The Unbalanced Job Description Requirements

I recently met with a friend who has been unemployed for over two years. This is how the deck stacks against her; she is now 60, her specialty in her profession served a very narrow market and has never had to look for employment in her field as she was always employed.
She feels confident on interviews in her field, however, has not been able to “close the sale” leading to employment.

She has learned about a position that has the following requirements: extensive research, reach out to people in social and business network and possible fundraising.

– This person loves to research and this requirement is a perfect fit and the results delivered will exceed expectations. Perfect function for an introvert requiring an attention to the details, identifying the relevant information and connecting the information. A logical and analytical approach rounds out her qualifications. Additionally, quite easy to get along with and is a collaborative team player working independently to deliver her part to the whole.

– Reach out to people in social and business network – this requirement requires someone to initiate meetings with personal contacts for the purpose of sharing a new initiative. This poses a little bit of discomfort but can be managed with some coaching and practice. The good news is this person can use her strong interest in this initiative and social skills with familiar people to introduce this exciting new opportunity.

– Fundraising – This is the unbalanced part as it requires an “extraverted” personality that loves meeting people and asking for money. This is just not a good fit for her, this role would be like asking her to push a full shopping cart uphill. It is like asking a superb fundraiser to spend her time in a room with a computer researching all day.

So, I hope this blog post attracts the attention of those in a position to define job requirements to consider the “balance” of those requirements and avoid mixing in elements that don’t make sense. And, please give those older and wiser unemployed people a break, you won’t be disappointed.

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4 Responses to “The Unbalanced Job Description Requirements”

  1. Norma Maxwell Says:

    HI Gladys – I am afraid age discrimination is alive and well in the workplace and its an unfortunate reality because of the invaluable experience that is not being taken advantage of by employers. I think many feel they can pay younger hires more, but the question is how much are they paying for the inexperience that goes along with that? To your other point, I think it is excellent and like you hope that employers consider how to play to the strengths of prospective employees rather than creating positions that would require a rare combination of strengths in order for a candidate to be successful long term in that position. Nice post! I look forward to learning more from you moving forward 🙂 Cheers ~Norma

  2. Harry Herskovitz Says:

    Interesting analysis Gladys. I hope employers take note to give careful thought about what the primary duty of a role is – in this case research – and then ask for additional skills consistent with a research professional (rather than a sales professional). Perhaps candidates need to be more pro-active when interviewing for a position with unbalanced requierments by pointing out that s/he is skilled to perform the primary duty, but the secondary duites are not realistic given the personality type of a researcher. That could reflect well on the candidate’s analytic skills and make a positive enough impression to be offered the job. Anyway, great post and a great learning experience! Harry

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