The new K.O. criteria for jobs?

To be honest with you, I am still a bit puzzled. But it totally makes sense. Over the past 9 weeks, I ran into three different people that I had met through my work at IBM. They all had three things in common:

  • They used to be a Business Analytics advocate and driver at a customer
  • They left that job to pursue another opportunity with a new company
  • They hate their new jobs and are looking for a new role

What’s happening here? Three highly qualified people leave a decent job to take a better position and shortly after start looking for another job? The answer all three gave is pretty much the same: While their new jobs do provide them with more job responsibilities, they do not have have Business Analytics available and therefore have to rely on spreadsheets and other legacy systems to get their jobs done. All three of them were struggling with that situation. Moving from an automated process to a manual version is tough. Not being able to obtain answers to questions that you were able to get answered before is even harder. And then there is the additional workload of  maintaining spreadsheets.

One of them commented: “I am not feeling good about this. It’s almost like driving an ancient beetle after you had the luxury of traveling in a Mercedes for a number of years. Unfortunately, I was so used to my luxury vehicle that I didn’t even think about the fact that there could be something worse out there.”


It makes sense. We are all striving to grow our careers. And these three professionals suddenly found themselves in a situation where they were effectively taking several steps backwards. As a result, all three professionals have vowed to only take a job with a company that provides them with a solid Business Analytics platform to get their jobs done.


Great job on paper?

This made me think about the future job market. We are supposedly facing a serious shortage of skilled knowledge workers in the upcoming years. Companies will face a tough time attracting the best and brightest people. Professionals will take a critical look at the working conditions. Will the organization allow them to succeed? Does the company have a solid technology platform that allows them to spend time on exciting and valuable work instead of having to herd hundreds of spreadsheet dinosaurs?

Will old-fashioned organizations face a serious issue? I am temped to say: Yes, absolutely. Highly qualified people do have a choice and they want to succeed. Spreadsheet organizations better buckle up!

At the same time, job seekers should really pay attention to this. Don’t just assume that things will work out. This about your ability to succeed and your ability to focus on interesting work, after all. Likewise, as organizations implement technology, you will have to stay current. But that’s the fun part!