Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Careers Of Others Are Not Always As Easy As they Appear

Dear Tazi:

I don't see what a big deal a college degree is.  A lot of the jobs I see out there are things I could do. All they require is common sense and on the job training.  I get so aggravated when I apply for a job, like Accountant or Marketing Manager, and get told I need a degree to handle the position.  They don't even ask me what I know!  They just assume because I don't have a degree I don't know how to do the job.

The last job I applied for was to be a Proofreader for a local newspaper.  I figured there is a job anybody can do, looking for spelling mistakes and make sure the writing makes sense.  But no!  I was told that I need at least TWO YEARS of college, preferably a four year degree in English, Communications, or a related field.  The job doesn't even pay that much!

I just feel like I am damned if I do and damned if I don't go to college.  I don't see why I should have to invest as [censored]-ton of money into a degree just to prove I can do a job.  Can you think of any way I could prove myself to employers without a college degree?

Separated From Work

Dear Separated From Work:

Let me first explain to you why you do not qualify to work as a proofreader: It is improper grammar to end a sentence with a preposition.  You have no idea how mad it is driving me to ignore your grammatical errors, of which there are (a few) more.  I usually correct such mistakes before publishing, but I am leaving yours in to prove my point.  As for thinking that you do not need a degree to be an Accountant, I have to ask; where in the world is your head?

Nowadays, positions in fields such as Accounting, and even Marketing, require a high level of technical understanding with regard to business.  An Accountant does more than math; an Accountant must understand and know how to apply the various financial laws that will affect his or her clients' business, as well as the ins-and-outs of economics.  Accounting is so complicated that it is making my little kitty head spin!

Plus, there's this...

As for your jab at the field of Marketing, the position of Marketing Manager often requires a Masters degree in the field; an understanding of the economy, as well as the various needs of potential clients; and the ability to predict what will work and what will not work based upon the psychological, political, and cultural makeup of the target audience.  There is so much that goes into this type of job that I will probably sprain my brain trying to find a way to explain through your ignorance.

I can see your frustration.  You are looking for work, and not finding it; however, you are not going to find work if you keep applying for jobs for which you are not qualified.  If you want to prove to employers that you are able to do a job, I suggest you find an organization that could use your volunteer services.  While volunteering, get to know the people who do the jobs you would like to do yourself.  You will be able to see all that goes into doing the job right, and you will be able to see if it is something you can do, as well.  I think seeing the work performed first-hand will change your point of view.  If, on the other hand, you can do the job sans degree, ask your supervisor for a letter of recommendation to give to employers.  This may change their point of view.Recent studies have shown that a stellar recommendation trumps a stellar resume 90% of the time.


P.S.  Some career counseling may help you match your natural strengths to your career interests!

Ed. Note: Today's column is dedicated to the amazing Kate Fish, Forensic Accountant and future FBI Agent, White Collar Crime Division!  Good luck in your new job!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.