ tasks too, and fill in where needed. Yet, in those days, there was something about the reality of shared expertise, flexibility, moderation, and adaptability which enabled workers to co-exist. Camaraderie was real. Managers did not retrain and oust past personnel. Workers empathized with others including management vice versa because so often they had in fact “been there, done that,” and so had a shared, humane sense of a unique workplace subculture among them. It fostered more mutual respect, productivity in teams, opportunities for process improvement, and an overall positive and lasting atmosphere. The team-building in that decade was real, and financial returns including benefits were typically more humane. It was not some uniform cookie cutter factory labor of the 1950s (I can only imagine), but there at least existed threads of organized data/knowledge base commonality – and thus regard, respect, reward and longevity.

FACILITATING NEW EVOLUTIONARY SOLUTIONS

If you are an expert, who finds yourself more of a hare than a tortoise, bringing in unique talent and experience and perhaps increasing yet again more new specialized training, consider the following: a) practice more moderation on the job to counterbalance the power demands placed upon you, if you can, so you can take care of your own basic needs without giving too much and being disappointed at the inevitable rejection from your employer after giving too much and being exhausted (both emotionally and task-wise); b) try to see how you can be allowed in more of the administrative aspects of the organization rather than just talent performance – volunteer to absorb more of such routine tasks, and do them well; c) do not view the situation as an “us versus them,” but try to socialize and integrate more with those who have been there longer and moderate their contributions with patience and ease – emotionally blend in more than trying to impress or emphasize differences or what is unique about you (which may seem counterintuitive). But don’t overdo it either – watch others, anticipate feedback and work with it more. Curb your enthusiasm and drive, to maybe 1/8th and 1/8th of the time to fit the real norms of the group. If you reach resonance, see how increasing your performance might set a new pace that others may respond in kind with, to raise the overall tone if needed/possible in raising the standard in accessible rather than non-threatening ways.

Ask to be included in project management meetings because you want to learn about the values and visions and contextual details for assignments, and learn more about other’s roles too, even if you remain quiet during the meetings. Be somewhat more emotionally receptive too, if you’re used to being too sober and detached or initiating the “light” of internal values. Be yourself more, with professional discretion and composure than striving after those job superhero archetypes you think they will cherish. They really don’t.

Be centered. Show that you are more flexible and multifaceted than they first thought, yet relevant. Being emotionally reactive – even sharing when you disapprove or are disappointed – is actually one of your keys to survival in this context at this phase. Too many specialists falling into the roles which become shortlived and/or toxic are in fact “too positive” to their own relational detriment. Strike a balance. Emotionally receive others more versus being only straight up cold and sober aloof or feeling like a lightsaber, or they will feel alienated from you as if you are only a brain/skillset to tap rather than a fellow human. Finding this balance in your own expression on the job might help some of these who are used to operating from the axis of moderation/stubbornness and emotional content/discontent, to help you potentially build rapport with the tortoises so they begin to remember that you are human like they are too, with needs and sensitivities and not just only some virtuoso “star” for a quickie hire until the next project supernova strikes. Yet you cannot force them to meet you halfway, no matter how worth it you are. This pervasive dynamic requires a new evolution. The situation is not easy. Perhaps even awareness more from the other side can invite positive change for the better.

So many career and success strategy stories over the decades have emphasized qualities that too many have overdone and taken to heart, which has created a big imbalance between those who adopted these “positive star talent” paradigms and those who prefer to adapt (ironically finding more longevity and uniformity) and just go with the flow without trying to prove anything to anybody, by comparison. For all the gig performers who have been suffering, consider – how can you find emotional social resonance again with others in ways you also truly wholly value, that can accommodate all your ways of being instead of being forced to toxically hyperfocus in one direction? Try looking for jobs with more balanced job descriptions you can truly stomach for the long haul, and find out during the job interview exactly what all the expected job duties and requirements will be in advance so they do not surprise you later with a completely different set of expectations, as sometimes occurs. It’s not easy out there. Good luck.

As for the tortoises and the employers, perhaps this article helps casts light on the economic and social impact your decisions have been making by not committing to many of your best talents you keep on temporarily and fail to socially include in your corporate subcultures. A return to former methods such as cross-training while committing to a full staff would probably save you way more money at this point than the costs you’ve been doling out to recruiters and contract houses who have been known to skim even 80% of a worker’s salary – a worker who has previously tried proving themselves to you and win a place among your permanent staff, even and especially if these means a new or additional form of roles that can increase perseverance and holistic room to professionally breathe in.

