By Robert P. Poindexter
“Guenther, go down and tell the men to go home. We’re done.”
The look in the old man’s eyes told Guenther that some devastating news had just been relayed to him, and he hesitantly asked, “What’s happened, boss?”
The old man raised the newspaper he had been hunched over and turned it toward his faithful employee, “Look!!!” he said, raising his voice as he pointed at a prominent article below the picture of an airplane.
“Do you know what this means?” raising his voice even more now. “We’re done. We’re finished. No longer will goods and people need to languish at sea for weeks in order to land on another continent. Now they can reach their destination in a matter of hours. We’ll never be able to compete with that! The ships we are building are nothing more than scrap iron now!”
This conversation most likely never happened, and even if it did in some now defunct shipyard, that reality as we all know never came to fruition. Ships could not be replaced by airplanes any more than electric can openers could replace manual ones. All down through history, as things have evolved, there has been a small segment who boldly claims the end of something else. This has rarely been the case.
Sure, airplanes gave humans an additional and quicker way to reach their destination, but they could never replace the ship. They just became one more tool in the box, another way to accomplish a goal. Some people were afraid to fly, so they went ship. Some cargo is too heavy and too bulky to fly, it goes by ship. Some people and cargo can’t be flown into areas because of terrain issues, they go by ship. Airplanes didn’t replace trains or cars either. Even those not afraid of flight chose alternate transportation based on the fact that the adventure was just as important, if not moreso, as the destination.
There have been murmurs recently by some who think like Guenther’s boss concerning the resume. They are squeaky wheels that no amount of oil will silence. They attempt to make anyone who will listen believe that new technology has rung the death knell on the venerable resume. They teach that networking, volunteering, Twitter accounts and a web presence are all you need to launch a successful career search.
When I hear these things it makes me wonder if those espousing such rhetoric actually believe it themselves or if they are just experimenting to see how many people they can get to agree with them.
It reminds me of when I was nine years old and Darrell Brown would tell this joke on the playground to new students while the rest of us crowded around.
A lady calls her local grocer and asks that he send over 10 jars of peanut butter. The next day she asks for 20 and then 40 more on the following day until finally the grocer couldn’t stand it any longer and just had to know what she was doing with all this peanut butter. In answer to his question, she raised her skirt just enough to reveal that she was wearing red leotards.
At this point, we would all start laughing hysterically while the new student just stood with a dumbfounded look on his face. Of course, the joke made absolutely no sense at all, but with a little cajoling by the rest of us the newbie would start laughing as well agreeing that he ‘got it.’ At that point, we would cease to laugh. There was a joke there. It was just on him.
So my advice to you is not to listen to the Darrell Browns of the world, and if you happen to overhear them, think twice before you agree.
There have been a lot of positive changes in the careers industry, and the resume has had to evolve as well. I, for one, think it has done so quite nicely. And while the Internet has added new ways to get to our career destination, it is foolhardy to believe the resume no longer has a place in the career arsenal.
After all, not everyone wants to fly, and ships provide a level of discovery you will never get on an airplane ride.