I spent some time counseling a friend who has what he considers a “spotty” resume and a career history that looks more like a liability than a positive asset.
I took one look at it and I saw something entirely different: I saw a wealth of experience that highlighted a versatile person who could move in and out of important roles and who could be trusted to perform with excellence.
I suppose it was a matter of perspective, but, as we conversed I fished for a couple of examples and stories that could better fill in the blanks, that could assess his decision making around his career choices, and help one understand the amount of influence and trust that he was handed.
It was pretty clear that people believed in him and gave him opportunities to be a big part of the solution set and that his relational skills allowed him to navigate through any of the more difficult tactical or technical challenges that he encountered along the way.
These types of people are extremely valuable to a growing organization, especially in the early stages where there are about 1,000 things to be done and where there are simply not enough hands to do them.
Finding these few types of people that I can trust to do big things with very little guidance are diamonds in the proverbial rough – I covet them and I wish there were more of them and ironically they do not even see their own value easily and oftentimes downplay them for whatever reason.
Which kind of makes me want them more, to be honest. Their sincerity, humility, and ability to “roll up their sleeves” is what makes them so rare and high-value.
And it’s never about the resume with these types of folks (or it shouldn’t be). Although they may feel the pressure to somehow cobble together their experiences into something that could be easily read on a sheet of paper the reality is that they are much more wide and deep than any paper could do them justice.
A good dose of courage is what is necessary for many of these folks (including myself) where you realize that you are more much more than the sum of the parts, the sum of the experiences, and that the intangibles are the real things that really move things forward for an organization.
I hope my friend finds his next spot, not just for his sake but for an organization (and the world) that so desperately needs a person with that much resolve, tenacity, and drive.