To some extent, the more role balance you offer employees in how tasks are defined – among dealing with people, ideas, data and things – the more likely someone can thrive and last in that position, acting as a stable force within your enterprise.

Cutting corners on necessary training is not wise. Applications which have been around for years with various revisions were much easier to hack through as a new user to learn how everything is structured than newly navigating what many of these excessively patched, illogically organized monsters have now become. You have to invest in committed employee training when its required than expecting any newbie to master the systems always just hacking through on their own. It is not the most expedient path, if support from others is lacking. Supervision to ensure authentic training is being conducted may be required to counteract false or contradictory reports on how progress is being made – who is really mastering or not, who is really helping or not. Assuming the more longstanding employee is more honest is just plain unrealistic in today’s competitive job market, unfortunately.

Validating new employee input on what dictated old methods are no longer working would help bring you back down to Earth than falsely crying insubordination. Involving your employees in goal meetings with various levels of management also adds far more value for everyone than most these days realize. If you allow too many tortoises to passively run the ship, less will get done, more hares will burn out, and the bad moods, internal competition and discontent instead of genuine teamwork will be so pervasive they can only negatively affect the reputation and wellbeing of your financial bottom line, eventually.

To build customer loyalty, you need to commit more to ALL of your employees first before wondering why account management experiences so many reflexive gaps in echoing response to the patterns of high employee turnovers you set in motion. Also, it is much wiser to take the time to get to know your “hares” as fellow human beings as you would a neighbor with more common values than dissimilar, rather than jumping to rapid false conclusions (even negative unfounded fears) about their lives and lifestyles and characters as often occurs, or believing unfounded rumors from unsupporters. Accept diversity, share consensus. Taking time to genuinely bond with newbies will help blow away those scary cobwebs and shadows that your unfamiliarity would inevitably otherwise breed. Remember everybody is only human, so keep your expectations realistic and humane with the big picture in mind.

Also, it is likely that the more predictable routine tasks you give new employees which they also find emotionally fulfilling in pure ways from giving them a sense of security – in addition to whatever showcases their talents – the better chances exist for routine job longevity, by anchoring their talents with simple acts of increased accounting put to memory. The use of standardized forms and processes used by both tortoises and hares jointly in your organization would achieve a LOT in promoting group mind, mutually humane camaraderie and potential productive longevity by re-implementing more of these basic rituals again which so many businesses have done away with. Routine data structures immensely build organizational including staff stability, especially when they are relatively easy to use by all employees. Examples would be daily project reporting forms that are common, or things of that nature. You would be amazed at how much something seemingly insignificant as this would resolve many of these relational career problems. Rather than giving a complete exposition on the map of the human mind, consider trusting that it works, implement more of it, among these other suggestions, and see how many pieces of the puzzle fall back into place to make American professional life more functional and happy again for everyone.

Recruiting the Right Job Candidate Part 4: Attraction Etiquette

If you have been following this series on how to break through common employer recruitment problems of how to find the right person for the job, then you are obviously a serious-minded individual intent on breakthroughs, innovation, success and being on the leading edge of what society needs and where culture is going. Congratulations on being such a pioneer, and joining in on the solution!

There has never been a time when the process of job description writing, recruiting, advertising, applying and hiring has been so intricate and rigorous. Since economic and cultural globalization, the speed of travel and technological revolutions, employers need sophisticated methods to define, solicit and accept the talent they need from vast amounts of people. So how do you manage it all?

One of the methods employers have bought into is having personalized applications through their corporate sites. While it may seem counter-intuitive, this is a HUGE step in the wrong direction. Why is that??

It used to just require a paper resume to provide enough information – one sheet or two. Ones lifetime of job history might have consisted of 2 to 5 jobs maximum, ever. This is not the case anymore. And sticking with only most recent jobs does not give the whole picture of everything a prospective employee is capable of.

