There was a job posting yesterday. For an Administrative Assistant/Receptionist position. Here’s the job description, in a nutshell:
- Greet guests
- Answer the phone
- Sort and distribute the mail
- Order supplies
- Receive and distribute faxes
- Stock the printers with paper
- Maintain calendar and contacts
- Print crap
- Order lunch
- Keep the reception area “tidy”
- Type some letters
Would you like to know what the prerequisite was? A College Degree. To order lunch and keep the printer full of paper. Really? Because that right there is some important shit. And apparently, the only way to learn that important shit is to spend thousands of dollars on a 4-year degree. By the way, I had no idea that there was a class called Receiving Faxes 101. Who knew?
The way I see it, Experience seems a bit more important. Let’s see…keeping things tidy, maintaining a calendar, ordering lunch, answering the phone and opening mail is something I’ve been doing every single day since the day I moved out of mommy and daddy’s house 21 years ago.
The rest? I have a resume with about 15 years of hard experience. I worked as an Executive Assistant for almost half of those years. And I acquired these jobs without a College Degree. Then I quit to raise a child. I have since come to find that 98% of the postings I see, require something much higher than a high school diploma.
A fellow dance mom that I know came into my Retail Job last week. She was surprised to see me working there. It turns out, she is in the same boat. She is now working in a retail environment. Like me, she has an administrative background and used to work in an office. She quit her job to become a mom. This is what she said, “I am being punished for raising my children.”
I’m not sure we are being punished so much as the rules have just changed. A lot. But I do have to say it gets my goat a little. I’m sorry, but it takes experience to book extensive international travel for your boss without major-league screwing up. It takes experience to balance several schedules and to talk to some pretty major heavyweights. It takes experience to be one step ahead of, well, everything, all the time.
If I ever get into the door for a job interview, I may bring along this attitude. Think it will get me somewhere? Sure, as long as I bring along a sandwich.