November 8, 2008

So...what do you do for a living?

I wish the answer to that question was as easy as saying - I'm a fireman, or I'm a lawyer, so people could understand what I do for a living. But it's not that clear cut.

These days many jobs are a mix of professions and disciplines. Perhaps much of this is due to the change and convergence caused by technology. So why is it so difficult for some people to get what for example a Program Manager does? (Even my wife doesn't know what that means.)

Personally, I fit in this category of job. I've been fortunate that my entire career has been in the technology industry. Early on I was in sales, then moved into general management, followed by stints as an entrepreneur. Today, I develop long term strategy at a leading Canadian company.

But I don't think that a person outside my sector would understand what I do, the first time I explain it. Telling someone, say...a bank manager, that I do "market strategy" for a living, inevitably results in a puzzled look. I suppose a bank manager is too accustomed to meeting with teachers or accountants that when someone like me walks in, there's no box to check off.

The reality of what I do every day is - I apply knowledge and experience from financial, HR, technology, marketing and sales domains to create winning strategies.

Now do you get it?

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