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Interviewing for DE position....what should I expect?

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"If I take this position, I fully expect to stay with it and remain within my area"

 

It's my impression, and this was told to me straight-up when I interviewed for a DE position, is that the BSA discourages this. The idea is you spend a few years in one council, and then you'll be sent somewhere else. That may not be the case now, it's been about three or four years, but it was pretty clearly stated if I were to get the job that I would expect to move on somewhere else after a few years.

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How is your poker face? Do you have any tells?

 

Can you lie to anyone and not carry any guilt?

 

Stealing,? Can you lose expense reports, fail to turn in apps and funds associated with them and not feel bad about it?

 

How do you feel about keeping your word? Is it optional or you spin a story to keep your ass out of hot water?

 

you need to identify affluent units and influential people very quickly in your district

 

 

Story telling, keep stringing people along with hope until your transferred out of your district to the new......hopefully the people you burned in the old district don't call the new one.

Just heap on the negativity. It's obvious this person is really enthusiastic about being a professional for all of the right reasons, and you're piling on all of your personal, anecdotal issues with various aspects of professional scouting as if it's the norm as if you're going to scare him straight.

 

Are there some bad professionals out there? Sure. But there's a lot more who work this pretty thankless job with long hours and (ridiculously) low pay, helping facilitate programs our scouts use on a daily basis, and love to do it for all the same reasons we love the BSA. Why be so cynical?

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How is your poker face? Do you have any tells?

 

Can you lie to anyone and not carry any guilt?

 

Stealing,? Can you lose expense reports, fail to turn in apps and funds associated with them and not feel bad about it?

 

How do you feel about keeping your word? Is it optional or you spin a story to keep your ass out of hot water?

 

you need to identify affluent units and influential people very quickly in your district

 

 

Story telling, keep stringing people along with hope until your transferred out of your district to the new......hopefully the people you burned in the old district don't call the new one.

Why be cynical?

The guy's applying for a job as if it's just about sales, when it's also about shepherding adult volunteers.

He'll be starting to do this without ever having been a volunteer himself.

Never sat on an Eagle board of review. Never been through a district/council budget crisis.

He may need to help a crew, post, or ship get on its feet when he's never been an Explorer or Venturer. (He's mentioned "boy talks", never about "co-ed" teen talks.)

He's being fed a line that a couple of nights a week will be all it takes to do an excellent job. Well, maybe if his district has only four packs!

 

Guys like BD and I will come to him with tough questions, we already know the answers to the easy ones. We'll need him to tell us what we don't already know -- and often times don't really want to hear.

 

All I'm saying is that it's really easy for seasoned scouters (who should know better) to come into a DE job with no humility and wind up being a complete waste of our volunteer time. It takes a lot of spine and a commitment of time at the end of the day to make those follow-up phone calls that SHOULD say "I'm sorry, I don't have a solid answer for you yet, can you bear with me?" And it takes grit to keep after those things until you are satisfied that your volunteer has what he/she needs to carry on.

 

ProScout may have all that. Twenty years outside of scouting may have done him a world of good -- giving him insight and integrity and grit. But he'd might as well know that there are scouters (maybe non-scouters too?) out there who have come to take everything they hear from a BSA professional with a grain of salt.

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How is your poker face? Do you have any tells?

 

Can you lie to anyone and not carry any guilt?

 

Stealing,? Can you lose expense reports, fail to turn in apps and funds associated with them and not feel bad about it?

 

How do you feel about keeping your word? Is it optional or you spin a story to keep your ass out of hot water?

 

you need to identify affluent units and influential people very quickly in your district

 

 

Story telling, keep stringing people along with hope until your transferred out of your district to the new......hopefully the people you burned in the old district don't call the new one.

Your points are well taken. My point is there's a difference between pointing out where ProScouter may be looking at this the wrong way and/or getting him to think outside the box in terms of the questions he will be asked and the expectations of the job, and flat-out asking "are you a good liar? Can you steal and get away with it?" These things aren't advice or helpful nudging. They're thinly-veiled attempts at venting circumstantial issues with problem DE's in order to scare him or discourage him from the job. It's helpful for him to know where the council interviewer may be leading him down the wrong path, but it's not helpful to project on him all the problems we may have had in our necks of the woods and give him the impression he's going to get stomped on by angry volunteers at every juncture.

 

Yes, we should demand the best out of our Pros. Do we always get it? Absolutely not. But it seems to me a lot of folks come out guns-blazing, ready to shoot down a young DE just because the last one didn't work out, and the poor guy or gal doesn't even stand a chance. That's what I see in BD's post, not the kinds of substantive questions and issues you bring up, qwazse.

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"If I take this position, I fully expect to stay with it and remain within my area"

 

It's my impression, and this was told to me straight-up when I interviewed for a DE position, is that the BSA discourages this. The idea is you spend a few years in one council, and then you'll be sent somewhere else. That may not be the case now, it's been about three or four years, but it was pretty clearly stated if I were to get the job that I would expect to move on somewhere else after a few years.

