What’s My Line?

Despite the fact that I totally love this whole writing thing I’ve been doing, I feel like it’s time for me to get another real job. Not too terribly real; definitely not legal administration, but something with a little structure. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that I am a social being not meant to live the lonely writer’s life. I know this about myself because my cats told me, when we were deep in conversation the other day. Let’s just all agree that I need to get out more.

So I have started browsing job postings, and what I’ve discovered is that I don’t know anything about the great big world outside of legal. There are entire careers I’d never heard of; I recently came across an ad for, and you know I couldn’t make this up, a Scrum Master. The listing read:

Prepare for and facilitate daily scrum meetings, biweekly sprint planning, review, retrospective, backlog grooming meetings, and planning poker sessions with technical team

This is 110% true. That is the job description. I don’t know what daily scrum meetings consist of, but if they have coffee and donuts at the meetings, I feel certain I can ease my way in. As to sprint planning, backlog grooming, and poker sessions…I have no clue at all.

Always curious as a cat, I did feel compelled to look up Scrum Master and discovered if I really want to be taken seriously in the glamorous world of, uh, Scrumming, I need to become a CSM; Certified ScrumMaster. I mean, this Scrum business is serious, check it out:


I read the whole first page of the website, and the explanation of Scrum is as inscrutable as, well, Scrum.

If Scrum is not your thing, there is also something called Ruby-on-Rails (ROR for those in the know), or you could be a Sharepoint Administrator, or a Social Media Manager. I’ve also begun to decipher certain code that runs rampant in job ads. For example, the longer the title and the more detailed the job description, the less likely it is that there’s an actual job available. I think it’s mostly to prove that they couldn’t possibly hire someone because that person doesn’t exist. When an ad says they are looking for someone dynamic who can grow with the organization, that is shorthand for we can’t pay you, but we might be able to someday. And you know, I’ve already got that job.

I like job ads that go on and on and really say nothing. Why would you put “looking for someone intelligent” in a job posting? Presumably, stupid people don’t know they’re stupid, so they’re not going to read that and say darn, I guess I’m not qualified. Acronyms are also a problem. Not everyone is living in the same little bubble. Let’s say this came up on a game show of some kind (one I’d like to host): You are charged with managing the TI and RLS for the OID across DGs and throughout the life cycle. What’s That Job? It would have to at least be multiple choice for anyone to even have a chance.

The bottom line is that I am much clearer on what I don’t want to do than what I want to do. But I might go ahead and become a CSM, just so that when someone asks me what I do, I can say “I, my friend, am a Certified Scrum Master.”

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18 Responses to What’s My Line?

  1. jjlhicks says:

    I just read this blog – and you have described my world! Information systems and acronyms go hand in hand. And about those job descriptions – the longer they are, the less interested I am; always looking for a super human that doesn’t exist! Now I’ll get my “agile” arse back to work!!

  2. Pam Waits says:

    Scrum, coupled with your legal background reminded me of a joke. Do you know the difference between a shark and a lawyer? One is a scum sucking bottom feeder and the other’s a fish. Good luck with your job search – hope you keep writing. If you need resume or other HR help – let me know.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      I have to admit I have a soft spot in my heart for lawyers. Having worked with hundreds and hundreds of them, I know that 99% of them are decent, it’s just the other 1% that give the rest a bad name…

      Thanks for your offer to help!

      • Pam Waits says:

        I agree. I’ve worked with so many lawyers throughout my career they are some of my favorite people. In one job, I was so close to the labor attorneys that they granted me a fake law degree when I left. It’s one of my most treasured possessions.

  3. Kane says:

    Jill call me — get my number from your MOM

  4. The Regular Guy NYC says:

    Well that’s a scrummy sounding job! Hopefully, I won’t be scouring the help wanted ads anytime soon. I would not know what to look for.

  5. katecrimmins says:

    Want ads are really the new “funnies.” There are so many stupid things companies do. They take such shortcuts to save on ad length that it doesn’t make any sense. I could do a whole post on how not to write an ad. Good luck with your job search. Sometimes I think I’d like to do something part time that is more regular than the occasional gigs I get. Then I look at what’s available and what they want to pay. My cats pay me more to make sure their dishes are full. I also love certifications especially computer-related ones. Not a clue what they mean. Right next to the scrummer.

  6. Garrison says:

    Jill you are smart enough, you should make something up, then certify yourself in it. You could be “TIWO” certified and be a “Talentless Idiot Weader Outter”.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      I love the way you think Garrison! And as soon as I achieve my TIWO certification I can come work for you! I think this might be on the test…recruiting = interviewing idiotic people and then making fun of them the minute they leave. Oh yeah baby, I’m there!

  7. mimijk says:

    Somehow Certified Scrum Master doesn’t sound like it does you justice…Professional Diva perhaps, World’s Problem Solver, perhaps. Or, we could both write into the Post and tell them that the person who answers their HR questions on Sunday is one of the most talentless and not smart people I have ever read. We could take her job and have a field day!

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