Boost your competence

If all you know is testing ABC systems at XYZ, you have a problem. It’s much better that you position your self as doing services.

Services is packaging, but important to understand moving on it the networked world. Get ready to deliver services – and view your competencies as such. Currently you work doing something (testing) within a domain at a company. Try to look outside the specifics of the current company and systems.

  • Billing, Rating, Credit card payments, Subscriptions in the energy domain
  • Order fulfillment in the telecom domain
  • Property trading in the public domain
Addressing services and generic competencies is what all the big players do – because, even if it does drive skills as commodity. It’s an approach towards what you can (sell). The real deal and innovation is to find, what mix of skills that make you unique – and not be just any other standard (tester).

Would you hire ‘you’? Or would you hire someone completely different from you?

Now…when I say to think about this question, I mean really think about it. Heck…if you have the time, sit down and work through the actual job description of what you think your job *should*be and who the person doing *that* job should be.

Don’t friend all the people next to you or join plenty of groups on LinkedIn

The trick is for connecting to connect primarily outside your usual crowd, nuture the weaker ties – those in the fringes of your network. They will bring more diversity into your network. If you are in a crowd being laid off, friending all in the crowd will not get you far outside the crowd.

Unfortunately the groups in LinkedIn have varying degrees of success, mostly very little. If there is an real active group that you fancy, join it if you want to for sure. But adding 10+ is beyond normal reach, I would think – do this bloke really have time to participate all them? More and more LI/FB groups are getting filled with new-bee questions and lucky-riders, not really a place for experienced professionals. Joining groups (also the FB ones) are like self-applied badges, it’s easy to get one but hard to know if it’s earnest. One would seem too insincere, many bloatware – and there’s really no way of getting the number right.

3 thoughts on “Boost your competence

  1. Hi Jesper,

    Good post, and I agree with much of what you write. It does depend a bit on how you decide to use these sites though. Personally I use e.g. LinkedIn to keep track of more or less interesting people I have worked with, studied with, or in some form interacted with, and not that much to seek out new people. Although, interacting with somebody on the LinkedIn forum could definitely lead to a connection request.

    I would like to comment on the statement “If you are in a crowd being laid off, friending all in the crowd will not get you far outside the crowd”:

    This is of course true in the immediate sense and might not give you a new job right now. I still think it can be a good idea to connect to this laid off crowd… at least if you thing they are fairly decent professionals.
    About eighteen months ago the company I worked for shut down the R&D department and moved it to China and Hungary because their hourly rate was lower. Obviously, connecting to my colleagues and getting another 50 LinkedIn-buddies was not likely to solve my need for a new job right at that moment, but I believe almost everybody who wanted a job found something over the next nine to twelve months. This means I now have fifty good connections into most of the major, and some minor, companies in the area. That can’t be too bad?


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