Now we have LinkedIn. Job Boards galore. Individual resumes in .doc and .pdf formats in addition to paper. References and referrals. Job shops, contract houses, and agencies. From the perspective of the typical employee, in order to get a job they have to jump through a lot of hoops. Many find themselves working much harder just to get a job than they ever have to at the actual job, just to stay on top of every required opportunity and keep afloat! And considering that nowadays most full-time jobs last 0.5-5 years maximum, do you realize how often people are going through these processes?!

I can think of one middle-aged woman I know. Bright, highly intelligent, multi-talented, accommodating, charming. She has counted how many hours she has personally invested in job searches since the year 2000, and that number is now over 30,000 hours. 30,000. That’s like 14.4 years of full-time work in less than 20 years, spent on job applications and searches and resume updates. And she has already held 10 jobs since then, including periods of unemployment.

Now I will let you in on a secret. It is a secret known to most active job seekers over the last 10 years and relatively unknown to most employers and the few people who have had the luck of secure, long-lasting positions. The secret is this: your corporate website application system asking for a recounting of the entire job history has become rude.

That’s right. It’s rude.

It’s rude because workers have already completed resumes. The data algorithms which parse uploaded resumes never transfer the data over correctly, and require extensive tedious, usually complete re-entry and editing. Most people already have their paper and electronic resume data copied over to job sites form resumes too. Many of these sites have Easy Apply systems so that they will submit job applicants’ already-entered job information directly to you. Corporate websites usually take 1-3 hours for an experienced applicant to quickly fill out. Experienced applicants nowadays often have to apply to dozens if not easily over 100 jobs before they ever get hired, since the mismatch between what employers claim they seek and who employers really are have reached such a great disconnect. And the older one gets, the more extensive ones job history gets. Do you know what it feels like to keep filling out such sites over and over again for over 20 past positions? And listing the most relevant ones isn’t always possible if the job being applied for is in fact the perfect hybridization of ones complete job history in new form.

Sowing and reaping. It is a timeless principle. If you stop demanding job candidates to inundate their lives with repetitious cluttered data, you will in turn receive less irrelevant cluttered data to sift through. This is a spiritual truth. Consider using a short form system that better targets key transferable skills questions about experience, and then accept the resumes in electronic .doc or .pdf form for your perusal if the candidate already meets initial screening criteria. There is no need for a data management system to keep on reporting all the details repeatedly of ones job history. This is bogging down the process and does not give more qualified candidates any particular advantage over others.

So reconsider your corporate online hiring process. Asking too many questions of prospective candidates repeatedly is not only rude and inconsiderate this day in age, but you are probably also losing your best possible professional candidates who value themselves more highly than spending most of their job searching days having to function like endless data entry clerks.

This concludes the current series on Recruiting the Right Job Candidate. Best of luck and success in your future endeavors, and the positive reshaping of the postmodern workforce.

Recruiting the Right Job Candidate Part 3: Who Can You Trust?

Welcome to Part 3 in this series. If you have been following since Part 1, you are part of the leading edge elite now: Employer Recruitment Professionals who are gaining clear competency and the leading edge of how to realistically work with today’s ever evolving job marketplace! And now for the refresher course: Who Can You Trust?

Perhaps the most fatal mistake employers are making in today’s world of work is ONLY hiring people based on other people that they know. While it makes sense to try and network as much as possible, there are some real, compelling limits to this approach. Chances are, most of the people in your social network do not meet the qualifications nor have the specialized talents and life calling of the kind of person you need to fill your position. This is the sad reality. Networking primarily works best in only the earliest years of ones career. Much of the time positions can be filled through contacts of who you know, and many of these can be serendipitous. However, if you truly want to achieve professional mastery within your organization, you will both utilize AND look beyond these conventional crutches at the horizon of global talent and consider the genuinely best people for your organizational needs. This is the mature approach that works best most of the time, especially in any position which is no longer truly entry level. Be brave. Be bold. Meet new people. And grow together.

This Part 3 was a breather – a fast tip to reward you for sticking with the series. And next, Part 4: how to make yourself attractive to attract enough as an employer to more directly attract and magnetize only the best applicants!

Recruiting the Right Job Candidate Part 2: Myth-Busting

In Part 1 you learned which human personality archetypes have proven to be useful in having basic, realistic possible expectations of others. Here in Part 2, you will learn what job recruiting myths need to be dismantled in order to eradicate outdated norms which no longer work and are out-of-tune with today’s marketplace.

