Thursday, September 19, 2013

When Employment and Education "Experts" Collide

The Chronicle of Higher Ed's article Employers and Public Favor Graduates Who Can Communicate displays ambivalent attitudes and a complete lack of real world experience--not by students or employees--but by managers, employers, and professors that peddle such nonsense to students and the community-at-large.

What nonsense you ask?  Being "well-rounded with a range of abilities" will land you that fab job you've been dreaming about.

Why the attitude?  Here's why.  If a company is hiring for a position that requires a Bachelor's Degree in marketing, finance, or business, it doesn't matter that upper management or your local professor believes "Being well-rounded with a range of abilities is more important than having industry expertise because job-specific skills can be learned at work."

Upper management is never going to meet that well-rounded person because that well-rounded person will never pass the initial screening process.  This kind of well-meaning, blather does NOT help those entering the job market.

Job seekers have to meet the job market where it stands and if professors or upper-management employers want a reality check, go read the want ads.  Nobody is looking for a "well-rounded" individual with a wide "range of abilities," they are advertising for persons who have a "B.S. Degree in Business, Healthcare Administration, Accountancy or Finance."

I completely agree that a "well-rounded individual with a range of abilities" is a desirable employee indeed, but the person opening the envelope (or email) is simply doing their job when they are told to send the "Thanks, but no thanks" letter to all applicants who don't have the required degree.

Worst of all are students who feel that just having a degree--any degree--will take them somewhere, and while that may be true, all it says to employers is that students can stick out five more years of school, but I guess that is something.

So professors, do your students a favor and have them focus on really learning something in college, whether it is finance, humanities, marketing, or history.

Students, I ask you once again what's your major?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Potential Employers DO Google You!

It's amazing how many newbies to the job market, aka I just got out of college and need a job, think that employers do NOT Google them.

Google is the greatest screener available to a Human Resource department AND it's FREE!  Why wouldn't they use every tool available to them to find that perfect employee?

So what's a perfect employee?  Well, that depends on the job, but let's think about what the employee from hell looks like.

The Ranter - the person who goes on Facebook, Twitter, RateMyProfessor, or the myriad other social media outlets and rants about his or her job, friends, teachers, or parents.  The last thing an employers wants is an employee with the potential to rant about their job, fellow employees, or boss!

The Grammatical Nincompoop - the person who can't be bothered spell checking or proofreading their posts.  Think about it.  Have you ever used Facebook--especially if you like text messaging language--and then go back and read how spell checker has changed your post?  Yikes -- proofreading does pay off.

The Partier - really?  Do you really need to be reminded not to post pics while chugging tequila in a tutu, or posting sexually explicit comments?

Take a minute to Google yourself and think about what a potential employer sees.  Do you feel the need to scrub your social media accounts?

Friday, September 13, 2013

The 12 Types of Procrastinators and Kittens


20px_procrastination_comic
How did I run across this great comic?  I was procrastinating of course!  Instead of grading papers, working on lesson plans, or writing the myriad papers that are coming due, I was cruising through Facebook and this little gem from Mashable caught my eye.

What kind of procrastinator am I?

The Cleaner - definitely - my house could always use a good scrubbing before I actually start grading papers or writing.  Although, lots of thinking gets done as my bathroom starts to shine (that's justification on top of procrastination).

The Sidetracker - yes, sometimes writing about comics is a lot more fun than grading papers (no offense).

The Social Sharer - my Facebook page is always open AND thank goodness I have never really figured out how to twitter.

The Internet Researcher - but it is legitimate research.  After all, I teach short film.

A friend once said, "You can get a lot of procrastinating done in twenty minutes."  It took me twenty minutes to figure out what he meant.

Here's the kitten part of this post.  In these postmodern days of new fangled apps there are all kinds of ways to boost productivity including Written? Kitten! which Mashable says "isn't a plugin or extension, but rather a helpful tool if you respond well to positive reinforcement. Each time you reach a goal (for example, you hit 500 words in your essay), the site rewards you with an adorable picture of a kitten, generated from Flickr. Meowww."

How do you avoid procrastination?  Do you have every social media window open while you try to do homework?