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Average is a Dead-End: from Monster.

Michael said I should post some blogs, even it is cut and paste. Well, here we go. I just read this article on Monster, pretty good stuff. Average is dead, not only just being a average worker, in the job hunting process, average is still dead. I always tell my candidates, especially those too Jr. that I really cannot help right now, to be creative, innovative BUT remain professional. Don't just send your resume, call them if you can find the number, meet them if you are local. If all the other candidates are sending resumes, you, to stand out, have to do something NOT so average.

So here is a question for us, the head hunters, what we can do to make us and our service "less" average?

Well, enough Hui talking, here is the article, enjoy!

Average Is a Dead-End
By Seth Godin, Monster Contributing Writer

Remember average?

It's the brand marketer at a packaged-goods company refusing to sell whole-wheat bread, because the average person doesn't like it. Or the dietitian at the airline who says it should serve only peanuts, because the average person won't eat a corn chip.

Average made America great. Average was the mass market, the sweet spot, the high-volume, high-profit, churn-'em-out-and-move-on middle.

Average is dead.

America's best-selling beer isn't Budweiser or Miller. It's other. Salsa now outsells ketchup. There are so many alternatives, so many distribution channels and so many different kinds of consumers that average just isn't interesting anymore.

Are You Average?

Is your company average? Are you an average person doing an above-average job for an average company selling an average product to the average consumer?


This is the hard part. In crazy times, the animals with the greatest chance to survive are the outliers -- the super-fast cheetah or the mammoth with the extra-thick wooly coat. Of course, being an outlier is risky. If the world gets warm fast, that mammoth will be awfully unhappy.

All your life you've been trained to keep your head down, fit in, stick with it, and be quiet. And in stable times, that's a fine -- though boring -- strategy.

But now the rules have changed. Change is the new normal: Anything could happen; instability is a constant. And the best strategy is not to hunker down and fit in. It's to stand up and stand out.

How can you make your company's products more exceptional? How can you take astounding risks with your career? With your cover letter? With your resume?

You Can't Have It Both Ways

You cannot simultaneously be invisible and stand out. If you're invisible, one thing is certain: You're going to become extinct. Maybe not instantly and maybe not violently, but there's less and less room for someone who doesn't make a difference. In my humble opinion, it's a lot safer and a lot more interesting to make a point.

Start slow, that's fine. But start. Take some risks. Be exceptional. Be salsa, not ketchup.

Additional Articles in This Feature

Find the Right Fit home
Fuse Different Interests into an Incredible Career
Passion Can Drive Your Career
Discover the Work You Were Born to Do
Drive Your Own Career
The Discovery Cycle
Ignite Your Career by Changing Your Circumstances
Assess Company Culture to Find the Right Fit
The Corporate-Culture Conundrum

Views: 4

Comment by Michael Wright on February 18, 2009 at 4:14am
Great post Hui. Seth Godin does tend to really hit home a message, wheras my own efforts at blogging have generally been over-long and trying to make several points instead of one clear one, so I love reading his stuff.

It's funny, I was just talking to Corinne, a fellow Glass Dragon Hunter this morning about how the former economy left plenty of place to hide for 'average' "B/C/D-Player" employees. My colleagues in the UK tell me that their inboxes are full of people who are not "Excellent" but the "Average" people who have been in the first rounds of cuts - especially in the bigger companies. (I guess in larger organisations, it's easier for average people to hide and not be noticed)

I'd love to hear what some of the other headhunters out there are doing to go 'beyond average' with their services. For us, some of the cool stuff we do is:

Train our consultants to provide superior quality advice to candidates we are representing in terms of CV/Resume *optimization* which results in more success in obtaining interviews, and much happier candidates.
Doing decent quality, bespoke 'competency and fact' based interviews for our clients, and relaying the QA for each individual case so the client can make a value judgement not just on the CV, but their answers to job-related questions (only for retained customers lol, not just 'average' ones who won't pay us upfront for a search.

These are just two examples of added value we provide. I think in headhunting generally, the most common 'Added Value' might be paying for a candidate/clients drinks/dinner or coffee!

What about the rest of you :-)
Comment by Hui Shen on February 18, 2009 at 4:58am
We do above two as well. I guess we are a little bit weak on the first one thou. I try to do as much as I can, after all I do have a MBA and MSHROD (Human resource and organizational development). I enjoy consulting on those subjects. I also do interview coaching, for my candidates or not.


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