MYTH #1 – One can do anything if you only set your mind to it – especially if you are devoted enough to the goal. ?!? – There are dreams and there is reality. This series is about re-attuning your expectations to reality so that you can truly find the right candidates to support your professional organization in a way that optimizes win-win-win scenarios for everyone. Part 1 taught you about tendencies in how others might innately tend to handle information according to their true nature. Pay attention to that. People can have the best intentions to perform well, but they are going to perform according to the limits of their human natures. There is no one-size-fits-all.

MYTH #2 – In order to perform the job, someone must have the precise or advanced formal education credentials. ?!? – There are actually plenty of fully capable people, some are even geniuses, who for whatever reason were unable to complete their formal college education in the line of work you might be hiring for. The fact is, most college graduates come from upper class families; and, formal education was often a way for the affluent to prolong their childhood and postpone getting real work responsibilities. In the last few decades, there have been plenty of college graduates who partied and cheated and networked their way through college, while the non-attenders were busy working, developing real skills and taking on heavy responsibilities while pursuing their professional and academic interests through independent studies such as extensive reading and self-education in their spare time in hopes of achieving more. So consider the applicants who might not meet your formal education criteria, rather than weeding them out as a knee-jerk way to reduce the competition. Look for root motivations and indicators of proven talent, even IQ tests. Higher degrees in abstract fields can also simply prove one has the ability to learn. Only hiring college graduates now only contributes to the social problem of the rich getting richer through better jobs, and the poor getting poorer, even if they are rich in talent and the former are not. If you just as easily consider what someone has already demonstrated in past jobs and hobbies, you may quickly discover amazing talent that your organization simply must have to commit to and cultivate to optimize performance – proven, natural assets for life.

MYTH #3 – Only consider the last ten years of employment. !?! – 50 years ago, it was common for someone to find one type of job and work at it for most of their lives. But in recent decades with an ever complexly changing job market and new technologies and fields ever emerging, and recessions galore with accurate unemployment statistics going largely unreported, this practice of only considering the last ten years has become one of many present forms of age discrimination that alienates the collective experience of the majority of the actual workforce. Some people had to change jobs because their best skills were showcased in industries which experienced massive cutbacks and layoffs decades ago, only to find that industry experience a new boon and recruiting to occur again. They try to re-enter the field and are still able to contribute per their life niche as ever, yet find the doors slammed in their face. Some people appeared to change roles because in order to stay relevant, they had to learn new skills in addition to the old ones they still are somehow using through their lateral talents in a general way. If you do not consider the whole history of a candidate, you are probably leaving out vital pieces of their professional story which help define who they are and what they already have proven they can offer.

MYTH #4 – Frequent job changes indicates incompetence. !?! – The job landscape and histories which exist in today’s market indicate only two things: 1) choices that the individual made in order to stay professionally relevant and contribute, and 2) more importantly, hiring, work culture, rewards, and firing decisions that employers have been making to create these job histories. And we all know the truth: most employees demonstrate far more dedication and loyalty to their employers in recent decades than employers ever show to employees. In fact, may companies are so quick to make a dollar and run lean that as soon as the workload diminishes, they quickly lay off as many people as they can and assume they will hire again when they need someone, assuming they will find a qualified candidate and sadly showing no loyalty to those who already contributed to the fiber of the organization. Many formerly professional disciplines have now turned into project-by-project industries, leading to spotty resumes. So while employers complain about scattered job histories and the hodgepodge messes of ever-changing skills their prospective employees have to offer, the truth is that most employers have created these scenarios themselves. Also, some people are innately multi-talented. These folks might experience great success and then boredom at work upon mastery, and need more to stay engaged. The employer notices their boredom and rather than offering them new tasks to stay relevant in the company, they will view them as overqualified, too unhappy, or earning too much now, and shortsightedly let immense talent go in favor of yet another new cheap young recruit to temporarily train in a small role. This reflects the sad reality that employers investing in their best employees has become a rare phenomenon. So just because you see a lot of jobs on a resume, this does not equal incompetence! Often, quite the contrary! Interpersonal relationships and problems from coworkers, or the need to find a position with better opportunity for pay and advancement if prospects proved to be nil, can also lead to this kind of hopping. Besides, there are a lot of people I’ve encountered who’ve also held many jobs but in order to look good, they lie on their resumes, applications and professional profiles stating they’ve been at the same company for 20 years when it has only been perhaps 3. Now who do you want to hire, the honest worker showing the reality, or the liar with the resume too good to be true? Who would you trust?

