The Vice-President and the F-Bomb

People can say what they would like about Joe Biden’s vice-presidential slip, but I, for one, appreciate his candor.

Too often messages today are sugar coated, and no where is this more true than in business. Employers toss around certain lines as often as Vice-President Biden apparently throws around the F-bomb.

You are not the right fit. Your skill set is not what we had in mind. We are looking for someone with more industry experience.

For once it would be refreshing for a hiring manager to simplify these words, to cut through the static, and to tell it like it is. Because, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that 95% of the time any iteration of one of the statements above basically means, “In our opinion, you are not smart (or talented, or able) enough to do this job.”

Sure, hearing the truth may sting momentarily. Like the quick removal of a band-aid, though, it seems as if the truth is easier to take than the confusion as to what went wrong.

We have all experienced the “it is not you, it is me” conversation during one break-up or another. Whenever a soon-to-be-ex-significant other uses these words, you can be pretty sure of one thing – the problem definitely has something to do with you. The same is true in business.

Tell me like it is. Tell me that I am not smart enough, or tall enough, or creative enough, or outgoing enough, or fill-in-the-blank enough to be successful in your organization or at your company. But, tell me the truth. I want to know what to work on and, perhaps, what to look for in a future job and I can only do this effectively if I understand what went wrong this time around.

Sure, Biden’s f-bomb may not go down in history alongside Lincoln’s ‘Four score and seven years ago’ or Kennedy’s ‘Ask not what your country can do for you’, but I give the Vice-President credit for saying what was on his mind.

And, I am going to follow his lead. From now on, I am going to be clear from the start. You know, I will tell my next interviewer, “I am a big f—ing deal and you would be lucky to have me.”

I will let you know how it goes.

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