The Hilarity of the Bloated Job Description

If you’ve ever searched for a job online, you’ve seen it: the thousand word job description. You know the one with the sixty bullet points detailing all the expertise the employer is looking for. Applying for a job like that scares the hell out of me for fear that they actually mean it.

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It’s as if the job requirement was written by someone who was going to be water boarded if they overlooked anything. Whether such a person actually exists who meets all the requirements is another story. And of course they invariably leave out the most important requirement: that your eyes not roll back into your head when you read the job description.

I once came across a job listing for a program manager requiring a minimum of 18 years of experience. Really? Who comes up with these numbers? If I needed brain surgery and my doctor told me she had only been performing brain surgery successfully for five years, I’d let her operate. But I need 18 years of practice to construct a Gantt chart?

I think the job boards should start charging employers by the word, with an accelerated fee schedule over a certain limit. A thousand word job posting should require the approval of the board of directors. They need a good laugh too.

Dear employer. We get it. The job has a hundred different little tasks we might be called on to perform. Guess what? Every job does. But that’s not why you’re hiring us.

There reality is that there are two or three really important skills or experiences you’re looking for. If we don’t have them, there’s no way your hiring us. And if we are the best around at those, you’ll pretty much overlook everything else. That’s what goes in the job description.

You’re welcome for the free advice. Now, you looking for any writers?



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Why Life is Better if You Enjoy Puzzles

I’ve never really been a puzzle person. Crossword—can’t finish it. Jigsaw—boring. Rubik’s cube—makes me feel like an idiot. Scrabble—three letters max.

sunday-s-crossword-1238083-639x426I never really understood the purpose of puzzles. Whether you finish them or not, they seem like a waste of time. Maybe you enjoy doing them, but you’re not really accomplishing anything. It’s frustration disguised as entertainment.

I’m always curious when I come across a half-finished crossword puzzle in the back of that magazine they have on airplanes. I wonder if the person was frustrated because they didn’t complete it. Can you enjoy a puzzle if you don’t finish? Can you enjoy a puzzle just for the challenge? Doesn’t life already have enough challenges? Why seek out additional ones?

It occurred to me that one way of looking at life’s challenges is as a bunch of puzzles that need to be solved. Can’t make rent this month? That’s a puzzle that needs solving. Can’t pay your dividend this quarter? That too is a puzzle that needs a solution. Unemployed over 50? Puzzle. Diagnosed with cancer? Puzzle. Don’t know what to make for dinner tonight? Puzzle.

No one escapes. Life is nothing but one long series of puzzles. Day after day. I don’t care if you’re rich or poor, young or old, gainfully employed or borderline homeless. When you wake up in the morning, you’re facing a never-ending string of puzzles. And not every puzzle can or will get solved. But they’re still puzzles. The way I see it, you may as well learn to enjoy doing them.

So, I’ve decided, if every challenge in life is nothing more than a puzzle to be solved, then damn it, I’m going to be MacGyver.

I know I won’t solve every puzzle and that’s okay. I don’t think it’s about he who solves the most puzzles wins. I think it’s about embracing this journey called life and finding a way to enjoy each puzzle that comes along. The same way those crazy people who play Sudoku do.


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