I belong to a small number of groups on LinkedIn. One in particular is geared towards jobs in health care. I’m not looking for a job, but every once in a while someone is looking for a consultant who does what I do, so I like to keep my options open.


I feel like Superman,
but I’m not

Some years ago there was an interesting post that showed up. In the email I received, it said the offer was a unique consulting opportunity where one could work from home. I thought ‘hey, that works for me’, and immediately logged onto the site to check it out.

When I started reading, I was dismayed to see that it wasn’t really an assignment one could work from home. It was a traveling gig, where you’d be on the road from Monday through Thursday and back home on Fridays, with a requirement that you live near an airport. I wasn’t able to travel at the time, and the money they wanted to pay wasn’t what I’d normally accept to travel, but would have been fairly nice working from my home office.

I responded to that post for everyone to see that I thought it was a disingenuous job posting because it wasn’t a work at home job at all, and had totally misrepresented what it was. I didn’t hear back from the original poster, and no one else had anything to say about it. That’s wasn’t surprising because few comments ever show up in LinkedIn groups (which is depressing).

Companies and individuals misrepresent themselves all the time. They say they can do and handle things that they can’t. For instance, in my area of expertise in health care, many companies bid on projects they know they can’t do, but they do it anyway. Whether or not they get a nibble, they turn around and look for people who actually can do the job.

I probably I shouldn’t gripe too hard because I’ve gotten a couple of subcontracts that way. When it’s problematic is when someone’s pitching a position to you that they haven’t received an agreement about, and if they don’t get it they tell you the organization hired someone else without revealing they were never in the conversation to begin with. I know this because I’ve occasionally learned who was looking for someone and asked that very question. On the other side, a couple of times I’ve arrived at a site and learned just how much the hospital is paying the company I contracted for, only to find that I’m not even getting 50% of it; sigh…

I had someone tell me that the worst thing I could ever do in any of the things I do to make money is to turn down any opportunity, whether or not I’m proficient at it. In her opinion, you say yes to everything, then find someone who can do it, pay them, take a percentage of what the original contract is then do the piece I’m good at and take all the credit for a job well done.

My problem with that is twofold. If something goes wrong, or it’s not what the client wanted, they’d expect me to fix it, which couldn’t be done. The other problem is that it’s dishonest. If I told them I couldn’t do it but knew someone would could I’d be comfortable with that, but I’d leave it up to that person and the client to discuss things on their own and see if I got a percentage later on if things worked out.

I’ve seen what happens when consultants misrepresent their qualifications for certain jobs; I’ve been on gigs with some of them. I’ve been encouraged to say that I have the background to do medical diagnosis coding. I know how to read a medical record and how to look for certain things contained within, but by no means am I a medical records coder, and I also don’t have a degree. I’ve also been encouraged to put in for chief financial officer positions. I know I could do probably 75% of what they do, but that other 25% I’d never have a clue, and wouldn’t even want to try to do.

The same kind of thing happens with leadership positions. More than half the people who are in those positions aren’t anywhere close to being qualified to fill them. Every day I hear about a supervisor or manager who did something bordering on being illegal or unethical.

They have no clue how to work with others, or get others to work with them. They have no idea how to tell people when they’re doing badly, when they’re doing good, or know whether they’re too soft or hard on employees. Lack of good communication skills is inherent in so many of these people that it’s a wonder they knew how to lie to get the position in the first place.

We need to get to a place where there’s more honesty and integrity in business and our personal lives. Anyone expecting perfection is looking in the wrong world because it hardly ever happens. Looking for quality, and someone who’s telling the truth about their qualifications, is something we all deserve. Me being me, I’ll call it out when I see it; what about you?
 

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