Thursday, August 05, 2010

Finding a sweet spot

Well finally, things worked out. Just 5 weeks after I got let go, I've found myself and extremely lucrative contract in Dublin. Not in Cork, sadly, so the chapter will have to close on some of that life for the time being, but its on the kind of salary that I only ever dreamed I'd get a year or two ago, never mind now.

I am in the lucky situation of facing a situation at the end of this year where potentially I will have taken home an extra 12,000 euro over and above what I expected to earn. I am very close to being not only entirely debt free, but debt free AND earning a good income.

Now without wanting to brag, it was extremely hard work.

I took two pieces of advice:
firstly, the wonderful Grahame MacLoed "Ignore Everybody."

Entrepeneurship is the big buzzword in Ireland. Unfortunately its really the new black - i.e. the substitute for what David McWilliams wonderfully calls "property porn" - basically, asset milking.

Except of course, its even worse.
At its worst, property porn took agricultural land and "milked it" for value by rezoning and selling at a high price. But a lot of the industry did at least build a house, office or shop on the land. So buyers get SOMETHING for their money.

But a lot of pseudo-entrepeneurs are the equivalent of the agricultural rezoning brigade - smart suits, fancy presentations, unrealistic expectations, no finance, bad or tired ideas, no market research and of course, no strategy. There are "social media" experts out there selling seminars with no sales, marketing or even plain business experience before they started out. In other words - this wasn't career progression, it was a career change, at which they basically decided to appoint themselves as "experts" and start at the top.

One guy has got himself rights to train people in a well known software product, how I don't know since he was not only useless and a bit of a tool at work, he also basically opted out on long term sick leave for about 8 months leaving somebody else to do all his work. His slick website of course, doesn't tell you this.

There's a "social marketing" guru with no business business, sales or marketing qualifications or prior professional experience.

A beautican who has a course in doing nails but doesn't bother her hole in dressing up at all.

Life coaches - lets not even start on these. Anybody trying to help people through lives should have some kind of relevant qualification. Changing your name to something new doesn't make you immune from needing professional training and experience.

And there is a consultant in fashion for people with body image problems with no background or qualifications in counselling or psychology (who in a tv programme, a doctor specialising in this area actually told her straight out, she would not refer her patients to her because of the risk of harm being done - you'd think she'd learn, but no), and finally, my favourite con-artist of them all, a 60-something transwoman who calls herself a "consultant" in gender identity issues because she thinks the "university of life" is a valid accredition.

Its not.

In fact, dig through the web for blog-based "start ups" and you'll come across no end of "self appointed experts" trying to part you from your cash on a whole range of stuff.

My personal favourite is a CV consultant charging 400 for 4 hours work who started their business because, surprise, surprise, they couldn't get a job themselves!

Says it all really!

Well I resisted the temptation to con gullible customers over the years, and now here I am, the job of my dreams within my reach. Stick to your guns and be honest and you'll get there.

Second piece of advice I got came from a lady who works for social welfare. "Don't take a holiday" she suggested. Excellent advice. It works guys, start working for your next job ASAP.

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