MYTH #5 – An employee must have already learned specific skills and software applications your company uses in order to be a good worker. !?! This is yet again another unrealistic expectation. If you have a smart applicant who has proven they can learn in one or more intensely involved fields, then chances are they can quickly learn other things such as your latest app or trade skills one can only learn by participating in your organization long enough. Job training within the organization needs to make a desperate comeback in today’s market. Years ago, it was only natural to take on entry-level employees like fresh new apprentices who had the innate aptitude to learn and apply themselves and develop and grow into their position through specialized industry experience. Now too many job offers state themselves to be “entry level” yet demand years worth of applied skills which one can only collect through on-the-job-training at their OWN organization, if only they would invest in training so they can then fill their positions right. The board game Monopoly came out in the 1930s. Now we live in a world of megacorporate and niche monopolies everywhere you look. With such little real competition existing, how does one expect a job candidate to obtain such specialized experience if you are already a kind of one and only, rare leader in your own industry? Exactly where would this experience have come from? In summary, not only is this problem with employers corrected by investing again in apprenticeships and employee training, it is also corrected by considering the overall pattern of the job seeker’s talents and abilities in an intuitive, transferable skill type of way, rather than being too concrete and detailed in your expectations and job ad language.

MYTH #6 – Generational cliches and stereotypes apply to all people. !?! – These reputations which the Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers and Millenials have gathered are stereotypes, but they do not describe every individual. There are always exceptions, and there will always be those who were ahead of their time, or more traditional and conservative in their approach. Some people look and act much older than their age, some much younger. And surprisingly, scientific research studies have recently proved that humans actually physically age at different rates! One person who is 60 might have the physical age of 40; a 30 year old might have the physical age of 50. A lot depends on genetics as well as how they take care of themselves. So please think twice, no, three times at least before rejecting candidates based on pat assumptions due to their age. You don’t know what kind talent you might be missing out on. Consider the individual.

MYTH #7 – Mid-career part time work or job gaps should exclude a person from full-time professional consideration. !?! – Let’s face it, unless you have been living in an ivory tower surrounded by rose bushes and only aware of what the media chooses to report, anyone who knows enough people and how it has been in society will tell you the last 25 years at least in this country have been economically rough and tough for workers and income needers. In fact, we have witnessed the virtual disappearance of the middle class in this country, with the American Dream having disappeared sometime back in the 1970s, for all practical purposes. So if a job applicant is honest enough to admit that they had to take on part time work just to keep the income flowing in somehow during career gaps, don’t penalize them. Give them 2 points for modesty and another 2 for honesty. And don’t let that possibly troubled part of their job history count against their chance of a full-time professional job now. After all, they could have even been taking care of aging family members or children or attending college during those years. So don’t be harsh.

MYTH #8 – Someone you are considering for a position is overqualified. !?! – There are many reasons why someone may advance far in their career, and then decide to take a seemingly “lower” or more managed position again. Perhaps they had drifted too far ahead of where there true talents and passion lies. Maybe they prefer and are most gifted at that more detailed work. Perhaps they excelled in a past position only to find it gone and no similar or more advanced opportunities exist anymore, and they may need to restart from another position you think is “lower” for some reason. Maybe they really need steady income again. Perhaps past positions were too hectic and stressful and they have decided the prestige and high pay was not worth the job responsibilities they had become accustomed to, and are seeking a more modest position. What if this person is seeking a career transfer into a position that is more genuinely aligned with their energies and life’s calling than positions they have held in the past? There are plenty of reasons why a candidate should not be refused as “overqualified” for a position so long as they are genuinely interested in what you are offering in the new role.

Let’s face it: with the lost middle class and millions of disenfranchised, mature professionals in recent decades, the old-fashioned game of playing simple detail-matching with resume experience is no longer a viable tactic for recruiting seasoned staff members in a heraclitian job market. Instead of relying on automated IT processes to sift your candidates while the majority are left with the Employer Black Hole phenomenon, you need to consider candidates as individuals on a human level again and discern their essence better to know how to discover and place potential assets well within your organization. You will be surprised to find fewer, fitter people naturally applying for your positions after you utilize better focused, deeper humane principles with the focused law of attraction which capitalizes on essence and new working relationships over past surface minutiae.

