Let’s take another gander at how a hidden high potential can either get or stay in a that low-level job. It’s counter to prevailing advice you get, so you may want to pay attention. Before I start, I have to emphasize that I’m only talking about Hidden High Potentials (HHPs) and not Normal People. Normals give HHPs advice which is …
Sometimes when you’ve been the Hidden part of “Hidden High Potential” for way too long, you just want to find something that pays the bills. You look for a job, any job.
This is hard to do, even when times are good. When times are hard, it seems impossible.
Just ask Julie Neidlinger. She knows all about how hard it is to get a job when you’re grossly overqualified. The story she tells is an excellent example, because it’s such a common one to so many of you Hidden High Potentials. She went looking for an office job in the state with the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, lower than my region had during the good times.
I was looking for something Monday through Friday, normal business hours, regular paycheck, nothing retail or selling — I just want to be able to put aside money and rebuild my savings.
For some reason, in this type of work, I am not hireable. I do not know why.
So I’m going to tell her, and give some hints as to how she might be able to pull this off, and close with the core truths that are more useful.
One of my friends suggested that I check out the pilot for the 2009 TV series called Being Erica from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). She thought that it had a lot of ties to things that I had discussed.
SmartPlanet’s Andrew Nusca interviewe MAYA Design’s chief, Mickey McManus. McManus had some interesting things to say about making things so easy that they were intuitive, so easy that the user becomes “smug”:
We have a graph we write out. On one end is the customer that apologizes or make excuses. At the other end of the spectrum is smug. We want users to be smug. We’ll paper prototype it, then we’ll Wizard of Oz prototype it. After a few iterations, they’re smug. “This is so obvious, I don’t need to say it out loud.” And we want that.
If you think about it, this is something that Hidden High Potentials do regularly. (More on that below.) What’s even more interesting is his discussion of the Command & Control for the US Army. [full post]
When you transition from one work level to another, you have to learn new ways of being. These will be enshrined in habit but letting go of old ways hurts.
Dan Ariely, in Predictably Irrational, says “We don’t even know what we want to do with our lives Ã¢â‚¬â€ until we find a relative or a friend who is doing just what we think we should be doing.” Hidden high potentials often never get a model like this. What should they then do?
Being a Hidden high potentials can lead to bitterness and anger, and left untreated to rage. People don’t recognize what you bring, what you do, who you are. It’s hard, frustrating and spiritually debilitating. But you need to let go of the bitterness and anger you feel about this, even though it just forces you to do more without compensation.
Recount a story about a hidden high potential, underachiever, who did amazing things but was damned by the world
Back when I was working on the GO Society’s book, Organization Design, Levels of Work and Human Capability: Executive Guide, I had the opportunity to spend an Sunday afternoon talking to Julian Fairfield in his early Monday morning. (I love talking to Australia!) He’s an amazing thinker with a wide ranging interest that started years ago on the shopfloor, moved …
I recently had an exchange in another site with “Marcy”, who talked about some judgments that she had about some of her previous therapists who didn’t fit with her. (One of her old therapists, with whom she did good work, wrote a book with Warren Rule. I think this says a lot about her.) She was trying to find a …