Peter Bigelow

Five ideas for being a better worker.

“People who need people, they’re the luckiest people in the world,” or so the song goes. If that’s true, though, why do I feel so unlucky?

For many years, colleagues from virtually every industry imaginable have agreed their Number One need, desire, concern and frustration is finding good people to hire. Regardless of job level or education experience, hiring qualified people is possibly the biggest challenge industry faces globally.

In my little corner of the world, which happens to be close to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world, executives in companies of all sizes tell me the mantra is, “Where are the good people?” (Note: No one asks, “Where are the people?” The operative word here is “good.”)
To be sure, colleagues share remarkably similar stories about people who have been hired only to be fired in short order. Such occurrences were once rare, but today are too often the rule. Based on personal experience and countless shared stories, I have identified five issues that individually or collectively are common in today’s job applicants:

1. Everyone likes manufactured things but no one wants to be a manufacturer. The image of manufacturing is that of a dirty sweatshop. Yet enter any plant, be it semiconductors or steel or automobiles or circuit boards, and the reality is companies are modern, computerized and clean, and require smart, engaged team players. When recruiting and interviewing, refute the negative image and highlight the opportunities. For job seekers who believe manufacturing is a dead-end job, consider the latest gadget you use – the phone or tablet or even the car – and what it takes to make it. Spoiler alert: There’s real career opportunity in manufacturing!

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