“Global Talent”?

“Global Talent” is a big buzz phrase these days, isn’t it? Yet the more I talk with companies, the more I find this buzz phrase only applies to the really big firms…if at all.

When you go looking for work, do you limit yourself to a small geographic area, say about a half-hour radius around your home? Many people do.

Also, almost every job interview I went to in the greater Vancouver area included questions about my living in North Vancouver (accessible only by a couple bridges and backed up a mountain range across an inlet from the rest of the region): (Strategic Pause) “…Two bridges? Are you sure you can handle that?” In Vancouver, it’s two bridges to practically anywhere else, and the single highway is terrible. Yes, I’ve had to spend about an hour each way on the road every day for my entire professional career. So what. That’s where the good opportunities are, not in my nice safe bedroom community.

I guess to other people this matters. You’re limiting your opportunities to those within a very small distance. And most employers—they’re waiting for the perfect candidate to drop in from down the block! “Oh, this guy doesn’t live in Surrey, where we are. Cross him off the list.” Isn’t this ridiculous?

My personal recent favorite was a guy looking to build an international business, connecting North Americans with Europeans for something called dental tourism…and he was expecting to find an appropriate, talented partner in his small, inland town. In fact, he wouldn’t consider anyone from outside of his little burg. Riiiight. (He’s still looking.)

How much are you limiting your opportunities by searching only within a tiny region? Are you really in the “global talent” pool?

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The Master of Incorporating Sources Into Writing

For those of you who love tales that embark on a path that leads to growth of the soul, I have a favourite in mind that I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to find you’ve never heard of.

This work of art was published first in 1949, and if you’re lucky you can find a copy of the Ace paperback edition that brought it back from limbo in the mid-80s. Mine is pretty tattered, the victim of being my company on several air trips, and I am darn sure it’s a replacement for one or more previous incarnations loaned out and never seen again.

The Ace edition has three forwards (three!), individually penned by Poul Anderson, Jerry Pournelle, and Larry Niven—master writers all. The man who put this literary clockwork together knew more about myths, heroes, religions, blackguards and wretches from history than I ever will…and that’s why I’ve been reading and rereading the book every so often since I was 16 or so. I’m resisting the urge to start reading it again now, because I’m in the middle of The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which — while being hilarious and brilliant itself, I have already interrupted for another turn at The Guns of August — became assigned bedtime reading as a Christmas gift.

  • Robin Hood
  • Beowulf
  • Paul Bunyan and the blue ox, Babe
  • Hamlet
  • The Green Knight
  • Zeus’ philandering
  • Fautstopheles and the Divine Comedy.

These and countless others are to be encountered, sometimes in easily recognizable form, sometimes not; poetry, wenching, duels, song-singing and battle twist their way ‘round one another as a boring, burnt-out sot (with a BA in Business Administration!) gradually finds meaning in life.

That one man could himself be so aware of all these stories, and wind them together in such an entertaining, well-written and engaging manner is…well, it’s about as rare as finding the Hope Diamond in your back yard.

Perhaps some of you don’t like ideas. Maybe, even in this Internet age, the idea of Reference Hunting has never occurred to you (I’m a guy who looks newly-encountered things up immediately) or puts you off. If so, then Silverlock by John Meyers Meyers isn’t for you. “Incomparable…Glorious,” Anderson called it. Niven exclaimed, “You’ll get drunk on Silverlock.” Pournelle labeled it “A Masterpiece.”

For a delicious instruction on how to work sources into your proposal, you can learn at the knee of the master with Meyers’ Silverlock. If you find you need help with your writing, let me know.

If you want expertise to help you get started right now, click here.