Perceived Value

Recently, I separated from work I'd done for most of my corporate career. The places and resources intended to help people re-connect should be helpful but not always. In fact, some of my experiences relating to that have opened my eyes.

For example, today I participated in a seminar for people (mostly middle aged) returning to the workplace. Trouble was, the millennial leader of the seminar, smartly decked out with his crisp designer bow tie, never connected with anyone. I'm sure he was well-intentioned with his inspiring talk and series of videos, but it was about as canned and commoditized as the message. Checklists and assessments, recommendations on more seminars to attend and groups to seek out. Is this the image of those here to help? Or are we merely settling for a helpless image of ourselves?

Next, a delightful young woman discussed resumes where her advice was to focus on bullet points and limit job history to the past 10 years. "You know," she said, "to kind of hide your age." Should the wisdom gained throughout a challenging and insightful career be this easily dismissed, or worse, was it because I'm a woman? Not all job histories can or should be reduced to a variety of multimedia pieces full of profound statements and flashy, interactive graphics but then, neither can I. 

It was like being Twittered, keeping everything to 140 characters, catchy sound bites, smoke and mirrors. Thanks, have a nice day, next. The whole experience was degrading and impersonal. Luckily my experience has taught me to recognize value over fast-fix hype.

As we move into this new world filled with growing amounts of artificial intelligence and IOT intent on replacing workers for additional cost-savings, it seems like we can either prepare our image now or, become a statistic and fall by the wayside. 

Allison Towe