Gloriously unmanageable

30-50 emails per day may not seem like a lot to some people, but for me that is the point where it becomes unmanageable.

There are two things that are beautiful about reaching this point.

1. We–me and the company–are getting enough attention to cause an unmanageable amount of email

2. I’m forced to find a solution.

Growth occurs when there is more demand than supply.

Systems, processes, and new efficiencies are born out of unmanageable situations.

If you find yourself in a situation that seems unmanageable, just take a deep breath, step back, and start looking for the solution.

I haven’t found the solution to my email problem yet, but three cheers for being in this situation, and I’m sorry I haven’t returned your email yet.

I should _____

I constantly struggle with “should.”

There are so many things that I feel like I’m supposed to do because that’s just how it is or has always been.  By 34, society has embed all sorts of expectations into the back of my mind.

Here’s what I’m supposed to do:

I’m supposed to work from 9-5 on weekdays…that’s when everyone else works. And even if I work on weekends, I really should be in the office at 9am Monday morning.

Right?

And speaking of weekends, I should work during the week but not on weekends.  The work week is Monday thru Friday, not whatever days I feel like working.

That’s what people do, right?

I should wear a suit.
I should comb my hair.
I should shave everyday.
I should be married by now.
I should have kids by now.
I should hire everyone under one roof instead of using subcontractors.
I should…
I should…
I should…

What if there is no such thing as should? What if we’re all making it up? What if someone else made it up for their own benefit?

Here’s the new plan:

I will

I will make my own decisions regardless of what anyone else thinks I should do.

I like the sound of that.

Dear young job seeker,

I was recently introduced to a young man trying to find his career path.

In our first conversation, it became clear that he, like so many others, didn’t really know what he wanted to do, or what he liked to do. So I gave him the “assignment” of doing the introspective work of finding out what sort of future makes him smile.

His follow up email requested some advice on his recently edited resume. What follows is my unedited response.

Sorry for the delayed response. We’ve had a busy July.

Honestly, I’m probably not the best person to ask about resumes. But here is my perspective…

I stand by my original statement that your first priority isn’t the details (resume, cover letter, etc), it’s deciding what you actually want to do. Soul searching is step one. Define what elements of work get you excited. The reason that this is important is that what you decide will determine how you should approach the job hunt.

For instance, let’s say you decided that what you are REALLY jazzed about Social Business, and you applied to my company. We barely even accept resumes on our job applications. I couldn’t care less about resumes. I give resumes between 5-20 seconds, typically closer to 5 seconds. I want to know what you’ve read recently. I want to see how you present yourself and how well you understand the world of technology that we live in. I want to read the things you’ve written lately.

So spending any more than a fraction of a second on your resume would be a waste of time for a company like mine. That time would be better spent reading, writing, and figuring out how to speak confidently about the industry.

BY CONTRAST…

Let’s say you decide you want to go into banking. You probably should have a beautiful resume that someone in your network would be delighted to hand deliver to the HR department.

Once you’ve identified your goal, then figure out what pieces you need to get there.

I hope this helps, and if not, I apologize, I don’t play in the system…I believe in blazing your own path.