Stay tuned and keep reading this series on how to recruit the right job candidate!

Recruiting the Right Job Candidate Part 1: Human Archetypes

In today’s complex world of work, finding a suitable person for the job is not as easy as it may seem. In order to define a job description, or multiple job descriptions, that meet the needs of your organization, first one must step back and make sure they have at least a basic map and understanding of the common varieties in human nature.

The fact is, now more than ever, people are working in job positions that have unrealistic expectations for professional performance, compared to who they really are. Workers get exhausted, interoffice conflicts ensue, politics erupt, corporate goals aren’t reached, efforts get botched or cannot be sustained for years, quality gets compromised, and potential profits plummet.

Your task is to start your job candidate search with a clean slate that begins with realistic expectations. There are natural tendencies and definite limits to human nature, and the majority of people are not superheroes who can satisfy the needs of every imaginable professional demand, no matter how hard they try. After all, despite what popular superhero movies may teach us, we are all only human. And we are in this together. Our unique patterns of strengths and talents are meant to support each other in right relationships, so as to build better lives that serve the customer and respects the whole.

How does one begin to understand the natural tendencies and limits of human behavior? MBTI and Socionics are helpful models. One need not be an expert theorist, but a general overview of these ideas can give one a rough estimation of the general “types” of people we meet in everyday life. 2,000 years ago there existed only 4 such personality types. In today’s world, they have evolved into 16 basic temperaments. To his credit, the realization of these ideas first came about from one of the original founding fathers of psychology, Carl Jung, before other theorists followed.

So here begins your crash course. Additional reading is encouraged as your time permits to get a feel for how this works.

First, there are two basic types of people: introverts and extroverts. Introverts are quiet, insightful types who gain the most energy by spending their time in solitary tasks. Extroverts are proactive, reactive, and are energized by engaging with others and groups. Fact: Introverts will get personally drained in extrovert roles, and extroverts will get drained in introvert roles. Extroverts focus on the outer world and the introvert’s process are focused internally. Extroverts tend to be more talkative and some are even assertive. Introverts do not communicate as much in person unless they know someone very well and they are in their “inner circle” of trusted confidants and associates. Yet unlike extroverts, introverts tend to express themselves much more with indirect forms of communication, particularly writing.

So that completes unit 1. Are we there yet?

Next, generally there tend to be two types of people: sensors and intuitives. Sensors focus on the physical environment more and are concrete and immediately practical. This form of outside data attunement comes in one of two forms: bodily sensations & memory (Si) or objective sensory object relations (Se). An Si type could potentially be a great clerical or hands-on artisan; an Se type could potentially be a great fast food worker or bouncer. Si is detail-oriented in an efficient way. Se is assertive and protecting, even physically multi-tasking. Intuitives, by contrast, first manage data in an abstract way. Ni types are the rationalizers who can analytically split hairs and deduce situations with astuteness. Ne types are idealistic conceptualizers who collect images and impressions to imaginatively work within the frameworks of theories. If you want someone to handle legal forms, consider an Ni type. But if you are concerned about marketing your firm with new campaign ideas, an Ne type is more naturally suited to the task.

That concludes unit 2. You need to read more about the 16 types to see how these play out in more specific roles. But we shall tread on, quickly, in this crash course. Hang on. We’re almost there.

The remaining two classifications of people: thinkers and feelers. Everyone does both, but one dominates the other in daily life decision-making. Furthermore, there are further subcategories of these. Te types focus on objective, known and established information and work within the boundaries and limits of this. Ti types focus on logical and inventive tactical intelligence. Te lets you trek between Si or Ni; Ti lets you trek between Se or Ne. Fe types focus on outward emotional and values expressions that tend to fit along social norms, whether pragmatic (Si) like hospitality or insightful (Ni) like human resources. Fi types focus more on one-to-one relations, deeply held inner personal values and are often leaders in creativity (Ne) or self-promotion/assertiveness (Fi+Se).

Lastly, realize that these functions exist in relationship with one another: An ENTP with Ne and Ti conflicts with an ISFJ with Se Fi, etc. So if you are combining archetypes which are opposed to each other into the same role for one person, chances are high that you are creating a stress condition – unless you happen to know the entire map of a person’s psyche and how every piece interrelates to the next. But that’s complicated.

