"You are Your Position" LO5938

George Hathaway (gh@pipeline.com)
Fri, 1 Mar 1996 12:41:43 -0500

Replying to LO5922 --

On Feb 29, 1996 22:19:45, 'Rol Fessenden <76234.3636@compuserve.com>'

>Eric Opp says, "I have invested considerable time and effort in leadership
>development and communications skills development, but I keep running into
>"You have a Ph.D. in Physics, therefore you belong in a position of doing
>scientific analysis. Forget marketing or management...." Read between the
>lines: "You are inept at these other skills (marketing management etc.),
>because technical people are in general inept at these skills." I.E. "You
>are your Resume." "
>I attributed it to a very tactical focus among hiring managers of wanting
>someone who had experience rather than potential. Someone who could 'hit
>the ground running.' it is short-sighted from a longer term perspective,
>but it alleviates workload issues in the short term. I resolved the
>problem by taking a position for which I was over qualified, and working
>back up. My experience has heavily influenced my own hiring practices as
>you can imagine, and I have not been sorry overall.

Rol is right, American management does look for "What have your done?" .
What we have to remember is that there may be incidents in your experience
that may be good predictors of your potential, regardless of your
discipline. Its not so short sighted.

On the other hand, academic credentials, relevant or otherwise, give me
information that a person is a good student. They give me no indication
as to whether that person can apply any of the knowledge. Academic
credentials and good work experience give me the ideal combination.

Question: does one need credentials to show that he/she has a solid
knowledge base? Do they indicate a process of continuous learning?
Sometimes I think we go overboard for the credentials without looking for
those who are just as knowledgeable but lack the letters after their

When I interview someone (or read their resume) I want to know how they
will be able to help me and my organization. If you don't speak to that
you don't get a second hearing.


George Hathaway Director, International Training American International Group 72 Wall St, 12th Floor New York, NY 10270 USA My opinions are my opinions and do not reflect in any way the policy of AIG. Tel. 212-770-3676 Fax. 212-514-6099 e-mail: gh@pipeline.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>