Monday, 7 February 2011

How much do you really want it?

I had an interesting day at Fortress Elland Road (or as my friend Phil refers to it: The Theatre of Screams) on Saturday, watching The Mighty Leeds United overpower Coventry to record an emphatic 1-0 victory.  Whereas I usually take my place with my Leeds supporting pals in the Don Revie stand this weekend I changed seats and sat just by the dugouts.

From this perspective I saw another side to our manager Simon ‘Larry’ Grayson (pictured) which really surprised me.  Me and Larry aren’t exactly best mates but I have seen him at numerous social events over the last couple of years and I have always been surprised at just how nice he is – certainly a really decent guy without the arrogance and edge of other professional managers I have met.  

Sitting five feet away from him on Saturday I saw another side to the man.  Sure, he is committed and focussed but he is also incredibly hard, aggressive (in a good way) and completely in charge – the reaction of the players and staff left me in no doubt that he was fully in control and would accept no nonsense.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, except for the obvious opportunity to post a Leeds United related picture, last week I spoke to students at Sunderland and Teeside Universities.  As always, the students were very friendly, receptive and the vast majority were clearly incredibly bright and committed.  They would be an asset to any Forensics organisation.

However, last week it also really hit me clearly why a lot of these students aren’t going to secure their dream roles.  They are just too nice and lack the focus and aggression needed in terms of securing a job.  Do you think I am being harsh?  I think not.

Make no mistake that to secure your first role in this area you have to be aggressive and ruthless.  You are in direct competition with your fellow students for the very best jobs and there aren’t enough positions to go around.  When I talk in this way I reckon the students think I am talking nonsense  – hmmm, maybe on a broader level they have a point - and don’t really believe me when I tell them that the best jobs don’t go to the best people. 

This isn’t fair but it is certainly true.  Some of the best Computer Forensics graduates from 2008 are still working in IT support.  The best jobs go to the people who have prepared in the most effective way to make themselves attractive to potential employers and then aggressively pursue opportunities.

Simon ‘Larry’ Grayson wasn’t the best professional footballer.  However, watching him at work from such close quarters clearly demonstrates why he is a successful Manager and why he is a winner.   He is, frankly, desperate to win and utilises every ounce of his talent and every resource available to him to ensure he stands out from the crowd.

Can you honestly say the same for your job search?

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