No-one cares about you

You were blooming brilliant in that job. A superstar. The way you handled the Jenkins acquisition, the way you restructured the engineering department, the advice you gave to the board which kept them all out of jail.

In fact you are so brilliant that your skills should not be constrained by the petty concerns of a single organisation. There are so many other boards that need your special blend of skills and experience ((which is a concern in itself)).

Your reputation is such that you bestride your sector like a colossus ((which reminds me that my all time favourite pun is that Thomas Telford was known as the Colossus of Roads. I have something of a Telford obsession. He may feature again in this blog as he was both an early mobile worker and a very successful freelancer. And better than Brunel. If less showy)).

And yet the moment you leave your job everyone will forget you.

Even the people who you absolutely know will remember you ((because you kept them out of jail)) will dismiss you from their memory.

Because the truth is no-one cares about you. They care about their own stuff. You aren’t it.

In a previous job I did a notable and successful job in improving the way we planned for and dealt with emergencies. I got a little internal award for it. My boss was very happy about it. It came up in appraisals ((in a good way)).

I went freelance. My boss went elsewhere and became even more senior. There was an emergency. It didn’t go that well. They needed someone to help them improve it. Someone with a track record and a relationship of trust with one of their senior managers.

So obviously she called me.

Er no ((well obviously otherwise this would be a VERY confused blog post)).

She wondered: “Who would be the right person for this task?” concluded she had no idea and went away for the weekend to a music festival. Where, by chance, she encountered me. And presumably thought “Oh yes, that chap was good at emergency stuff”.

And when she got back to the office she did, at last, call me ((and clearly it was a great success and my involvement was instantly forgotten by all those involved)).

The moral of this story is either

  • no-one cares about you or
  • the secret to successful marketing is to hang out at folk festivals ((it isn’t))

You decide.