As an independent, freelance consultant I am always on the lookout for new and interesting assignments and I use a variety of means to discover potential opportunities. This includes setting up searches on certain, relevant job sites so that I receive alerts when appropriate roles, aligned to my set criteria, are posted.

Of course the searches are based on matching key words input to the search string to the same or similar words in the role descriptions posted by the recruiter. I guess there are also some algorithms running in the background to make the searches more effective. Sounds perfect, almost ‘Simple and Effective’.

The results are often interesting and curious. I keep my searches fairly broad by using a small number of key words. This is because I work in a fairly niche topic so there are not hundreds of roles being posted every week meaning that my search results remain manageable.

I am, however always fascinated by the results generated from such searches. If I include the word Business (as in Business Continuity) I am presented with all manner of Business Analyst or Business Development roles – I get that, I understand it – but some results appear really obscure. Additionally I have noted certain categories of role appearing on a regular basis.

As you will have guessed from the title of this article a particular role which crops up on a regular basis is that of car mechanic. Maybe I should be thinking about a change of direction, a change of role? Perhaps the skills of a Business Continuity consultant really are similar to those of a mechanic.

On a first view of the job descriptions I can’t see any obvious alignment unless the subtlety is in the skillsets rather than the subject matter but surely that’s a bit too deep for the simple matter of a job search. I wonder how many car mechanics are contemplating whether to branch off into Business Continuity?

But is there a lesson from all of this which we should consider? I think so.

A friend of my runs several network groups – one of which was directed specifically to women running their own businesses. Recently my friend realised that actually this had the effect of reducing the potential market for the group but also limited the value of the networking by restricting the membership to a specific set of people. The group was missing out on fresh perspectives and ideas.

Often one doesn’t have to be an expert to come up with something valuable in developing a concept, often the ‘dumb’ question is the one that’s been ignored or overlooked and sometimes there are principles and approaches that can be applied across different disciplines.

Sorry, guys this is all sounding a bit evangelical and I am not suggesting we should seek out our local garage to help us with our Business Continuity work but we should be prepared to encourage and listen to ideas and challenges from different sources when developing strategies and solutions.

In the meantime I am off to my local garage to see if they need any help.

September 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm
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Category: Planning
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