In search of the Golden Goose

And I couldn’t have met an unlikelier bunch of wannabes if I’d tried. There were about 60 attendees and everyone I spoke to had been made redundant from colossal blue-chips.

When I asked about their background there was much talk of business process re-engineering and change management. Now I’ve no idea what these people do for a living but they’d clearly never been near the sharp end of making a business decision in their lives. IMs need to be self-reliant, independent, adaptable and resilient. This lot couldn’t sharpen their 2HBs without calling in support from Central Pencils.

However, I should make it clear that none of them were accountants and it was an excellent free workshop. Much kudos to the Big Four firm who organised it. They also do a free job-hunting seminar.

It’s a perverse business this job-hunting. The other week I was on a shortlist of two. It was half my previous salary but it was 15 minutes from home with a young, growing company and I quite fancied it. The final interview was perfection. It couldn’t have gone better if I’d scripted it myself. I went home and prepared my acceptance speech. I didn’t get it. And is it too much to expect a little feedback as to the reasons?

Since my rejection letter they’ve ignored my emails and won’t take my calls. I suspect it’s all down to the old chestnut of having previously been too senior and too highly paid. Last month a headhunter presented my details to a client who dismissed me out of hand, claiming that I’d be off as soon as a better offer came along. How do you get through to these people?

I had a surreal encounter with a headhunter recently (aren’t they all?).

I’d heard he was a headhunter so when he walked in the village pub I engaged him in conversation. We talked about other headhunters and I asked him if he knew a bloke in Bracknell who’d recently interviewed me. ‘Oh him,’ he said, ‘well as a matter of fact I do.’ Now sit up, pay attention and read this carefully. It turns out that a few years ago the pub-bloke’s girlfriend had eloped with Bracknell-bloke whilst pregnant with pub-bloke’s child. Pub-bloke later went round to Bracknell-bloke’s and threatened him with a pitchfork before breaking up the house. If you’d read this in a novel you’d say it was too far-fetched. But we should never be surprised by headhunters and their dark arts.

I can’t even begin to address this subject here, these people warrant a study all to themselves – more next time.

  • ndrews ACA (a pseudonym) is currently unemployed. He is writing occasional dispatches for Accountancy

Related reading

The Practitioner