A simple introductory archetypal summary of the 16 types is as follows:

Ti & Ne LOGIC & CONCEPTS

ENTP – the Innovator/Futurist EG: URBAN PLANNER, TECHNICAL PROJECT MANAGER, DIRECTOR, SCIENTIST, INNOVATOR

INTJ – the Creative Director/Technical Surrealist EG: LAWMAKER, SET DESIGNER, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCHER & THEORIST, CONCEPTUAL ARTIST, ARCHITECT

Fe & Si EMOTIONS & ROUTINE

ESFJ – the Host/Conservator EG: RESTAURANT HOSTESS, CUSTOMER SERVICE, CLERGY, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, WAITRESS

ISFP – the Aesthete/Socialite EG: HAIR STYLIST, FLORAL DESIGNER, GROOMER, MASSAGE THERAPIST, PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER

Ti & Se LOGIC & ACTIVITY

ESTP – the Protector/Repairman EG: TRADESMAN, POLICE OFFICER, ATHLETE, JANITOR, CONSTRUCTION

ISTJ – the Farmer/Navigator/Engineer/Physician EG: DRIVER, MECHANICAL ENGINEER, AGRICULTURALIST, FIREFIGHTER, MECHANIC

Fe & Ni EMOTIONS & DEDUCTION

ENFJ – the Watchman/Teacher/Governess EG: TEACHER, HR GENERALIST, CHILDCARE LEADER, DRAMATIST, MINISTER

INFP – the Dreamer/Social Worker EG: TUTOR, COUNSELOR, NANNY, CAREGIVER, THERAPIST

Fi & Se INDIVIDUALITY & ACTIVITY

ESFP – the Coach/Connoisseur EG: ATHLETIC COACH, CAR SALESMAN, BOUNCER, COLLECTIONS AGENT, DEMONSTRATOR

ISFJ – the Guardian/Liaison EG: SECURITY AGENT, ACCOUNT LIAISON, FOOD SERVER, FUNDRAISING SOLICITOR, AGGRESSIVE SALES REP

Te & Ni DATA & DEDUCTION

ENTJ – the Behavioral Experimentalist/Entrepreneur EG: CFO, DATA ANALYST, FINANCIAL ADVISOR, CRITIC, LABORATORY WORK

INTP – the Auditor/Legal Analyst EG: ATTORNEY, IT TECHNICAL SUPPORT, LINGUIST, QA CHECKER, TRANSLATOR

Fi & Ne INDIVIDUALITY & CONCEPTS

ENFP – the Pied Piper/Leader/Actor EG: REPORTER, ADVERTISING PROMOTER, MOTIVATOR, PSYCHOLOGIST, PUBLIC SPEAKER

INFJ – the Shaman/Healer/Artiste/Bohemian/Dandy EG: PERFORMING ARTIST, MARKETING EXPERT, COPYWRITER, ARTS CURATOR, PSYCHOANALYST

Te & Si DATA & ROUTINE

ESTJ – the Founder/Foreman/Supervisor EG: BUSINESS MANAGER, FOREMAN, BUREAUCRAT, PROGRAMMER, FRANCHISE OWNER

ISTP – the Scout/Ascetic/Pragmatic Clerical Servant EG: INSURANCE AGENT, ACCOUNTING CLERK, TAX PREPARER, ASSEMBLER, STOCK CLERK

Now, it is not realistic to think that a person fits one and only one role, for there are many kinds of people out there. In fact, natal astrology reveals a whole host of intricate archetypal patterns in individual birth charts which make us all unique, even one twin born right after another being distinct. The goal here is not to test candidates and limit them. That is the backward approach, as a job description writer. Your task is to simply write job descriptions which do not overly compromise the true natures of these various common roles, unless you are delivering mega-six-figure compensation for the right candidate. People will gravitate toward the focused roles you offer that feel right to them. First knowing these general patterns above can lead to leaps and bounds in formulating what “kind” of employment role one is expecting to find a candidate for. Such classifications help the employee selection process now become more informed, realistic, and scientific because now you are starting to create jobs and recruit for them according to normative patterns in contemporary human nature.

Good luck with your studies, read more on MBTI/socionics, and keep reading this series for the next domain to conquer for success!