Could you, for example, walk into the office of a typical small business somewhere in America — a construction company, for example, or an independently-owned convenience store with fewer than 10 workers — and begin work immediately doing routine work, such as answering the phone and taking messages, using the office computer for recording receipts and disbursements, and faxing documents to state agencies?
Naturally, you’ll say you’d need some training. That’s undoubtedly true.
What’s also true, however, is that small business people expect college-educated people to know or be able to pick up very quickly skills that people with a high school education do every day.
I believe that being able to pick up new skills quickly is going to be the most sought-after attribute of 21st century workers.
The last time I tried to hire an editorial assistant for my publishing business, I asked people who’d lived in this community all their lives for suggestions. An ex-teacher was highly recommended.
She was interested in the work and the pay until I told her we use Open Office rather than Microsoft products because that’s what my customers use.
That was a deal breaker.
“I’d have to go take a course to learn how to use it,” she said.
The woman might have been a wonderful teacher, but she didn’t have the technology skills for an entry-level job in a small business.
If you have to go take a training course in a software program before you can use it, you can’t handle an entry-level job in a small business.
Folks, one word processing program is pretty much like another.
And if your skills are up to the challenge of the entry-level work in 2017, can you honestly say you’re able to prepare your students for today’s workplace, let alone tomorrow’s?
The Collaboration Model for Entry Level Jobs
Dear Applicant: The reason you weren’t hired.