Who we are

So, why am I doing this anyway? Not the blog thing (that makes perfect sense) but the school thing. Why am I putting myself through all this education turmoil – at my age, in my shape (and I use this term advisedly).

I frequently reflect on the state of the working world, the inherent politics of the workplace, the make-work projects, the endemic mantras of self-preservation and job perpetuation, and I wonder: is this what I’m going to school for?

My late round of job searches taught me too that every industry has its guild, or association, or club, or other organization in which membership seems to be more highly prized than actual experience. And this was reinforced at school last year where it seemed that all I ever heard about was the power of networking, the need to rub elbows. “It’s not what you know, but who you know” we were told with stultifying regularity, begging, simply begging the question – “why am I spending all this money on a second degree if all I have to do is join the club and get tiddly?”

Television News the other day detailed how a) there are too many students in college or university right now, b) many of them shouldn’t be there – based on grades and desire, and c) for many of them prospects on graduation are less than stellar anyway. People are often graduating with a degree that is so far removed from the work that they ultimately do that it’s almost laughable. Remembering that nothing can be achieved without ‘the piece of paper’ that says you know stuff, the whole process seems to be contradictory and self-serving. I heard last year – from one group – that networking is the most important thing. From another group it was marks and grades. From yet another, (“Study Abroad!”) – experience. So which is it? Surely it’s time for industry in general to prioritize brightness, potential, personality and eagerness over that silly piece of paper. Surely people are who they are, not what they know!

Finally today, because my rant appears to be self-replicating now, I believe it’s time for the onus in the job search world to be placed on those who are trying to fill positions. It’s a mutual need, the job search, but the onus to act like human beings must fall on those for whom there is no pressure. They are looking for human help, so let them afford their applicants the basic human dignity of personal contact with every applicant. Hired or not, desired or not, humans deserve this dignity, and in the present hiring environment they do not receive it.

Classes start Monday. I think I’m still chasing a Communications spot, but after this, perhaps not. Perhaps I’ll be a restaurant critic – perhaps I’ll start my own business and be CEO, CFO, and CCO.

The future is a strange animal.

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