Thursday, September 6, 2012

Politics and Technology Make For Strange Role Models


Whether you are a fan of following the current Presidential race, or enjoy discovering what's new in technology, you'll be lucky enough to see it in action.

Okay, sometimes you will...for better, and sometimes for worse.

More and more we see in the news how this candidate is responding to the other candidate about that topic, when the candidates aren't even in the same room.  (It makes me wonder what the candidates are going to talk about when they do have their debates, if they hash it out in the social media and in advertisements ahead of time.)  The art of politics seems to be how well you answer--or dodge, as the case may be--the other guy's accusation.  There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of innovation or new ideas proposed.  Just a back-and-forth tennis match.

The same thing goes for technology.  This morning Kindle announced the unveiling of its (pardon the clichéed terminology) answer to the iPad and Google Nexus tablets, with all kinds of bells and whistles that are supposed to make it competitive with those tablets in the sheer existence of features that Apple and Google didn't think of.  Two weeks ago Apple was awarded a $1.5 billion settlement for Samsung's answer to the iPhone.  All of these tech companies are answering each other with tablets that sort of look alike but have new features that we never thought we always wanted--like a timer telling me when I'll finish reading a book.  (I can't say that I want to know that information, Mr. Bezos--the idea makes me feel like I'm back in college, reading under a gun.)

Meanwhile, no one company can seem to make earbuds that don't get caught or tangled in everything.

There are rules still waiting to be broken...not answered for.  There are needs that still need to be met.


Every morning in my email inbox, in my Facebook feed, in my LinkedIn feed, and in my Twitter stream there are postings of link after link on how to get ahead in my job search.  Here are just a few examples of "advice" or "tips" that I get on how to "get ahead":

  • "Nine Phrases You Should Never Put on Your Resume" (Monster)
  • "Five Ways to Leave a Lasting Impression During a Job" (LinkedIn)
  • "Going Over Two Pages [On Your Resume]?" (Twitter, FindEmployment)
  • "Here are tips to boost your confidence" (Twitter, Mary Anne Dorward)
  • "How to Transition From the Corporate World to Freelance" (Google Reader, The Daily Muse)
"How to..." "____ Tips to..." "What You Should Do If..."

Isn't every job-hunter reading these?

As I read them I'm finding that most of the "lists" are common sense, some of them are arbitrary rules that make no sense and have no explanation offered for them, and none of them strike me as innovative.  The lists that strike me as particularly unhelpful are those where the candidate is given tips on "how to stand out."  A standard list on how to stand out?  

Again, there are rules waiting to be broken...not pat answers to the question of where the next opportunity is, no standard solutions.

Time to slim down my reading material and do a little innovating of my own.

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