Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans – S2EP9: “You’re Irrelevant”

Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans – S2EP9: “You’re Irrelevant”

“You’re Irrelevant” Brief Summary of Show: 

In this episode learn to take inspired action as we ask the questions, “Why should I stay relevant and how do I stay relevant?” Hosts Kyle and Christopher tell a story about relevancy, and why you have to remain relevant in your job search, your current job, or even in your home family situation! They give 4 key tips on how to easily make yourself relevant!

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“You’re Irrelevant” Transcript:

Would you want your leader to put someone like that in place become your leader who doesn’t have those relevance skills?

[Narrator] Is the thought of being imperfect keeping you from taking action? Welcome to Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans. Each week, we give you real life stories and thought provoking research that inspires your soul to live a more fulfilled life through your own actions. From the heart of Calgary, Canada, here are your hosts, award winning coaches Christopher Lawrence and Kyle Kalloo.

Good morning, good morning. We’re here to greet the day, hey!

What if people are listening to this at evening or afternoon or…

Oh, I don’t know. I was gonna have some witty quip but…

But it’s in the morning.

It’s in the morning and I can’t think straight. I can never think straight, hey.

Let’s kick this off, what are we talking about today? What’s happening? I’m ready for anything that you can throw at me today.

Well, today we are calling this episode, You’re Not Relevant. And Kyle this is an intervention for me, to you and all of our listeners. No, . Yeah, so I wanna talk about relevance because I’m seeing a lot of this right now as people are making huge career pivots and changes, they’ve been let go. And actually just before we get into our story today, I wanna say something about this because I had this little realization. I think when we feel relevant or we seek relevance in life, we actually feel better about ourselves so as we’re having this conversation because I think that relevance particularly when we’re talking about like worker relevance, job relevance, resume relevance especially when you talk about older workers, I hate using that term but it is a thing so I’m using terms that people understand.


And though I don’t like using it. I think relevance is sometimes for others. But I think relevance is actually a mental health activity.

Very interesting.

We just, I think… Well, you think about it, like when you learn something new, and then you can execute upon that knowledge and somebody recognizes that knowledge and gives you an opportunity to execute upon that knowledge, don’t you feel good?

Of course.

I’m not saying that we should be seeking external validation, that’s not what I’m saying.

But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that as well because it actually does something for us. I think what maybe and this is my assumption on it which is what I’m checking on, it’s about it’s want versus need, right? So if someone is out there say, oh my God I need external voucher, like I can’t exist without it then that’s a different story. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you doing a good job and someone says, yeah, you did a good job or you have the skill and someone’s like, hey, I appreciate that skill. So I think we have to be, I’m just putting that out there to say there’s nothing… Again like most things, there isn’t anything wrong with it, it’s dependency or if I could even be as bold to say addiction to it would be more of an issue. But if-

Yeah and for what thinkers.

Yeah exactly, exactly. That it’s external versus internal, right? So not saying it’s all a bad thing ’cause I think sometimes people seem to go completely black or white, left or right. You know what I mean? And it doesn’t always have to be that way, it could be somewhat fluid or validation or recognition or those things. There could be some fluidity to that, right?

Yeah. I think sometimes the word relevant has a negative connotation because what we hear is you’re irrelevant. And so it has a negative connotation but I think that actually we just need to reclaim that word and say I’m making myself relevant in the workforce, I’m making myself relevant in my home family situation, I’m making myself relevant in leadership. Like I think we need to reclaim this word because when you become relevant or even the process, have you ever met anybody that absolutely hated the process of learning. I’m not talking about like, I know some people hate school, right? But I think as human beings we’re all inclined to grow in some way. Like that’s part of our psychological makeup is that we wanna grow. And so it’s like everybody wants to learn, I don’t care if you’re the guy who plays video games until he’s 35 in his mother’s basement drinking two liters of Coca-Cola. You probably enjoy learning new game software which by the way, talk about relevance. There’s a major transferable skills with that demographic that they miss out on, their parents miss out on, their teachers miss out on, but you can take those skills and actually turn them into relevant workplace skills.


