A Degree of Understanding

I asked a question last week of my Facebook friends after reading a PBS feature about a Harvard-educated, Emmy award winning writer who couldn’t get hired on at The Container Store.  I asked my friends, “How many of you have a similar story to this one?  The response was not unexpected for me because I too have lived this experience.

I wonder when jobs that used to be entry level, proving grounds and stepping stones on the way to a career become jobs with career-like expectations? Does anyone else remember growing up that working at the grocery store or the bookstore or the local cafe were considered to be stepping stones to a career?

Here’s a big question.  Are there enough people in the U.S. to fill all of the job vacancies in the U.S.? Next question: Are we clever enough to figure out how to match those with the appropriate training to those jobs? And for my big finale…for the remaining jobs and job seekers is it possible to implement on the job training for them if there are skills they are missing?

So why aren’t we matching people to these jobs more effectively? Why are people unemployed when we have job vacancies all over America? Should we set up more mechanisms for helping people move to where the jobs they need are?  This just seems like a problem that we should be able to fix if business was a little more transparent on what it needs.  Is it possible that it is more profitable for business to not fill jobs than to keep them filled?  Have we as a society begun to think of ourselves as cogs in the machine, easily swapped out when one fails due to exhaustion? Why do we celebrate when one person does the job of three people? If there is sufficient work for there people, we should hire three people.  When you leave one person to work the job of three, that person has to cut back something in their lives to maintain that level of efficiency.  They miss their kid’s recital, they forgo sleep, they give up vacation time all of which leads them to live unbalanced lives and creates stress.  Stress makes you less effective, less creative.  How is that a good thing?

“You just keep on using me, until you use me up,” should not be the philosophy behind how we do business.

This isn’t a refined blog.  These are just some of the ramblings running through my head.

~Marta G.

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