Well, I WAS Going to Write About…

…the specific point in career shift exercises that consistently tripped me up when working with my advisor and still does to this day.

That being: the point at which I am tasked with brainstorming what industries I am interested in, and, from there, identifying companies of interest within those industries.

Now, I will circle back to that a little later. But developments of just a few minutes ago necessitate that I switch up my focus.

I’ve been browsing LinkedIn – you know, that stamp of professional legitimacy without which the very soul of a job seeker is surely lost </s>. I happened to run across the profile of someone who used to work a few rows over from me but ended up switching companies in the same industry.

Which meant: I got to read how someone else – someone who has managed to achieve some measure of professional mobility and evolution – has been describing the job they and I essentially shared for a few years.

And I’ve gotta tell you: my brain is apparently just not wired for all of this.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that there was lying, or even gross exaggeration. Everything this person stated is, from some angle and in some light, technically true.

But also – I was THERE. I remember how it was, and there is nothing under the sun that will ever make me be able to describe it in the (admittedly impressive) terms chosen by this individual.

For example: I am acutely aware that, unlike in the olden days of property and casualty insurance, we modern underwriters did very little traditional account management involving pure independent analysis. We assessed risk by working down a checklist dictated by system programming. Were many of us decent enough analytical thinkers that we could have handled more complex risk assessment with fewer technological bells and whistles at our disposal? Sure. But such was not the task at hand.

I am beginning to think that my challenge is seeing everything – I dunno – what’s the opposite of “through rose-colored glasses”? “In brutal hi-def”?

But here’s the thing: I don’t think I’m wrong.

Which is why, lately, I have been looking up terms like “good jobs for pessimists”.

Anyway. Back to my original intent for this entry.

Choosing a list of desired industries, let alone individual companies, is where I always get stuck. Truthfully, there isn’t anything I have heard of that stands out to me as more appealing that anything else. It’s always just the job duties themselves I have strong feelings about. For instance:

OK With
-Working on a small team tasked with improving a process
-Assessing training needs and proposing/implementing enhancements
-Stewarding existing reference materials
-Explaining things to people in short-form writing
or, you know, just
-Making things that didn’t exist before, and having people desire and pay for them

Do Not Want
-To take phone calls
-To make small talk
-To commute to an office
-To take phone calls

I think you get the picture.

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