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Wilkinson Coutts & Matthews Integrity Training

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WILKINSON COUTTS / MATTHEWS INTEGRITY HUB: an up-to-the-minute information mix designed to help you with your lifework and career development in the asset integrity, inspection and NDE industries.

Matthew Petroleum Notes

NON-JOB of the week

IF YOU THOUGHT non-jobs only existed in the public sector, think again. We’ve found lots advertised in the integrity industry too. Here’s this week’s classic.


Owing to rapid expansion in their global business a blue-chip Integrity Service provider company requires a forward-thinking QSE and data co-ordinator. This challenging role provides the opportunity to manage essential linking of the Quality, Safety and Environmental function across integrity services departments. You are passionate about inter-departmental synergy, familiar with cutting-edge data processing and will be familiar with all relevant technical codes and reporting practices. You are also an accomplished manager, used to meeting daily challenges and providing concise monthly reports up and down the organisation. Our client offers a competitive salary with the usual large-company benefits, including an innovative cycle-to-work scheme and you will work in an environment where diversity and tolerance are encouraged and nourished.

Apply to  nonjoboftheweek@etc

Yes, it’s a real job advertisement, we didn’t make it up. What the job actually involves is anyone’s guess but I bet they get lots of applications. Who wouldn’t be tumbling over themselves to get on a cycle-work scheme so they can claim at 5p per mile or whatever it is? If you are ‘passionate about inter-departmental synergy’ then we can only suggest that passion is something you need to think a little more carefully about. We wish the employer and applicants well (as we always do), but SORRY, but we wouldn’t want to be picking up the salary tab for whichever lucky candidate gets this non-job.

BUT WAIT A MINUTE: Maybe we should be serious for a moment and ask; why do non-jobs exist?

Why do non-jobs exist?

There’s a couple of possible reasons, it could just be a fake job; see our article dealing with recruitment agencies for what so-called fake jobs are and how they come to be advertised. Alternatively it may actually be a proper job, but just be a poorly-worded job description, cut and pasted from elsewhere and amendments added, making the whole thing read like a dog’s breakfast.HR departments do that kind of thing occasionally in their attempts to sound good.

There’s another possibility and that stems from the way that organisations have a tendency at times, silly things, to get themselves attracted to a bit of chaos. They don’t actually choose to go there; they are caught in the grip of an attractor. An attractor is a model representation of the behavioral results of the system that is the organisation. The attractor is not a force or goal-oriented presence as such; it simply decides where the system is headed based on its rules of motion.

If your organisation takes on more work than it can handle or conversely, turns down a potentially difficult project because it prefers an easier life, then both these decisions are the result of organisational attractors at work. Chaos is one powerful member of the attractor family which is why you will find it popping up in all organisations, including the one you work in.

Now can you see how the non-jobs arise in integrity companies? The main business of completing profitable projects using the technical knowledge of the people in the company, itself an attractor, is nested within banks of other less-useful attractors all fighting to gain priority. Managers want larger departments to emphasise their self-importance (the empire-building attractor). Individuals will always be happy with doing less work, making dilution of one valid job between several people an attractor. Job descriptions that accurately represent what a job recipient will do every day are difficult and controversial to write so the result is a meaningless list of generalities that at least won’t offend anyone. Comfort, freedom from criticism, a minimally-productive atmosphere of truce and mediocrity? ATTRACTORS.

That’s where non-jobs come from. They’re just a bit of chaos hanging around, caused by the attractors-of-the-month (or year, or decade)

Interested in the idea? Try the following search terms and read up on it

  • Organisational attractors
  • Organisational Values as attractors of chaos
  • Management stability within a culture of chaos
  • The biology of autonomy in organisations
  • Autopoiesis and Teleology

That’s enough about non-jobs. To read about how real jobs are changing in the Integrity Industry read our article Integrity job roles; what’s new?


If you want to check your knowledge for a specific job role in the integrity industry then try our trial technical interview.  Its purpose is to test you on the technical aspects of the job you are thinking of applying for.  There's no time limit on it but expect it to last at least 20 minutes.  After the discussion we'll give you honest feedback on how you did.  Just let us know the type of position you are going for; we'll do the rest and respond with at time slot for you to call us.

There's no charge, but we will expect you to call us at the allocated time and be ready to answer technical questions.

Remember your trial interview is on a purely technical subjects.  We are not interested in you personality traits, do-gooding activities or any wonderful extra-curricular interests you may have.

Technical Interview


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Matthews Integrity Training