You know, so-

I remember reading once upon a time someone was talking about jobs that they did and the skills they learned and all that other stuff. I remember reading this person’s saying I’m a this, I’m a that of experience in this, this or that. And what she actually was describing was being a mom.


What she described was that she was a mom and she had to organize, she had to do this, she had to multitask, all these other things were just like damn, what job was she in? It was her being a mom. And so when you just mentioned transferable skills and all that other stuff, I think that people miss some opportunities to make that relevant and to actually showcase that with what they do or even hone in on some of those skills as well. So tell me more about where you wanna go with a relevance piece because you sometimes, you know with the type of work that you do in the coaching and you get a lot of people I know from that prospecting that reaches out and they’re looking for a job and they wanna leave a job and they’re not sure if they’re good at anything else. So what do you mean, like what are you seeing or hearing?

Well and sometimes their resumes don’t get attention. Like somebody will come to me, I’ll give you a specific example. I had a guy come to me, he had 25 years of experience in his industry.

Oh, wow!

25 years working in accounting. And here’s the thing, I mean, there’s certain aspects of accounting that don’t really change at all. There’s some aspects that do when regulation changes, certainly we’ve seen more changes probably in the last year in terms of like meeting CRA an IRS needs because rules change because of our current global situation. So anyway he came to me and this was quite awhile ago now but he came to me and he’s got 25 years in his resume is not getting picked up and this is what I would call again, I don’t like the word but an older worker. So this is somebody who’s 60 years old. All of the employers are looking at him saying, this guy’s gonna retire in five years like I want longer than that. All the stupid stuff that we do but I understand it from both perspectives. Like you have a right to be frustrated as that worker, you also have a right to be concerned as an employer because you’re thinking about the longevity of your business. With that said, I see this with young people too. Like, especially if there’s egos in play, like I don’t know why I didn’t get that job, I’m perfect for this, I’ve got this, this and this and I’m like, well, how did you show that in your resume and in your interview? So I think relevance is a key thing. So, in this particular guy’s place, he couldn’t get picked up, couldn’t get picked up. And so I said you need to do something to make yourself relevant. Like, go take a software course. I don’t care if it’s online and it’s free, but you can still put it on your resume. He was like, well, if it’s free, there’s no legitimacy to that? And I’m like, the world doesn’t think that way anymore. Because we know that there’s so much learning happening online that doesn’t cost anything. Like you look at

Which is phenomenal. There’s so much I’ve learned on that thing, yeah.

Oh you can learn so much and if you live in the city of Calgary, I don’t know about other cities but if you live in the city of Calgary and you have a city of Calgary Library card, you can access it for free, it costs nothing.

There’s some high quality content on that thing, yeah.

Oh I would say, just in my own estimation, when you compare the curriculum and the number of hours for certain types of training on versus post-secondary continuing education classes.

Yeah, yeah.

It’s the same quality of education. You don’t get the credits for it. But you can still say that you’re in that course so actually this is what he went and did, he actually went and took a couple of online programming courses. And he’s not the only one, like I have so many clients that are in the same position almost the same story too like.


And so then he put his resume out there, but he showed something relevant in the last few months. And then all of a sudden they started showing interest in him. So we do have to show, we do have to make ourselves relevant. Kyle and that’s the thing he did get pick… This has happened over and over and over again. I have a young client-

Free course, right. A free course, stop that spell of him not getting anything.

Well, this is the thing I have a young client too and she wants to get into a particular branch of government and there’s all sorts of different things that she needs to do. And she is qualified, she meets all the stuff and I’m like I look at her resume and I’m like, you haven’t had anything on here for five years.


There’s nothing new on it for five years. Show me something new. Right so that’s…. Is that the make or break while it might be the difference between the the recruiter looking at your resume and saying yes or no?

Sure it is.

