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Author Topic: Why I Hire English Majors  (Read 348 times)

Lollapalooza

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Why I Hire English Majors
« on: June 25, 2013, 05:37:31 PM »

Steve Strauss
Best-selling author,
USA TODAY columnist,
leading small business expert.
Visit www.TheSelfEmployed.com


I love English majors. I love how smart they are. I love their intellectual curiosity. And I love their bold choice for a major. Most of all, I love to hire them.

A recent article by the great David Brooks in the New York Times about the changing nature of the Humanities in higher education just reinforced why, when given my druthers, English majors are my employee of choice.

And the reason is not that I am a writer; I more consider myself an entrepreneur than anything else. I run a small business and the people I hire do a variety of tasks -- SEO, project management, social media, and so forth.

For my money (literally and figuratively), for my needs, and I suggest the needs of most small businesses, English majors are easily the top choice when it comes to getting the type of teammate who can make us all better, as they say in basketball.

Let's consider what you want when you hire an employee or independent contractor:

Smarts: My sweet daughter Sydney is a junior English major (though I haven't hired her -- yet!) When I speak with her now, when I hear about her assignments and what she has to read, I cannot help but be impressed. She is a much smarter girl than the one who left here two years ago.

I think what I appreciate most about English majors is that they are taught to think critically, and that is exactly what I want in my business. Busy with a start-up, a new book to finish, speeches, and running my regular business to boot, what I need is to be able to give someone an assignment and have them do it. Period.

That is exactly what I get from the English majors. They know how to think, to think for themselves, and how to analyze a problem. Business majors are fine, but they are preoccupied with theory, proving themselves, and doing it "right." But the English majors are used to getting a tough assignment, figuring it out, and getting it done, (usually) on time.

Boldness: Now, this may not be true for all small business people, but it is for me. I like working with people who are bold, confident, and who are willing to speak up. People who see problems and suggest solutions, who are not intimidated by calculated risk taking.

Hello, English major.

Not only do these folks have to be bold simply to make such a choice of majors at a time when everyone is advising them to think about making themselves as practical as possible in this shrinking, global job market, but the nature of their gig is that they have to be bold. Reading Chaucer, making sense of it, writing a term paper on it, and then being able to defend it, takes far more bravery than, say, analyzing the fall of the Soviet Union.

Writing ability: Whether it is a blog, an email to a client, an e-newsletter post, or an analysis of a problem, English majors win, hands down.

Easy to work with: This is an underrated trait that I think many people applying for a job don't get or appreciate. People like working with people they like. I find that, usually, English majors are interesting, well spoken, can take a position and defend it with logic and reason, are (obviously) well read, and are, well, pleasant to be around.

That's whom I want to hire.
"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." ~ Emile Zola~  ‎(ᵔᴥᵔ)


Lollapalooza

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Re: Why I Hire English Majors
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 05:46:00 PM »
Mabuti na lamang at Filipino major ako ^_^
"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." ~ Emile Zola~  ‎(ᵔᴥᵔ)

islander

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Re: Why I Hire English Majors
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 06:19:23 PM »
hehe.  siaw ra pod ka.  loll. :)

too bad this guy can't hire me.  i would have been very interested to get employed.

hey, i defied my father years ago... he thought i was enrolled in bsba, he thought he had convinced me to end up working in a bank, because i can be a writer anyway even if i worked in a bank, he had said.  that must have been his knee jerk reaction to my older siblings' philosophy majors.  as siblings, we were not too concerned with professional titles (though in the end one of us carries the title of "atty.").  we all just loved abstract knowledge and the humanities, the influence of which can be credited largely to our father anyway.  entrepreneurship remains a strange planet.

blazes, i made use of my bsba basic accounting and business subjects to secretly enroll in a secretarial course and at the same time take subjects leading to an english major course.  no regrets.  i went on to aim for a masters in literature because i truly love the classics.  sure, i'm a housewife now.  but i've been through career peaks, foremost of which was being a provincial head of an office at 23 when my peers were in their 50s.  because i am an english major!

so cheer up, english majors!  your course had not joined the dinosaurs, really. ;D   
Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

hubag bohol

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Re: Why I Hire English Majors
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 10:11:25 PM »
Salamat nga notikal ko...
...than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln


 

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