Friday, April 17, 2009

job search notes: progress measures

I have said that in today's schools we have a "fact fetish." We see domains like biology or civics as a body of facts or information, when, in reality, they are composed of actions (i.e., ways to look at and intervene in the world) that use these facts as tools for problem solving. There is an interesting thing about action in any domain, whether this domain be biology, gardening, or Yu-Gi-Oh: A question always arises as to how to go on--what to do next--after one has taken an action in a domain. So, say, I have a goal and I do something in any domain. I do it and get a result (I have probed the world and the world has responded). Now what? I have to ask myself a question like "Was the result good/appropriate/adequate for achieving my goal?" This means I have to assess or evaluate or "appreciate" the response from the world, the answer to my probe, in a certain way. If I have no opinion whatsoever, then I have no idea how to go on, what to do next.

Such evaluations or judgments are made by my "appreciative system" (taking a term from Donald Schon). And where did I get that? How did I develop it? In most cases, of course, I did not invent it all by myself. I learned how to appreciate the results of my action by participating with people who knew the domain better than me--and who mentored, resourced, modeled, or otherwise helped me. This is as true of doing biology as it is of playing Yu-Gi-Oh. The best "tests," then, about where I am in my development of domain knowledge are: a) do I know how to "go on"--what to do next--based on a good appreciative system and b) am I a participant in a "community" whose appreciative system I am learning and hopefully eventually contributing to?

The BOLD was added for my emphasis. I like the simplicity of these two tests. They capture the internal analysis needed with what should be a visible way to determine status. Hesitation is okay as long as there is still movement. Movement is better than not moving.

Read more of this from James Gee here

How does this connect to the job search?
The job search is a learning experience. You target a company, network to gain information about their competition, their opportunities and leverage that info to position yourself to help them.

As much as it is a learning experience, it benefits from the sharing with others. They may have similar goals, they may have either a connection or information about that company. Both of which can help you.

Do you have the right support around you?
Do you have people you can talk with?
Do you know how to take the next step?

If you answer "no" to any of these questions, you will need to make a change to create a successful job search.

If you need some help in making that change, let's talk.

I am a student of learning and very willing to share and collaborate!