Career worries

Cristina, who gave me this, left the office last year, but there are still some cartoons on the wall behind where Franck now sits. This morning I had a look at them and this one leaped out at me:

I have to be me

I’ve given my notice here and come September I will be back in London so I’m already looking for some work. And I know what I want to do…

…now it’s all a matter of confidence.

This week I’ve been reading Natural Capitalism (Thank’s Christine for recommending Paul Hawken) and I’m feeling very excited about what it says. I’d love to find a way to channel the skills I have towards helping switch businesses round to be more profitable and competitive while consuming less of the earth’s resources. A while back I watched The Corporation— an amazing movie — and was impressed by the story of Ray Anderson (the Hank Rearden of sustainable industry?). The Natural Capitalism book explains more of how he has gone about achieving the goals he discusses in that movie.

Shades of greyBut where do I fit into this picture? I’m a Computer Science academic with an unimpressive track record of publications. (Thanks to Dave for encouragement on Flickr)

On the other hand I have unique experiences and skills: I’m trained in modelling and abstract reasoning: mathematics, software design and modelling; I’ve 10 years experience as lecturer/trainer including unusual challenges like teaching in Kenya. This morning I was searching the job databases again for jobs including the term “business process re-engineering” because that feels like something that would suit the combination of my modelling experience, desire to help make things run better and interpersonal communication skills.

Great! But when I see those job descriptions, they seem to be asking for someone else: lead black-belt with proven experience in total quality management etc. What do I have to do? Re-invent myself? Pester them? How do I stop seeing this as an obstacle and instead as a challenge?

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