Law Enforcement Jobs:
Becoming a Post-Job Professional, Part III
Founder, Action Resumes—Pentagon
And how do you become someone like this?
1. Define the set of professional problems you want to be paid to solve.
2. Identify organizations that have these kinds of problems, ones where you
might actually like to work.
3. Call them and ask:
“I’m curious how people in your organization solve
_____ problems . I’ve done a lot of this and I’d like to compare notes with
whoever is in charge of solving these problems for you. Who would that be?”
You will now be far beyond HR.
It won’t even know you exist.
That’s exactly where you want to be. Whoever is in charge of that set of
problems is the person you want to talk with. HR doesn’t know who that person is
and they don’t care. Their job is to put seats in chairs. Your job is to solve
problems, and people with problems to solve for an organization are usually
important enough to have the authority to get help in solving those problems.
5. If you bring that person an informed conversation about those problems, that
to see your resume and will appreciate your
initiative and skill in getting past HR—as well as your knowledge of these
problems. That person has plenty of these problems. And you’ve just shown up,
looking like help.
6. Problem solved. Especially,
problem—i.e., getting hired on
your terms. Now you can work on their problems, also on your terms.
7. And notice: No HR people were involved.
8. Notice also:
there won’t be any other applicants
for this work.
It won’t be a job that’s advertised. It will be a quick hire, addressing an
immediate need. So you’ll have this opportunity to yourself.
9. And notice: You didn’t wait for this assignment to appear on a job board. You
the opportunity, right out of the problem.
10. Presto! You’ve begun learning how to turn an insight into employment—and
this kind of problem-based employment into a career path for yourself.
What I’ve outlined is not rocket science. It’s human science: applying common
sense to common problems, problems many organizations tend to avoid. If you like
to solve these problems—which
defined as the ones you want
to be dealing with professionally— you are likely to find you will soon have
many opportunities to work on them.
If you call employers who have these problems, some manager there will have the
job of solving them and will be glad to discuss these problems with someone “who
Try it. You’ll see.
Entire consulting firms have been launched this way.
Very successful ones, too.
More to the point, you can write the next chapter of your career by doing this.
You can do it by taking Einstein’s advice to heart: by shifting perspective.
In this case, shifting your perspective from chasing jobs to spotting and
adopting orphaned problems wandering the corridors of corporate America.
These problems need parenting.
And you won’t have to do this alone. You’ll have allies: the employers who hire
This arrangement will work for them.
It will also work for you.
The employers who hire you will be guided toward solution paths for their
problems. And you’ll be guiding yourself toward an independent career as one of
the Talent Economy’s emerging Post-Job Professionals.
The new economy isn’t going to be fueled by jobs. It’s going to be fueled by
by people who have learned how to create their own
It can be done.
And these days, more and more people are doing it.
We’ve moved from a job-based economy to an unsteady, Uber-ish “sharing economy.”
From there, we may begin evolving to a truly talent-based world in which people
will be seen as more effective problem-solvers than large organizations, which
have gotten so clogged they can’t even see their own problems.
In such a world, people who can sell their skill in spotting and solving
problems can create their own jobs. There doesn’t seem to be enough of this kind
of talent to go around. Either that, or our schools and workplaces don’t know
how to cultivate it.
The Talent Economy will reward those who can talk to corporate leaders as
equals, because they’re bringing what many corporate whales lack, or don’t know
how to summon: the ability to perceive situations clearly, the willingness to
tell the truth about what they see, a sense of boldness in engaging and
leveraging change—a skill they use in managing their own Post-Job careers—and
skill in mapping solution paths and guiding others to take steps onto and down
These skills aren’t defined in anybody’s job description.
And that’s the whole point.
If you want to liberate your career from someone else’s pre-defined job
description for you, learn to invent
Think about problems you’re good at solving, then talk to managers who have
these problems piled up on their desks. Talk to them—but not about yourself and
your resume. Instead, talk with them about their problems.
They’ll soon be asking you for your resume. They’ll want your skills on their
staff. Their problems are like money in the bank—a down payment on your career
as a Post-Job Professional.
Remember: other people’s problems contain opportunities, but
the one holding the talent.
Now’s the time to bring it to the table.
has assisted over 5,300 people in advancing their careers. If
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