Helping students and young workers survive the jungle

Helping students and young workers survive the jungle When I read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle while in high school some 40+ years ago, I learned about the harsh conditions and the exploited lives of workers in the Chicago meat industry. Sinclair brought to the public's attention the sad fate of immigrant workers in the early 20th century.Sadly, I'm not sure we've come very far in the treatment of our workers. No, people don't often fall in vats of fat, but employers don't always have their employees' best interests in mind.My undergraduate major broadly covered topics such as business, communication, constitutional law, economics, human behavior, journalism, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology. I was well‐prepared to enter the workforce and face whatever I might find, especially in relationship to the treatment of employees.We baby boomers learned from our Greatest Generation parents to “toe the line; follow the rules; don't bite the hand that feeds you” in relationship to work. Perhaps because of that, we've allowed the workplace to be the jungle that it is.How prepared are today's students who are likely to focus on career‐related majors for a very tough job environment? Our legislators and other groups we are accountable to want us to make sure students can get jobs when they complete college, so education is more skill‐based than ever. That's OK, but I don't think it prepares students for the reality of what they may face in the workplace.Strangely enough, the younger generations are teaching us about how to treat employees. They are demanding a better work‐life balance. They may be the first generation to make significant changes due to their tenacity. They can be demanding. They are the most technologically skilled generation of all time and can command high salaries and fair working conditions.But regardless of who is learning from whom, it is our responsibility as deans, provosts, department chairs, and administrators to prepare students and young workers so that not only do they have the skills to do their jobs, but they also have the skills necessary to make it in a workplace that is still a jungle.I suggest we emphasize to our students and our younger employees the following concepts so that they know how to make it in tough workplaces:➢ Self‐respect. People need to understand how important it is to respect oneself, and not to allow others to mistreat us just because we happen to be subordinates. This is one of the most important things one can encourage and help develop in another human being. The more self‐respecting an employee is, the less likely he is to be abused.➢ Self‐efficacy. This concept relates to how efficiently and effectively one is able to be a productive worker. It has to do with one's adequacy, competence, and sufficiency. It is critical that we raise students' and employees' awareness to their own self‐efficacy. They need to be able to stand on their own two feet in the workplace. The more they are capable of this, the less likely someone is to undermine their productivity and make them feel incompetent or incapable.➢ Self‐confidence. People with confidence in themselves are far less likely to be abused by a manager. Self‐confidence allows for the young workers to say, “You can't beat me down with your words or actions. I know that I am a good and productive worker and will not allow others to berate me or use me for their own gain.”I believe there is a lot of bullying, harassment, torment, intimidation, tyranny, browbeating, and domination in the workplace among supervisors and employees. We're just now beginning to see some of it surface through the media.We need to be the kind of teachers, mentors, and administrators who teach and treat our students and employees well, so that under our tutelage they will gain self‐respect, self‐efficacy, and self‐confidence. Let us prepare them for the real work world where supervisors and management are not always civilized and supportive. We need to help them shore themselves up to withstand 40 or more years working in whatever environments they may find themselves, and we need to teach them to stand up for themselves.About the authorDawn Z. Hodges, Ph.D., is vice president for academic affairs at Southern Crescent Technical College. Her regular column, “The Reflective Leader,” appears monthly in Dean & Provost. Email her at dhodges@sctech.edu. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Dean & Provost Wiley

Helping students and young workers survive the jungle

Free
1 page

Loading next page...
1 Page
 
/lp/wiley/helping-students-and-young-workers-survive-the-jungle-Md8DFYVAzU
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
ISSN
1527-6562
eISSN
1943-7587
D.O.I.
10.1002/dap.30430
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

When I read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle while in high school some 40+ years ago, I learned about the harsh conditions and the exploited lives of workers in the Chicago meat industry. Sinclair brought to the public's attention the sad fate of immigrant workers in the early 20th century.Sadly, I'm not sure we've come very far in the treatment of our workers. No, people don't often fall in vats of fat, but employers don't always have their employees' best interests in mind.My undergraduate major broadly covered topics such as business, communication, constitutional law, economics, human behavior, journalism, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology. I was well‐prepared to enter the workforce and face whatever I might find, especially in relationship to the treatment of employees.We baby boomers learned from our Greatest Generation parents to “toe the line; follow the rules; don't bite the hand that feeds you” in relationship to work. Perhaps because of that, we've allowed the workplace to be the jungle that it is.How prepared are today's students who are likely to focus on career‐related majors for a very tough job environment? Our legislators and other groups we are accountable to want us to make sure students can get jobs when they complete college, so education is more skill‐based than ever. That's OK, but I don't think it prepares students for the reality of what they may face in the workplace.Strangely enough, the younger generations are teaching us about how to treat employees. They are demanding a better work‐life balance. They may be the first generation to make significant changes due to their tenacity. They can be demanding. They are the most technologically skilled generation of all time and can command high salaries and fair working conditions.But regardless of who is learning from whom, it is our responsibility as deans, provosts, department chairs, and administrators to prepare students and young workers so that not only do they have the skills to do their jobs, but they also have the skills necessary to make it in a workplace that is still a jungle.I suggest we emphasize to our students and our younger employees the following concepts so that they know how to make it in tough workplaces:➢ Self‐respect. People need to understand how important it is to respect oneself, and not to allow others to mistreat us just because we happen to be subordinates. This is one of the most important things one can encourage and help develop in another human being. The more self‐respecting an employee is, the less likely he is to be abused.➢ Self‐efficacy. This concept relates to how efficiently and effectively one is able to be a productive worker. It has to do with one's adequacy, competence, and sufficiency. It is critical that we raise students' and employees' awareness to their own self‐efficacy. They need to be able to stand on their own two feet in the workplace. The more they are capable of this, the less likely someone is to undermine their productivity and make them feel incompetent or incapable.➢ Self‐confidence. People with confidence in themselves are far less likely to be abused by a manager. Self‐confidence allows for the young workers to say, “You can't beat me down with your words or actions. I know that I am a good and productive worker and will not allow others to berate me or use me for their own gain.”I believe there is a lot of bullying, harassment, torment, intimidation, tyranny, browbeating, and domination in the workplace among supervisors and employees. We're just now beginning to see some of it surface through the media.We need to be the kind of teachers, mentors, and administrators who teach and treat our students and employees well, so that under our tutelage they will gain self‐respect, self‐efficacy, and self‐confidence. Let us prepare them for the real work world where supervisors and management are not always civilized and supportive. We need to help them shore themselves up to withstand 40 or more years working in whatever environments they may find themselves, and we need to teach them to stand up for themselves.About the authorDawn Z. Hodges, Ph.D., is vice president for academic affairs at Southern Crescent Technical College. Her regular column, “The Reflective Leader,” appears monthly in Dean & Provost. Email her at dhodges@sctech.edu.

Journal

Dean & ProvostWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off