Reading The War of Art and my Anti-Resume Experiment
On the recommendation of a friend, I picked up a book I’d been meaning to read for several months, Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.
For those of you who don’t know, the Resistance is that little voice in the back of our mind that tells us not to step out of line, not to do anything that might make us look foolish, not to take the risk. I first heard of it in Seth Godin’s Linchpin, where he also refers to it as the Lizard Brain.
I got about six pages in, with him talking about “The Resistance’s Greatest Hits” and I had to get up and write this post. Already this is turning out to be one of the best books I’ve ever read.
This is a post about my Anti-Resume Experiment, the third section of which was supposed to have gone up on Friday at 10 am. I stalled out because I got half-way through creating the Anti-Resume, and got stuck. Being stuck and not knowing how to move forward (the definition of “stuck”), I stopped. I did other things.
On Saturday, the day after my self-imposed deadline, I thought, “I could always post my anti-resume on Monday, or even today, and get people’s feedback on it.” My cousin, a wonderful sounding board, even agreed that it was a brilliant idea and I should do it.
I converted the anti-resume to PDF, started the blog post, and then got stuck. And stopped. And did other things.
… I’m sensing a pattern here. Something doesn’t want me to post this anti-resume, and I’d bet dollars to donuts that it’s my Resistance.
So, I’m posting today. At 4:30 pm. Which is six hours later than I normally try to do my tri-weekly posts. But I didn’t post anything this morning, so we’ll just call today an off day and run with it.
Here is their job description:
Title: Store Manager
Job Specifications: We are now hiring and training the Managers who will become our Stores Managers and District Managers in the near future. Just as we offer our customers the widest range of quality housewares and home furnishings, we offer energetic and ambitious individuals a wide range of outstanding opportunities, an incredible sense of loyalty, and the ability to grow with a proven leader. We offer competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefit package.
Job Requirements: Successful candidates with retail management experience – Department Manager, Store Manager, District Manager or any level in between – will be given the opportunity for unlimited advancement via our “promote from within” program.
Thing 1: I don’t have retail management experience. I have project management experience, and people management experience, and retail experience, but no retail management experience. Hmmm….
Thing 2: This is a job posting for a Store Manager. Not a Department Manager. I don’t really care, I’m still going to send in the anti-resume, but it will be interesting to see how / if they respond because of that.
Here is the file of what I have so far: Bed, Bath, and Beyond Anti-Resume
Keep in mind that this is an Anti-Resume. I purposely broke several of the “rules” for a resume. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to keep / change yet, but I’d love any input that anyone might have. Ideally, I’d like to have the anti-resume in the mail by Friday, May 7.
Here are some aspects of being a manager that my cousin shared with me (she would know, since she is one):
- the ability to balance multiple priorities, knowing which to work on and which to drop, if necessary;
- the ability to work with people of many different talents/backgrounds/abilities/communication types, etc.;
- the ability to get people to do things while still being respected/liked by those people;
I’m trying to figure out how to explain the qualities that I have that would make me a good manager.
Number 1: I know I can handle multiple priorities, as well as knowing what to work on and what to drop, partially because of my current exploits as an entrepreneur, but also because of my last few jobs.
While I was working at the theatre, I was in charge of figuring out what we had to work on, when it had to be done, and how important each thing was relative to everything else.
When I was working in the financial advisor’s office, I learned how many things I can juggle and stay sane (four-six, so long as they don’t all have to happen at the same time), but I don’t know if that’s a good reference to use because I ultimately was given ten or twelve things to juggle at the same time (all of them with the same urgency, apparently, which was completely unrealistic), and therefore crashed and burned. But I learned that I can handle multiple priorities, just not more than that. ^_^
Number 2: I have always excelled at working with people of many different backgrounds, abilities, and communication types. I am fascinated by what makes people different, and can usually pretty easily gauge people’s strengths and weaknesses, and see how they would fit together as a team. The last time I did that in such a way that I have concrete proof, however, was in college.
I did similar things like this when I was working at the fabric store I worked at, but never “officially.” So how do I prove that I have those qualities?
Number 3: I struggle the most with getting people to do what I need them to while having them still like me. The problem is not them liking me, the problem is that I’m not always firm enough in my requests. Often being wishy-washy (“It would be really great if you could…” instead of “Please do…”) is more detrimental than just bossing people around. I would need to work on this one, but I know that it’s not my strongest suit, and I have made a conscious effort to improve myself in this area.
But again, the question arises, how do I exhibit that in the form of an anti-resume?
I will have to continue to think on these things. Again, if you have any thoughts, I’m open to suggestions.