Decisions, decisions, decisions

I am enjoying the last few hours of a lovely weekend and preparing – in practical as well as psychological terms – for the week ahead.

This is going to be an eventful week.

On Monday, I am attending a talk by Peter LaPlaca, editor of ‘Industrial Marketing Management’. This is a reputable, peer-reviewed journal in marketing. Plus, I am told that LaPlaca’s talks are very interesting and useful. Hence, I have really high expectations of this talk. I am really looking forward to attending it.

On Tuesday I am heading off to Milton Keynes to meet with colleagues working on the ‘Taking Liberties’ project. This is a research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust, looking at the use of (commercial) transaction data for national security purposes. In recent years, we have witnessed an extension of the so-called ‘surveillance society’ into everyday practices of consumption. In our project, we looked specifically at the monitoring of the movement of people and money – that is, the travel and the financial services industries. We are now in the final stages of the project and, mostly, focused on the dissemination of the results. So, in this meeting, we shall review progress on – and plans for – various papers and presentations. Here is a link to a presentation we did at the Academy of Marketing conference 2011, in Liverpool.

Tuesday is also the deadline for a very important decision – but more on that later.

Wednesday is totally dedicated to teaching. I am looking forward to seeing what my eBusiness students have prepared for their presentations on the Digital Marketing strategies adopted by the companies that they selected for their projects. When I met them earlier in the semester, I told them that this is a great time to be starting a professional career. The world really is their oyster – if a 9 year old can start a ‘business’, they can achieve anything, too. All they need is the right skills and attitude.

I am hoping to spend Thursday and Friday largely writing. There is one paper, in particular, that I really want to tidy up – at least well enough to pass it on to one of the co-authors for further work.

Decision, decisions, decisions

So, what is this deadline I mentioned?

Tuesday is the deadline to apply for a job (at my current employer, and with the same line manager, I hasten to add). I have the entire documentation ready and I could have submitted it, already… but I’m not really sure it is such a good idea to apply.

Then, this same evening, my former colleague Chris Dalton (yes, the same one I mentioned last week) posted this simple yet powerful blog post, critiquing how we approach CVs. He argues that, rather than listing our achievements to date, we should list what we have yet to do. Chris writes:

‘(A) list, yes, but of all the things you can’t do, haven’t got, haven’t done or have yet to achieve. This makes it risky, of course, but also makes it future oriented and shows a potential employer the space into which you can grow.’

I love this idea because – well – I do like to approach familiar problems from strange angles, as described in this post. I don’t agree with Chris that job candidates should start submitting such CVs to potential employers… but I think that every professional should prepare such a resume for himself or herself. As I wrote in the comment that I left in Chris’s blog post:

‘Putting in black and white what is missing, is a great way to kick us into motion. It should give rise to many interesting questions like: what am I doing to close this gap (ownership), can I close the gap in this job / organisation (opportunities), what is preventing me from closing the gap (barriers vs. excuses)…’

In particular, this is very timely for myself because of the job post previously mentioned, as well as because of a challenge presented by a comment in one of my previous blog posts. Stefanos Karakasis (aka @SKarakasis) challenged me to change the biographical page on this website. He said:

‘(Y)ou have the WHO and WHAT you do but I could not find the WHY you do what you do.’

I have been reflecting on Stefanos’s comment for a while now.

Eventually, I decided that, my professional drive is to bridge the gap between theory and practice. I shall be updating the website soon, accordingly. I will also be preparing my anti-CV, for that job / role opportunity, with this goal in mind.

Over to you, now: what are your plans for this week?

Did Chris’s anti-CV idea strike a chord with you, too?

7 thoughts on “Decisions, decisions, decisions

  1. Very busy week indeed!! But very interesting to read about it – some thought provoking stuff, as usual.-Will need to see Dalty’s CV article and comment on that later. I was on holiday last week and today was hard work – the glamour of getting back to real life.However, I am excited to get back to work. Week 4 and lots to do – and hopefully seriously progress on my global marketing plan for the company! On a personal level, it’s one week before moving house – which antecipates some chaotic weeks ahead (renovations etc).. and still need to decide on what to write for the Mrs O blog – need to write for the next 2 weeks as been having guest bloggers helping me out!Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!Ana


  2. Wow, looks like some week you’ll have! Very exciting. And a thought provoking post again. How do you put so many things in such a small space?This anti-cv sounds interesting, but before I have read the post you mentioned, my thoughts would be similar to yours. You need to know for yourself first what you still want to achieve. Then see how you can focus on one thing, and how that connects to others. And about sharing that list… well, I’m not sure. It reminded me of an interesting TED talk (very short one) by Derek Sivers: big decision for you this week seems to be the job application. Sometimes doubts are excellent guides. Why do you hesitate? And why should you apply? Finding the answers to that will be the real challenge.As for my week, it looks a bit eventful. Of course there’s my poetry and the promise of publishing one each day, plus the crowd funding project. There’s work to do on that. On top, some business leads to follow up on and a very interesting project for the charity I’m involved with, that will demand some time. Also an interesting talk I will attend on Wednesday, where the new CEO of local airline will talk about the future. All exciting, but the most wonderful event will be Thursday, when our best friends will fly in for a couple of days. So that will be a very fun weekend!Have fun this week, and enjoy every bit of it. Also the less easy parts :).


  3. Ah… the catching up after the holidays, Mrs O. That’s why I like short getaways.And, to top it all, you connected 2 of life’s most stressful events: new job and moving houses! You really don’t make your life easy, do you?For what it is worth, here are a couple of suggestions for your blog:- Travels that mix work and leisure – e.g., when you go first, and Mr O joins you for the WE. Things to plan for, to avoid, etc…- Sun & snow / beach & ski holidays – suggest some good destinations that combine the two, how to pack, etc…Let me know if you want to chat about the marketing plan.


  4. This Ted talk really challenges common wisdom, Arjan – everywhere you look, ‘gurus’ recommend that you make public pledges to help you reach your goals (be it weight loss, quit smoking, …). I loved it. Thanks for sharing, Arjan!You have quite a busy week, too. Just keeping those poems coming is a feat in itself.PS – Glad to see that I am not the only one misspelling my own name. I often sign up my e-mails with AMA, instead of ANA. An easy mistake, I know; except that AMA is the imperative form of the verb ‘to love’ in Portuguese.


  5. Haha, but at least your misspelling leads to something with a positive meaning :).About that TED Talk: I tried it with my poem challenge. I started without telling anybody, not even my wife. Just writing/publishing a poem each day on my personal blog initially. After I kept that up for almost a month, I started to share it, because I had proved to myself that I could keep it up longer than just a few weeks. I noticed that it helped me, because I had challenged myself, and had to prove to only myself that I could do that. Without enthusiastic feedback on it from others, there was nothing left to do but publishing a poem each day.In the end, it’s about setting an attainable goal for yourself, and doing what you can to reach it.


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