28 January 2007

Career Prospects

Last week, to the ill-disguised dismay of my boss, I stood up in the middle of a meeting and left work early - 6pm - in order to go to a careers evening. I thought it would be interesting and unusual opportunity to find out what other people really do all day, and how to get the best jobs.

There were over 40 speakers at the event covering every class of profession imaginable from Animal Behaviourist to Zoologist. Participants could select four talks to attend. Readers, I have seen the future, and it's in the web 2.0 media. My choices were Professional Poker Player, Reality TV Contestant, Captcha Decoder and Shill Bidder.

Arriving late, I found my name down for the less than exciting quartet of Solicitor, Investment Banker, Barrister and Advertising Executive.

Very traditional, very Job 1.0, I wasn't really on the edge of my seat. But still, one of those four is not a million miles from what I already do all day, so I reckoned that at least I might get some tips on what it's all about

So, what did I find out? Well, I did discover what it is that they all do - that they all do: it's Powerpoint. But don't leap to the conclusion that all these professions are similar: Oh no - Powerpoint styles can differ. So here is

botogol's guide to Powerpoint in the Professions
  1. Investment Bankers do it with closely stacked tables in 10-point Arial, crammed with jargon and information. Cannily they bring their .ppt on a memory stick and borrow the equipment they find. They summarise the executive summary.
  2. Solicitors do it cramped in a small corner unable to find or understand the full-screen option. They have handouts with spaces to make notes. They give powerpoint slowly and cautiously. They never allow a slide to transition ahead of a mouse click.
  3. Advertising Execs do it on vast titanium Powerbooks, with steel speakers and bright OHPs with calf-leather carrying cases. They do it with sound effects and video.
(Barristers don't do powerpoint. They do photocopies.)

The professionals were there to explain their jobs and to offer useful advice to supplicants, and in their differing approaches to this task also they couldn't help displaying their innermost souls.
  • The Barrister advocated his job. Extolling its virtues he was lyrical, persuasive and eloquent. He had been asked to attend the evening 25 minutes before it started.
  • The Advertising Executive pitched his job. He wanted us to believe, he desired us to apply. He knew he had the best job in world and wished us to share his conviction.
  • The Investment Banker bigged up his job. He knew it was important and he didn't really care whether we did or not
  • The Solicitor dissed the Barrister. Whatever career we chose, he said, don't be a Barrister. Above all, he said, don't be a Barrister. Useless good-for-nothing Barristers. Had we been to see the one this evening? Wasn't he dreadful?
Did I mention that I was at the evening with my daughter? To tell the truth the event wasmore ained at her really. She had arrived earlier than me and consequently chose - and got into - a wise selection of realistic and dependable 21st Century professions: Diversity Co-ordinator, Eco-Lifestyle Advisor, Reality TV Presenter and Virtual Estate Agent. She tells me they all did great Powerpoint.

If I had my time again at least I now know what I'd be: Barristers Clerk.


outside-jane said...

Did I ever tell you about the Creative Director I worked for? He truly believed his work [creating ad campaigns for Vitimin supplements] was largely responsible for the continuing evolution of mankind and the advancement of civilisation. He was so bitter that no 'Creatives' have ever won a Nobel Prize.

Anonymous said...

maybe your daughter chose such boring choices because the REALLY interesting ones such as housewife and bus driver were alredy full?

Anonymous said...

could be!