Like most of your resumes don’t even get airtime. Like if there’s 150 applications, trust me when I say the recruiters are not looking at your your application, you need to get picked up by the search engine, that ETS systems, that kind of thing, you need to get picked up that way. If you don’t have anything relevant on it you’re not using keywords. And then let’s say that they choose 20 resumes to look at. Someone has something they’ve done in the last couple of years, and you don’t have anything for a few years, you’re not relevant anymore, it sucks that that’s the way of the world but that is the way of the world.

And we-

Give a story Kyle.

Yeah, and I like that we’re talking about this because I think sometimes, you know recruiter, the manager or your leader, ’cause as you know I work with a lot of these different leaders and things come up and you know I often will say to them, why don’t you tell people this? And they’re not telling, right or wrong they’re not tell… It’s uncomfortable, it’s uncomfortable. And people are mindful of hurting your feelings and people don’t wanna say something that you’ve never heard before ’cause sometimes on the other end that’s what we do, can you imagine he said this to me, no other leader has ever talked to me that way. No, ’cause that’s what’s happening in the background so these guys have learned. I remember we were recruiting and I see this a lot on my experience in internally with companies when someone’s trying to move from one department to another department of the organization, there’s almost like this entitled thing that you have as an internal employee that feels you should get the job outside over someone who’s outside. And so they go to these-

You have a specific example of this actually, wasn’t there a woman that you worked with.

Yeah, I mean and she wanted to leave one department and go to another department to become for a leader. Although it was a junior leader position, she didn’t have that relevance of leading in the department that she was in nor did she actually showcase or identified any transferable skills like we were saying earlier that would say that she would do this job. And so when she didn’t get the job, and that’s something I always do, I always give feedback on these type of interviews. And she didn’t like-

Her skills, like she wanted to move into marketing if I remember. And she wanted a team lead position in marketing, this is organization you worked at and her marketing skills were like 20 years old.

Yeah. Almost 20, absolutely.

Which doesn’t mean that they’re not useful, but they’re not appealing.

Of all things marketing ’cause some industries tend to evolve quite quick and they’re rapid than others. Marketing is exactly one of those things. Marketers will tell you what they were doing last year is very different than this year. So can you imagine, you know 18, 19 years of irrelevance. That the last time she did something in that field because the job that she was in didn’t allow to do that. So how is she going to not only lead that marketing team and actually be as a support, here’s the flip side of that? Would you want your leader to put someone like that in place become your leader who doesn’t have those relevant skills nor are they working towards relevance? Like think about you wouldn’t want that. So as much as you’re in that moment thinking about yourself like I’ve worked with this company for 20 years, how did I not get this job? But you weren’t relevant. You would want someone to be put in a position that either has that experience or it’s relevant to the job that they’re doing, so they can move the organization forward. This is the third thing in leadership I… In a previous podcast I talked about that but this is the third part of it, if you can speak for the organization and most leaders that’s what they do, they have to speak for the organization. If you could speak for the organization, would the organization say to you, oh, by the way, put someone who’s not relevant in that role in their experience, in their attributes, what their contribution to that role and let’s go. Like you wouldn’t say that about yourself. Can you imagine if the org… The organization would do that? So you have to stay relevant.

Relevance just gives you an edge. It gives you an edge-

Absolutely and prepares-

And honestly it’s also a way of hiding your age. So it’s like young people often say to me, it’s like I can’t get hired because I don’t have experience and because I don’t have experience I can’t get hired. The older worker says I have a ton of experience but I can’t get hired because of my age, right. And here’s the thing, when you… Like your age isn’t on your resume, you can change stuff on your resume to show relevant experience, relevant education so that you’re showing relevance, it hides your age really well. And actually make you look like a more mature worker, it can also make you look… It can also kind of hide that, hey, I’m 65 and looking for a post retirement job for a couple of years. You know like that kind of thing. And it’s like, you know what I’m saying? And they can ask you your age in our country, they can’t ask you your age in your interview, right.

