Oct 102011

Here are some typical job ad clauses, followed by a humorous “translation” of what they could mean in their extreme version if you read between the lines:

Ability to work under pressure – We have a lot of problems.

Able to work flexible hours, weekends and holidays (with no mention of time off or overtime) – Give up hobbies, family or personal life if you have any left.

Work effectively with a minimum of direction – We lack good managers, but don’t want to hire any.

Excellent communication skills – You don’t mind your management taking credit for official correspondence you’ll write all the time.

Ability to grasp complex technical issues quickly – You better be good at improvising and figuring out things on your own because we either:
a.) don’t want to invest in training
b.) have a revolving door problem with no institutional knowledge left in house
c.) all of the above.

Ability to work in a team atmosphere – because most of our staff can’t.

Good conflict resolution skills – We turn our staff against each other. You need to make sure they don’t unite and turn against us.

You’ve worked at a startup company before and loved it (we don’t care if it succeeded or failed). – You’re a pulling horse, OK with being underpaid, overworked and constantly burned-out.

You care more about building a successful company than a sexy technology. – You don’t mind a cell phone and office computer from the last century.

You have recruited and managed great software developers. – You are ready to crack the whip and make people’s lives miserable.

You know when to be a perfectionist and when *good enough* is enough. – We cut corners all the time and you better accept it and do it, except when working on stuff your bosses.

Prima donnas need not apply – We welcome intelligence and critical thinking only when you agree with us.

Responsible for direct interaction with different committees and/or management – be ready to spend time in meetings during the day and do catchup after hours.

Again, this is a humorous interpretation of these statements. I’ve included many of them in the jobs postings I’ve made throughout my career and I don’t abuse my staff. On the contrary, most of the people I supervised in the past are one phone call away from joining me in new ventures, granted reasonable salary and benefits.

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