Reliance and Empowerment


Some people like to do things themselves while others like it best when things are done for them. I suppose it really depends on the situation as to which is best for you personally. The real questions do you have to ask yourself when deciding is whether you have the interest, skills, time, resources and motivation to do whatever it is you’re considering.

In some situations, I’m more than happy to pay someone else to do whatever it is that needs doing. I remember when landscaping my backyard for example that I was quite happy to pay a contractor to deliver and set several large armour stone pieces which when completed frame a patio area. I had him drill a hole through one of the stones and with a hose inserted that rock has now become a focal piece of the backyard waterfall too. Could I have done that on my own? Well perhaps, but the cost of renting equipment, finding some guys to help in the transport, making sure everyone worked safely and the margin for error which could have ruined the entire project didn’t make it worthwhile. Nope, it was far better to pay a team of men do what they have specific skills and expertise on my behalf.

The above situation is in my opinion money well spent. However, there are other things I choose to take on all by myself. It might take a consultation with a professional, reading up on a process or watching an online video or two, but I figure at the outset I’ve got the motivation and time, I’m confident I can learn the skills required and it looks like a job which I can do building on my existing skills. In short, I won’t get in over my head and the chances of success look good doing it myself. Take as an example when I put down some hardwood flooring for the first time years ago. It took longer than a team of pros would take, but it was empowering to do it with my wife and when done look at that floor and say we did it ourselves. With that success, we could if we chose go on to do other floors with new-found confidence.

That’s a wonderful thing about doing things yourself; you can point to what you’ve done and feel good about what you’ve achieved. Well, that is you can feel good about what you’ve achieved when it works out. I suppose if you laid some hardwood flooring yourself and in the end found you’d scratched up several pieces, cut a few pieces a little short and the gap on one edge is wider than it should be, that do-it-yourself mentality was ill-conceived. Maybe it might have been better to hire some pro and let him or her do it for you so it was done right.

Sometimes it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming a job is easy; that anyone can do it – certainly you can at any rate. In the case of flooring it’s easy to tell when the job is done whether it’s a good one or not; all you have to do is stand back and look.

On the other hand, putting together a résumé when applying for work looks fairly straight-forward and certainly within most people’s abilities to do, but not everyone has the skills to tackle it on their own. If I told you I see terrible resumes on a daily basis done by people who think they’ve actually done a great job on them I wouldn’t be stretching the truth. Unlike looking at a finished floor, people can read and re-read a résumé and miss all kinds of problems that to a pro stand out like a sore thumb.

So here like in all things, you’ve only got a few options. Make a résumé yourself, have someone do it for you, or – and here’s my suggestion – have a professional sit down and explain what they are doing and why as they do it.

If you make a résumé yourself you won’t know how much better it could really be. If you have the skills to craft ones that work, then hurrah for you! Excellent. If however, you pay to have it made for you and you only get the finished product, you are now dependent on the person who made it for revisions, extra copies and you haven’t learned anything. You may have paid a lot of money for something you assume is great and it may not turn out to be a bona-fide winner.

Sit down with a pro and pick their brain as they craft that document however, and you will pick up the reasoning and rationale behind what they leave out and put in. As you listen you learn; as you question you learn; as you watch you learn. In the end, you leave with two things; the résumé you need and the necessary information to perhaps make better resumes in the future than you would have otherwise. With this new-found knowledge your skills have improved and in short, you might feel empowered to put together stronger documents on your own.

Knowing when to pay a professional and when to take on work on your own is a strength. Stronger still is the person who becomes empowered making themselves self-reliant in the process.

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2 thoughts on “Reliance and Empowerment

  1. I can see the value of having a professional prepare your resume if you can afford it. The whole process of job hunting has gotten ridiculously complicated. On the one hand a professional resume writer would be able to portray the job applicant in the best light to the employer but on the other hand employers prefer to see a resume prepared by the job applicant him or herself. They feel that a resume prepared for the applicant by someone else is somehow phony. The job applicant just can’t win at impressing even most employers. Some employers will perhaps be impressed but many won’t be.

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