It’s like we both help clients with recruiting obviously in different capacities. And one of the things that most recently we saw something where the last formal education ended in 1995. And so we’re like, okay, so since 95, what have you done? Like how you stay? I’m sure there’s other things.

Yeah. It’s not that their work experience didn’t count for anything, it’s just that the work experience was like one industry, one kind of experience. And this is the thing it’s like look, folks we know that this isn’t fair. We know that you’re being overlooked, we know that your skills are probably very much up to par and you’re being discriminated against. But folks, what everybody is missing the point on with resumes, is that it’s a marketing tool for yourself. And like if you see an ad from 1980 on your television for ABC Soapsuds, one, two, three from 1980 and it’s like totally not relevant. Are you gonna buy it? I mean, yeah they might make some sales but probably not. Resumes are about marketing and so it’s not fair, it’s just the way that the world works right now. And so, and it’s not just resumes, it’s also in your conversations, right? Like when you’re talking to people and it’s like, ’cause a lot of jobs are given not through resumes but through connections. And it’s like you can talk and say, well, you know this certification that I’m taking right now is all about one, two, three scale and one of the key things that they really hammer home is ABC and the way I think about it is this, well all of a sudden this person that you’re talking to might be like, I need to connect you with John. John’s looking for somebody just like you. Do you see what I’m saying? Like it gives you relevance. So, and I’m not saying that your current skills aren’t relevant, I’m just saying that this gives you an edge. I think that’s what we’re both saying Kyle is that this gives you an edge.


Above the rest.

And speaking of that, what is the, is there any research or what’s the-

Well, so this is interesting, yeah, this is interesting. So I went to, so they do lots with resumes and that kind of thing. So I think they might be a resume development software, you can get resume help. So here’s some 2021 statistics. They researched over 133,000 resumes in their database. There are five must have sections meaning that greater than 88% of resumes have all five of these sections. So 99.85 resumes have personal information, so over 99% of personal information. So this would be name, phone number, that email address that kind of thing. I’m not a fan of putting your mailing address on, it’s none of their business. They don’t need to know if you live in another city right now.


All right. Second one is work experience, so you have to have work experience, over 98% of people put work experience on. So I’m thinking what are the other 1.66% of people doing? Like you’re not putting work experience that’s so weird. And I would say relevant work experience, put relevant work experience. It doesn’t always have to be linear chronological, I think sometimes that works against you. Number three is education that’s over 97%, I’m gonna come back to that then we have skills as over 89% and a summary or objective is 88%. Although I think the summary and objective can be removed personally. I don’t think people really pay much attention to it. So here’s the thing about education. This is the thing and work experience. If over 97% and 98% have education and work experience as headings, and I would use the words relevant education and relevant work experience. That’s how I coach my clients, put this on your resume, relevant education, relevant work experience. If you have nothing relevant, it’s a missed opportunity.

Hands down.

That’s the point. Instead of just saying work experience, put relevant work experience because quite frankly if you’re applying for a, let’s say food service manager position, I don’t care that you delivered newspapers in 1988, right? If you’re applying for a business analyst position, I actually don’t care about your restaurant experience unless you have relevancy of doing the statistics on their websites maybe or some kind of process change, do you see what I’m saying? Like relevant work experience, right. By doing that you also economize your resume so meaning you’re going to fill it with more keywords so the ATS systems will pick it up. So I think how we should talk to folks about some of our key tips, we’ve got four key tips on how do you easily make yourself relevant ’cause we all know we’re not all going back for a four year degree, right? That’s not what we’re talking about.

For everyone, yeah.

No totally, so we’ve got four key tips, I’ve got two, Kyle’s got two. So here’s my two. You can get relevant even by signing up for a free course that provides a certificate of participation at the end. Even by signing up, you can put it on your resume currently enrolled in. Right. And it’s okay if it’s like or Udemy, you don’t have to state that it’s or you Udemy, just give me the name of the course and give me three or four relevant points from the syllabus of the course. These programs, these online programs have written it for you. A lot of this education is just as good as the post-secondary continuing ed stuff which is why post-secondary con ed is doing a lot of online self-paced programming right now. No, you don’t get a credit for it when it’s through one of these other online learning services as you would maybe through a post-secondary institution.


