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We Don’t Live In A World Of “Should”

If you haven’t guessed yet, I am a pretty action oriented. Not to abuse my self-imposed limit of one sci-fi reference per year, I subscribe to Yoda’s adage from Star Wars, “Do or do not. There is no try.” This isn’t an “A” for effort world here folks. Winners celebrate. Losers go home. I love my Portland Trail Blazers and I think they tried their heart out to win their playoff series but they didn’t make it happen. Meanwhile, I think the Charlotte New Orleans Hornets mailed it in, content with the fact they weren’t going anywhere against a hungry Denver Nuggets team. The Blazers should have won (logically at least, they were higher seeded and have more talent than the T-Mac depleted Rockets). Hornets should have put up a better fight.

Guess what? They both lost. There may be some moral feeling of satisfaction that you tried hard and failed but let’s not beat around the bush: that doesn’t mean jack in the real world.

Now that I’ve dropped a sci-fi and sports reference in the same paragraph, back to my point. The should’ve, could’ve, would’ve excuses you’re dropping on your HR guy isn’t working. I want to hear what you did, what you said, and what happened. I can make all of the suggestions in the world but if you don’t take them, if you don’t take the should and make it a reality, my suggestions mean nothing.

That’s why struggled so much with my last post about spelling mistakes on resumes. There are three realities that I know:

  1. Many well qualified, detail oriented, fantastic employees have had a resume with typos or spelling mistakes on them.
  2. Many well intentioned HR professionals are so irritated by the fact that there are spelling errors when it is so easy to correct, they routinely disqualify candidates for it.
  3. Both problems are easy to fix but neither party is willing to come to a common ground on the situation.

Now some people can’t come to grips with this reality and that’s fine. People can’t get over the fact that looks may play a role in hiring or promotions so I certainly don’t expect them to get over the fact some excellent employees are awful spellers. And really, berating job seekers over spelling mistakes on their resumes isn’t something I am going to do here. It is just awful. If you don’t understand that everything you bring to the table as a job seeker is up for examination, you aren’t in the game.

My true struggle was that my argument was a question of what we should be doing without doing much to acknowledge the realities of today nor the reality of the difficulty of change. Because yes, many companies aren’t as forgiving of spelling mistakes as I am. And yes, it is going to take a lot of work to change the perception that attention to spelling on a resume doesn’t always translate to on the job performance (no matter how much some would like to be able to do that across the board).

That being said, I don’t suggest things to my managers, my peers, or people that read this blog that I haven’t tried or I haven’t been involved with on a very close level. This isn’t Doctor Frankenstein’s laboratory. I am not trying stuff out in my own fun social experiment. I think some people that blog in this space do that too much. My “should” posts are a collection of things I’ve tried and I think you should too.

Talk is cheap. Let’s do something.

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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