 

​I was concerned about this so it was one of my first questions. The Council CEO (whom I interviewed with) started out in our district over 30 years ago. He moved up north after a few years where he turned another council around and then ended up back here where he has remained for the last 27 years. He has been courted to go to other councils and do the same work he's done for ours, but has chosen not to. As he told me, very bluntly, they may make you some offers that you may choose to consider, but there is nothing that will make you have to leave if you choose not to. Our family is rooted here, so leaving is really out of the question, at least for the foreseeable future. BSA may WANT me to move, but as I was told, there's nothing they can do to make that happen.

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How is your poker face? Do you have any tells?

 

Can you lie to anyone and not carry any guilt?

 

Stealing,? Can you lose expense reports, fail to turn in apps and funds associated with them and not feel bad about it?

 

How do you feel about keeping your word? Is it optional or you spin a story to keep your ass out of hot water?

 

you need to identify affluent units and influential people very quickly in your district

 

 

Story telling, keep stringing people along with hope until your transferred out of your district to the new......hopefully the people you burned in the old district don't call the new one.

qwazse: I understand that the job is not just sales. However, I think you know as well as I do that my job would depend on numbers. That said, a big part of selling in this type of field would involve cultivating solid relationships with my volunteers and working with them and SUPPORTING them to "close" those deals. I obviously can't do it on my own. At the end of the day, they are the ones who are executing what I'm "selling" and maintaining a good relationship with them and keeping myself in their good graces helps me as much as anyone. Also, I think you have a fundamental misconception of what "PR" is. It isn't just maintaining relations with THE public....it's about maintaining relationships with MY public...and the volunteers are a major part of that group.

 

I did not mention the "co-ed talks" because I was not aware of them. It doesn't mean I have an issue with doing them or that I would exclude one program in favor of another (although much of that would be determined by need).

 

Ultimately, I get what you're saying. To be very clear, I have spent the last 12 years working in the hospitality field, primarily in event planning and management. If you've ever done that type of work, then you know that client relationship development is paramount. Approaching situations with humility is a necessity and working to find answers that you may not know (to ensure you're giving the correct information) is commonplace. Believe me when I say, I wouldn't undertake this with arrogance. The first step is to meet with my volunteers and listen to their concerns and their needs, then determine what is within my power to address and how to go about doing it appropriately. If it doesn't fall within my purview, then my goal is to run it up the ladder until I find whose it does. One way or the other, I will not leave my "clients" hanging. If I ever did that in my line of work now, I wouldn't have a job. I'm not the typical "fresh-out-of-school" college grad looking to show off and show up the people around me to move up. I'm looking for a stable career that will allow me to do good within my community....and that means giving the attention needed to those who are on the ground in that community.

 

I hope this helps a bit.

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How is your poker face? Do you have any tells?

 

Can you lie to anyone and not carry any guilt?

 

Stealing,? Can you lose expense reports, fail to turn in apps and funds associated with them and not feel bad about it?

 

How do you feel about keeping your word? Is it optional or you spin a story to keep your ass out of hot water?

 

you need to identify affluent units and influential people very quickly in your district

 

 

Story telling, keep stringing people along with hope until your transferred out of your district to the new......hopefully the people you burned in the old district don't call the new one.

Sounds like you have the right background, but you have a steep learning curve. Now, it may be that your council has an executive devoted to just to Venturing and Explorers. But it wouldn't hurt for you to read up on those programs. Find out how many of those units are in your council,. A good question to ask is if you'd be responsible for any of them.

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"If I take this position, I fully expect to stay with it and remain within my area"

 

It's my impression, and this was told to me straight-up when I interviewed for a DE position, is that the BSA discourages this. The idea is you spend a few years in one council, and then you'll be sent somewhere else. That may not be the case now, it's been about three or four years, but it was pretty clearly stated if I were to get the job that I would expect to move on somewhere else after a few years.

 

​I was concerned about this so it was one of my first questions. The Council CEO (whom I interviewed with) started out in our district over 30 years ago. He moved up north after a few years where he turned another council around and then ended up back here where he has remained for the last 27 years. He has been courted to go to other councils and do the same work he's done for ours, but has chosen not to. As he told me, very bluntly, they may make you some offers that you may choose to consider, but there is nothing that will make you have to leave if you choose not to. Our family is rooted here, so leaving is really out of the question, at least for the foreseeable future. BSA may WANT me to move, but as I was told, there's nothing they can do to make that happen.

Yes, they'll make you offers and you don't have to take them, but you also don't have to get promoted, either. The BSA has pretty structured career trajectory goals for DEs. If you pan out, you move up the ladder. No one stays a DE forever, and upward mobility (intentionally) will not happen in the same council. And, really, you don't want to stay a DE forever, no matter how altruistic your motives. You need to ask tougher questions on this one, methinks.

