No Degree, No Job – by Ifeadi Anigbogu30 views
Over the weekend, I stumbled on the movie ‘Second Act’
A lot from this movie resonated with me. From my own personal experiences to the plight of many young professionals these days.
This story is about a 40-year-old woman, Maya who is street-smart and quite innovative. She worked at a local store where she crafted some impressive initiatives that boosted sales and revenue growth for the store over time.
Convinced she was a great candidate, with over 12 years’ experience under her belt, she tried her to clinch the Store Manager position but was denied the opportunity, a book-smart #Duke alumni was chosen instead.
Over and over, this had happened to her, she had been denied good opportunities because she hadn’t a college degree and was getting older. People who couldn’t perform half as much as she could were chosen over her.
Bitterly disappointed and desperate to prove that both the book-smart and street-smart are all deserving of great career opportunities, she accepts a surprise profile makeover done for her by a friend’s son. She found out about this profile after she was invited to an interview for a very senior level position with the CEO of a very high-profile company. This profile presented her as a #Harvard grad with impressive corporate career history. Eventually she landed the job based on her fake profile, the perks that came with her offer are totally unbelievable.
As she got on board, she was given 3 months to develop a brand new 100% organic product. Though she struggled a bit, she achieved the target excellently. That was a first for the company. The board endorsed her product and invited her to a public press board meeting to officially present it as the company’s newest product line.
This story has a lot of lessons to learn.
This is the plight of many professionals who are great talents but often denied opportunities to thrive due to irrelevant hiring criteria that do not necessarily determine the success or performance ability of an individual. There are jobs which no doubt require specialized training but we must start to rethink -which jobs need specialized training and which jobs do not? We must strive to breakdown and minimize the irrelevant barriers to entry into the work world. The world has moved towards a skill economy, we should too. Business Leaders, HR Leaders and Recruiters need to move very quickly.
Personally, I have excelled in jobs and tasks where more academically qualified candidates failed. The knowledge we carry and the value we bring should be the focus.
- Build a work world where people are judged by their intellectual ability, potentials, track records and achievements, rather than certificates, degrees or classes of degrees?
- Start to look at skills and abilities rather than certificates and certifications?
- Not discriminate against candidates based on their age?
Share your thoughts, I’d love to hear them.