Monday, December 12, 2011

Perception Problem

The linked article today is a sobering view from the other side of the employment desk. Robert W. Goldfarb, in the New York Times Sunday business section, says many of the executives believe “that young people have been so pampered by hovering parents and so untested academically that they bring little value to today’s demanding workplace.”


So why am I sharing this information? Because Goldfarb also mentions some perceived weaknesses that you have the ability to challenge head-on, and some strategies you can take when you are hired to avoid obvious mistakes. You can mine this article for information relevant to your side of the employment desk. Some possibilities:

1. Employers feel that recent graduates lack written and oral communication skills. You can make cogent arguments about why your English major has prepared you exceptionally well in this area.

2. Employers feel that recent graduates cannot sift through large amounts of data. If you’ve read Shakespeare, Dickens, Melville or Morrison, you have good grounds on which to argue that you don’t have this problem.

3. Employers feel that younger employees have lost their energy, creativity and daring because of the tough job market. Goldfarb suggests that companies mentor their young employees—and I suggest that you seek out one or more mentors, both before and after you are hired. Network!

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