But quite frankly, like they’re monopolizing on this. Education as an economic endeavor. So why not take it for free or for $20 or $200 as opposed to 1000. You know unless you have a specific need for wanting the credit. So you can say currently enrolled in, and that starts to make you relevant. And make sure it’s a course that falls in line with what they’re doing. Like, I’ll tell you if there was a job I desperately wanted, And I knew that I had minimal relevance. I would go online to or to Udemy, and I would sign up for a course or two or three all at once, and I’d start to work through them, for sure I would. Because I want the skills. And then I put it on my resume, and I would say currently enrolled in these three courses. And that I might state that they’re online or whatever just because I don’t wanna be disqualified for being in school or having school hours, you know what I mean? Like that would be the first thing I would do, and then I would submit my resume. You know, make those changes and submit my resume. Girl, that’s a life hack for your effort resume. Number two.

Number two.

Related volunteer work. So do your best to get some related volunteer work, right. Go see what’s out there that you can get in front of or even if you can’t get that, go find a mentor. Go on LinkedIn and say, look, I’m looking for somebody who can mentor me once a month for 15 minutes. Go find that mentor, you can put on your resume, currently have a business analyst mentor, currently have a food services mentor, right? Life hack. Kyle what are your two?

For me it’s talk to your manager, talk to the leader, talk to someone who’s even in the industry and find out what do they do for learning and development or relevance in that area. They will know ’cause they’ve either done it or they’re doing it, right. So if you’re interested in that other job, that other department that… Find out what would be the most relevant learning, how to stay current? ‘Cause some of it is job shadowing, some of it is learning. Some of it is just being a part of that community like Christopher just said that I could volunteer, I can be exposed in that area. The fourth one I would say is have a continuous education plan, right? What is your continuing ed plan? I know for me, there’s actually four courses I’m gonna finish by 2021. Because two of them I already enrolled in and then the next one I’m gonna be able to… Next two I’m gonna be doing. Well you need to have that plan for yourself because those are things you wanna do. And you can change, right? It’s just a plan, right? So by the middle of the year something changes for you, then go roll to another plan or come out of this thing. You’re not locked into anything, but it keeps you relevant. Also, Christopher I know you’d agree with this as well, it develops that habit and that principle and discipline for yourself to say, I am staying relevant, I’m staying current. And I could tell you from the employee ’cause Christopher is a huge advocate for when it comes to employees, he will tell you your employees will thank you for this. As a leader, you staying relevant and current will thank you ’cause here’s the thing and I’m exposed to this every time I work with a new leader or prospect, most leaders don’t wanna admit that they need to stay relevant. They usually feel it’s my team issue, it’s my bosses issue. It’s very rare that they admit that it’s about them but I will tell you on behalf of your employee and your bosses, you two need to stay relevant.

I 100% agree. I’ve got a quick bonus one here Kyle which is even signing up to be a part of a professional organization. So if you wanna be a communicator, sign up for the international one is IIBA, oh no that’s International Institute of Business and Analysts. So like sign up for the, become a member of your professional organization and ladies and gentlemen and everything in between there are professional organizations for everything on the planet. For everything on the planet. Folks that’s what we’ve got for you for today’s podcast. What is your imperfect inspired action that you are going to take to ensure that you stay relevant this week? We wanna hear from you, check the show notes, reach out to us, we’ve got a website with an email link you can contact us directly. We wanna hear from you.

[Narrator] It’s our goal to build a global community of inspired action takers. And we can only do that with your help. So if you love Inspired Action, please leave a review on your favorite podcasting app and share a sign your socials. You’ve heard from us, now, we wanna hear from you. Go to and tell us what is the inspired action you took this week. Next week on Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans,

One, why aren’t they doing these things? And the other thing too is, do I have to wait until I’m a leader to do those things.

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