The Potential and Value of Work

AILEEN CHEN/General Manager/LUNGSAL Intertional Inc.

There is a phrase that I have always kept in my mind. "My favorite animal is the turtle. For the turtle to move, it has to stick its neck out." The parents of this current generation are all "baby boomers" born after World War II. These parents almost always overprotect their children, never wanting them to get hurt when they go out to society. They hope that they can use their experience to save their children from having to go through the same hardships in order to reach their goals in life. As a result the children of this generation have become what is known as "the strawberry generation." The young people of the strawberry generation enjoy living comfortably and do not have the fortitude to endure pressure. They often think only about themselves and are not willing take the time to look out for others. They lack also the attitude to cooperate with others. And because of these problems, the strawberry generation does not have the ability compete in society.

Every time my company is looking to hire new employees, the most applicants I meet are young people who have graduated university and are now just entering society. On their rsums when they fill in the "expected payroll" column, they often ask for a salary over the amount which they are expected to earn. They do not understand that because they are just entering the workforce, they are not the same as more experienced employees. Often times, they will ask for a salary that is the equivalent to that of an experienced salesman's or even that of a manager's.

My experience is that once you receive your first job, you need to empty your mind of your degree and the status associated with it. You have to be humble; even if your monthly payroll is relatively low, you must still put your best effort into your work. My belief is that only with a job does a person have the opportunity to use their abilities towards increasing their own stock. I think that all employers would virtually always give a hardworking person with a good attitude the most consideration when hiring. When I am talking with my friends and business partners, I have found that most employers prefer to use employees who have the following special qualities:

1. People who have a good attitude, a willingness to learn, a resilience against pressure, and will not give up, complain, or change goals when they meet adversity.

2. People who are ambitious towards their job and a drive towards their goal. To paraphrase Socrates, life's greatest joy is to attain one's goal. This is the kind of person has the most potential to learn and can of course receive the most opportunities in life.

3. People who have an attitude that makes them effective when working with others. They are willing to work with, negotiate, and assist their fellow coworkers. As an employer, one of the biggest headache is for me to see an employee who is unable to cooperate with their fellow coworkers and cause discord among in the workplace. As a result of their uncooperative nature, this employee will delay the overall work being done and will make the jobs of others even more difficult.

4. Lastly considered is a person's background abilities. The degree is a doorway that can help your chances of entering a company. However once you enter the company, what makes you more valuable in the employer's eye is a positive mindset, a willingness to learn, and an ability to solve problems that the company may have.

June is the month when the most students graduate. If they are afraid of staying unemployed, they should ask themselves "have I prepared myself adequately?" "Do I have traits like the ones listed above?"