When is an omission the same as lying?

When I arrived in Australia, I lied just a little bit. Let me explain:

Charles Handy wrote in the early 90s (Age of Unreason) about the collapse of the 45-year job and the paternalistic corporation, along with the emergence of the new service-based economy – all leading to ‘portfolio careers.’

My own portfolio has included:

  • Teacher
  • Retailer
  • Marketer
  • Executive
  • Centre Manager
  • Trainer
  • Consultant
  • Entrepreneur

In theearly days I jokingly said that, when we started Ganador, we should have registered i_will_do_anything_for_money.com instead.

From the above you can safely deduce that my personal style is to (prefer to) explore a wide range of topics – preferably at the same time. I always say I get bored easily. (But maybe I have deeper issuesJ).

When I arrived in Australia, I was looking for a job of appropriate seniority and the process of seeking and applying for jobs was always going to take several months. In the meantime I was bored – and being the type of person I am I thought it would be a good idea to work in a market research call centre.

I would gain some insights into the market and the products and at the same time actually mingle with other people. (The money was barely sufficient to feed my newly acquired coffee addiction.)

The only problem is that I couldn’t even get an interview, never mind an offer to work as a casual tele-researcher. Either my ‘real’ job search was going to be in trouble or I had to figure out what I was doing wrong.

I changed my resume by taking my advanced qualifications off. I did not actually ‘lie’ in the strictest sense of the word, but neither did I provide the full picture. What I did was provide the minimum information necessary.

I got a job with my next application and the rest, as they say in the classics, is history.

Despite my provocative opening statement, this was not a lie. I simply focussed my communication to be relevant to the need of the employer.

The lesson of this story is that it is not (and never should be) about what you can do (for your client or your employer) but it is about what your client/employer needs done.

Dennis Price

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