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How is your poker face? Do you have any tells?

 

Can you lie to anyone and not carry any guilt?

 

Stealing,? Can you lose expense reports, fail to turn in apps and funds associated with them and not feel bad about it?

 

How do you feel about keeping your word? Is it optional or you spin a story to keep your ass out of hot water?

 

you need to identify affluent units and influential people very quickly in your district

 

 

Story telling, keep stringing people along with hope until your transferred out of your district to the new......hopefully the people you burned in the old district don't call the new one.

Good points, qwazse. I will most definitely add those to my list of questions. I'm thinking I'm more likely to not get the offer just based on how inquisitive I will be in this next interview. :) It isn't often that the interviewee does a more thorough interview than the interviewer, but it's not a bad thing.

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"If I take this position, I fully expect to stay with it and remain within my area"

 

It's my impression, and this was told to me straight-up when I interviewed for a DE position, is that the BSA discourages this. The idea is you spend a few years in one council, and then you'll be sent somewhere else. That may not be the case now, it's been about three or four years, but it was pretty clearly stated if I were to get the job that I would expect to move on somewhere else after a few years.

 

​I was concerned about this so it was one of my first questions. The Council CEO (whom I interviewed with) started out in our district over 30 years ago. He moved up north after a few years where he turned another council around and then ended up back here where he has remained for the last 27 years. He has been courted to go to other councils and do the same work he's done for ours, but has chosen not to. As he told me, very bluntly, they may make you some offers that you may choose to consider, but there is nothing that will make you have to leave if you choose not to. Our family is rooted here, so leaving is really out of the question, at least for the foreseeable future. BSA may WANT me to move, but as I was told, there's nothing they can do to make that happen.

Fair assessment. I will ask, for sure. I think it will be good to get the opinions of these other two individuals on Monday and see how they compare to the first interviewer. I agree that it's unlikely I'd want to remain a DE forever, but I will say I'm not looking at this for the salary. It's a good salary to start out and isn't far off what I make now. We can live comfortably with it. My biggest issue is time. I have no problems devoting time to the job. I just want to ensure there is still time for the family as well (and that's where my biggest disconnect is based on what I'm reading).

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Several of our DEs moved on to some decent careers after doing their jobs as pro scouters well. (By well, I'm talking about that integrity and grit thing.) I recall one getting a foreman's job in a factory, another got a job directing a development center for troubled kids, another became a sports store manager. The first two fellas had a stall in their careers, and the DE job came at a good time for them. The other one really needed to get a break from scouting for the sake of his wife (and dog), and the skills that he picked up as DE gave him the skills he needed to excel in the corporate world. So for the trouble, it seemed to do these guys a lot of good.

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If you have a good job that you are happy doing and it provides the standard of living that you are looking for, I would urge you look deeply and think seriously before leaving it to be a DE. It is a very difficult job that, IMO, is going to get even more difficult....even impossible. Schools are cutting the scouts out from doing Cub Scout recruiting and United Ways are cutting the scouts out from their allocations. Bad press is hurting the scouts ability to get an audience with new potential givers. In short, the job is not one that most sane people would want.

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If you have a good job that you are happy doing and it provides the standard of living that you are looking for, I would urge you look deeply and think seriously before leaving it to be a DE. It is a very difficult job that, IMO, is going to get even more difficult....even impossible. Schools are cutting the scouts out from doing Cub Scout recruiting and United Ways are cutting the scouts out from their allocations. Bad press is hurting the scouts ability to get an audience with new potential givers. In short, the job is not one that most sane people would want.
Have to agree here ... the DE job can be boiled down to two key elements which is fund raising, and recruiting. In our District here which is rural and poor, DE's come and go like the change of the season because they fail to reach their goals of bringing in the bucks and bodies. Do think twice before leaving a good job....

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Instead of quitting your job, why not volunteer for your district or Council? The happiest DEs I know are the ones who have retired once and no longer have kids at home.

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If you have a good job that you are happy doing and it provides the standard of living that you are looking for, I would urge you look deeply and think seriously before leaving it to be a DE. It is a very difficult job that, IMO, is going to get even more difficult....even impossible. Schools are cutting the scouts out from doing Cub Scout recruiting and United Ways are cutting the scouts out from their allocations. Bad press is hurting the scouts ability to get an audience with new potential givers. In short, the job is not one that most sane people would want.
This is helpful. I'm thinking more and more that this is not going to be the opportunity for me that I had hoped. Please know that the reason that I am seeking to leave my current job is that it is 60 miles from home, one way. That said, I think patience may be important here in terms of finding the right fit. I have the second interview and personality test tomorrow. I'm going to move forward with it, but unless I hear some earth-changing news, I think I'm going to have to pass.

 

I appreciate everyone's candor on the topic.

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