Last Thursday night, March 28, I had the pleasure and honor to be a part of the expert panel for the first of three networking and informational events that make up Mac's List's Portland Hiring Trends 2019 networking series. I am proud to have been a part of, and help to coordinate, the How to Land Meaningful Work in Nonprofits event at Reed College. I also feel so privileged to have been on a such a powerhouse panel as the one I was a part of Cinthia Manuel of Portland Leadership Foundation, Crystal Jackson of Meyer Memorial Trust, and Meghan Prichard of Mercy Corps.
I'd like to thank Mac's List for having me and my fellow panelists for offering their insight, experience, and empathy to a packed house of 125 attendees. I'd also like to thank all of you who attended and connected with me after the event. Let's keep the conversation and empathy flowing!
Employers: you really have to stop expecting people to have a Master's degree or 5 years of experience for entry level jobs with low pay. It's unrealistic, makes your company look out of touch, and creates barriers for people who are transitioning into new careers, who just obtained an undergraduate degree and are looking for their first career job, and yes, even people who have darn near all of the tangibles and intangibles you're seeking but aren't sporting all of the "bells and whistles" you're giving too much importance to.
As employers you need to create opportunities, not make experience and exposure to professions and fields of interest harder to obtain. This is how companies miss out on great employees that could've added real value and insight. Stop looking for "unicorns" (people who don't exist that check off all of your bias-driven boxes for what you feel is the greatest employee ever) and start re-evaluating your entry level roles to make sure they aren't unrealistic or unattainable. Because let's be honest: there are VERY few entry level roles that you need a Master's or a decade of experience to do.