We hear from many parents who are concerned about and a gap in their career and the subsequent lack of momentum they feel. Here are our thoughts on how to bridge the gap.
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So you have a career gap on your CV – how should you approach the gap?


Good afternoon – Justin [inaudible 00:05] continue our mission to help parents return to work and support family-friendly and flexible working. So, we speak to a lot of parents who feel, who have a question about their experience and relevance of their experience, and how do they bridge that experience gap.

So, typically this would manifest itself in perhaps you stopped working 5-10, 5 or 10 or so years ago and we have today. And you feel that you’ve got no momentum. And what this typically manifests itself is people going to interviews and are kind of frozen because they feel like they’re talking about what they did rather than what they’re doing.

So what I want to talk today is how you can think about that gap and how you can go about closing it. So what I’m going to do today actually is going to talk about some ideas that a guy called Seth Godin has in a book called Linchpin. It’s called ‘Linchpin, Are You Indispensable’ by a guy called Seth Godin. He’s and advertising or marketing thinker or guru.

So what he would suggest that is when you look at how work has evolved, the industrial revolution really commoditized a lot of jobs. It’s interchangeable accountants and solicitors and teachers – essentially interchangeable. This hasn’t been a good thing. However, he believes that the future of jobs belongs to people who stand out rather than people who fit in. I mean, if you think about this, what this really means is that the future, in your next 20 years your career depends on the changes that you make now. And what to do, what you’ve got to do to bridge this gap is to create momentum. And creating momentum means taking risks and doing interesting work, doing work that matters. And if you can do that, you go into an interview, you’ve got something great to talk about, you have something interesting, it’ll come out of your body language, it will give you momentum and connections.

So what he has this concept of is somebody called a linchpin. And this comes from the fact that he would say that back in the industrial revolution, at the top you had management. At the bottom of the pyramid you had workers and what he suggests is actually a third level of people that are needed – the linchpins. It’s people who really, really add value. And he says this is a choice that one makes. So in terms of the skillset needed to be a linchpin other than decision it’s, he said people who are charming and are perseverant, they are princesses, people who are charming and talented are prodigies; people who are talented and perseverant but not charm are frustrated. So he says a linchpin sits in the middle and combines the ability to be charming, talented and perseverant.

Okay? And what he says when you do this is if you look at, if you draw a chart between the arrows of the effort per day and the reward for that, if you look up here, relatively low-paid work is work where you follow instructions. Very much industrial revolution, a little bit of commodity. When you’re a linchpin, you’re looking to move down this, you’re looking to not as much effort, but you’re creating the value because of your attitude, because of your skillset. It’s better paid and you are – you’re this linchpin in the middle. You decided to create, to add value – he calls it art in the broader sense of the word. And to be this linchpin we think about work, we all want to be told what to do, a great job to many people is just doing what you’re told, finishing up. And he says to be a linchpin means not waiting for anyone to tell you. Means going out, doing work that’s interesting, using your expertise, your knowledge, your context, your depth of experience to go look at problems for a new perspective that other people think are just so, they’re just true.

So, what this means is creating your own momentum. Deciding that you’re going to make the change, you’re going to make the shift; yes it’s going to take risks. Yes, there is a chance it may not work – but in doing so, what manifests itself in people you interact with is your personality and your approach rather than work. So the work may not work out, the project may fail, it may not get funding, no one might appreciate it. But you’re out there creating momentum and creating context, being a linchpin and that’s what people appreciate. That’s what business needs.

So, Seth Godin, Linchpin – very interesting read. Perhaps a little bit American, but his message is you are more, we are far more than our resumes. We are the work that we do, we are the connections that we build. We are the people we talk to. And if you do that, this gap disappears. You can find something to work on, something that interests you, you’ve got momentum. You’ve created your own momentum. So, I hope this is of some interest to you. I hope it helps you think about this knowledge gap. But the days perhaps of someone giving us an opportunity just like we did maybe with college in our early 20’s, someone gave us the opportunity, those just may not hold true anymore. And we need to create our own momentum, using our own mental approach and our charm, our talent and our perseverance. I hope it helps you think about perhaps the gap that you have to solve and feel free to contact us – 019081514 or [inaudible 05:57]. Thanks very much for your time, take care, bye-bye!