The big news story of the last 24-hours – seemingly overshadowing the kick-off of World War III and Australia burning to the ground – is the fact that Dominic Cummings is looking to hire some new staff for No.10.
The job ad (if you can call it that) is a doozy. It pretty much slags off the civil service and paints Cummings himself as a maverick outsider running a start-up. It’s surprising that he doesn’t mention a list of nearby vegan pop-ups or the in-house table tennis league. And, naturally, people have picked up on the overworking culture that it subscribes to.
But what grabbed me was the line saying that he was looking for ‘weirdo and misfits with odd skills’. That is me. That unique combination of, erm, stuff is exactly what many clients hire me for and keep coming back for. I do something that their employees or (in the case of CEOS I work with) they cannot do.
The paragraph that describes these ‘weirdos’ goes thus: ‘We need some true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole, weirdos from William Gibson novels like that girl hired by Bigend as a brand ‘diviner’ who feels sick at the sight of Tommy Hilfiger or that Chinese-Cuban free runner from a crime family hired by the KGB. If you want to figure out what characters around Putin might do, or how international criminal gangs might exploit holes in our border security, you don’t want more Oxbridge English graduates who chat about Lacan at dinner parties with TV producers and spread fake news about fake news.’ .
Quite rightly, this has been laughed at on social media and in traditional media A LOT. But my two-penneth is simply that none of these people would want a job working for Dominic Cummings. Even Dominic Cummings wouldn’t want to work for Dominic Cummings.
That said, they are unlikely to want a job working for anybody. Us weirdos worked our way out of hellholes and feel sick at Tommy pants because we are weirdos and misfits who don’t want to answer to some loon who wants you to work start-up hours in a going concern for no stock. Although, to be honest, even the stock wouldn’t be a draw. This is why we become writer-artist-consultant-ideas wranglers. My own limit for being in an office is one season. Your mileage may vary.
I have to constantly remind open-mouthed recruitment consultants that I don’t want to be head-hunted thank you very much. I am happy skulking, taking the morning off or laughing at Dominic Cummings on social media.
I shan’t be sending my CV.