Sunday, September 30, 2007


Enterprise Architecture: The IT equivalent of the glass ceiling?

Women periodically hit the glass ceiling which prevents them from rising to their fullest potential. I believe that folks in IT have the notion of a glass wall which prevents many of them from expanding into other fields, not because they lack the ability, but because they lack relevant experience...

When I reflect on my own career, I realize that in the workplace, I am only as good as I was in the past and no one ever took the time out to truly understand my potential. The past is my shackles and I need to figure out how to become more than myself. One of the things that I have realized is that while I enjoy being an Enterprise Architect for my own employer, I have no desire to be an Enterprise Architect for anyone else.

Recruiters in large enterprises are tasked with hiring someone who is a good match for a job opening. This of course places too much emphasis on experience as opposed to ability. When hiring someone, an obvious starting point is their resume which naturally causes a focus on what someone has done in the past while not paying attention to what they aspire to become. Have enterprises ever figured out that if you know I do a kick butt job at Enterprise Architecture, how successful I may be if I were able to truly focus on something I really was passionate about?

If enterprises are truly serious about hiring top talent, they need to pay attention to the future, especially for those who are setting the strategic direction. Do you know how many positions I have interviewed for in the past where the focus was on strategy let they didn't ask a single question on where I wanted to head? Way too many.

What if recruiters were to stop thinking about resumes as a document that outlines ones pedigree and history while encouraging candidates to list their aspirations instead? Do you think this may lead to finding better talent? The funny thing is that not a week goes by where I don't get a ping from multiple recruiters seeking to find enterprise architects. In networking with them, I find it interesting that they are pursuing a dry waterhole in that they have never even figured out from the folks they are recruiting on behalf of how much training would they be willing to accept in a near match.

While my resume is transparent and unadulterated, I can certainly tell you that history does lie. Have you considered that the best way to learn about an individual is to simply ask them what they want to do in the future and what they aspire to become? You may even realize that candidates may tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth...

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