Future without qualification?

13 May

I would like to tell you a story based on true facts (I only changed the names!). Some weeks ago a young man called Wladimir being 26 years old got hired by the CEO of intumo.ve, Mr. Koan.

Of course this does not seem to be special in any way for you. However Wladimir does not have any qualification. He did not finish any working education and did not study at a university, but he perfectly speaks German and Russian. Intumo.ve needed somebody who could translate and work as an interpreter for them.

One of intumo.ve’s employees introduced Wladimir to Mr. Koan and he hired him, but only on a 400Euro-job basis, because of his missing qualification. However, the most interesting fact of this story is that Mr. Koan said to Wladimir: “Listen Wladimir, right now I cannot give you a better job, because of your qualification. But if I will see that you want to do more and that you exert yourself for a higher job, I probably will be able to give you a better job!”

So I questioned myself is it possible to have a future without a qualification? Is this only an individual case or could this be a possibility more often in the future?

Back in school we had to listen to our teachers: “If you study hard, you will have a good A-Level and you can choose what you want to do in your life and where you want to work!” Also our parents used to say this:”You need great qualification for a great job!”

At the end we, as the children and the students, have always a lot of pressure considering a good resume. We need to do an internship in this company, a practical training in this special firm and some work experience in another impressive place, just to have an interesting resume and that a company wants to hire us. But what about the people, who for some reason, do not finish school, university or any other education? What about their future?

In my opinion the story above is only an individual case. Mr. Koan did not only view Wladimir’s resume, he also saw his special skills and himself as a person and not only as a paper on his desk. However, as referring to Korinna, a blogger from the blog “Blog or die tryin’”, and her blog post “Just a number in the system”, there are not a lot of “Mr. Koans” out there in the world, who really see the person, his/her character and the skills.

Korinna said:” Before the recruiter gets to know you he just has your application with all the facts and numbers in it. So the individual interpretation of your resume is his only basis to judge on you”.

Exactly this situation is often the problem. The recruiter thinks he knows the candidate already from the resume and qualification. However, he does not really know the person and his/her personage, but still he judges the person based on the numbers and facts.

The recruiters do not know the candidate’s background. Why did he or she not finish school? What happened to them? Why has he or she no qualifications? However a “bad” resume does not mean that this person does not want to work. Of course they want to work and all they want is probably a chance, a chance for a new and better life. So why not give those people a chance?

The film “The Pursuit of Happiness” deals exactly with this conflict. Chris Gardener (Will Smith) and his son Christopher (Jaden Smith) became homeless and Chris tries to do everything to get a job. Because of his personality he gets an internship at Dean Witter, an American stock brokerage, together with 19 other competitors. After the internship only one person will get a job at Dean Witter. Chris works as hard as he can and besides the job he has to take care of his son, find something to eat and a place to stay every night. At the end Chris gets hired and became rich to form his own multi-million dollar brokerage firm.

This film is another example that a good resume and qualification is not everything that shows a candidate’s personality and his/her willingness to work. Chris got a chance to show his willingness to work and I would love to see that a lot of other people would get a chance.

So in my opinion recruiters should really get to know the candidates. Of course is it better to have a great resume and impressive qualifications, but also the personality is important to fulfill a job and if candidates do not have the expected resume, it would be still reasonable to give them a chance to show their work!

I, myself, am very interested how this conflict between recruiters and candidates will develop in the future and who knows, maybe in some years Wladimir got a better and higher qualified job at intumo.ve because he put such an effort into his job. However it all started with the chance that was given to Wladimir by Mr. Koan.


4 Responses to “Future without qualification?”

  1. rosepanama May 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Hey Melissa!
    It’s just fantastic that you write your blog post about a true story! I found that really appealing so I wanted to read further. Also the heading you’ve chosen made me very curious.
    The story telling element contributes to a high understanding. When I read, that Wladimir could only gain 400 Euro per month, I started to think about it. Since I spend one year in a developing country I got to know a lot of people that never finished university. Instead they had to work to care for their families. Also it seemed like no matter how good their qualification was, they never gained a high salary.
    In your case Wladimir speaks two languages. In my opinion it doesn’t matter whether he has a good qualification or not. I mean if you find the perfect person for your job offer, why not hiring someone that can accomplish all desired criteria? If you already have the skills, why shouldn’t you start working? I am pretty sure that after finishing university we will all learn a lot of new things in our new job. I am quite sure, that university cannot teach you everything that you are going to need for your future job!
    I also like how you relate to Korinna’s blog post! However, it might have been a good idea to quote her according to what we learned on the support website of WordPress.com.
    Nevertheless, it is great how you bring in the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”. I have watched it and it’s a well-chosen reference you give!
    Very well done!!!

  2. Xteena May 15, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    Hey Melissa,

    I really liked that you built your article on a true story and that you referred to other bloggers of our class who you also directly cited. This gave another perspective, respectively supported your point of view and stated your credibility.

    What I also liked a lot is that you showed the example of the movie “the pursuit of happiness” which also strenghtened your thesis.

    In general, I have to say that your article was clearly structured into a thesis, different arguments and then your logical conclusion. Like this, your article was really fluent and pleasant to read! Well done!

    However, please check your text once again, before you publish it: Mistakes like “The recruiter THINGS he knows the candidate….” are a no-go…
    But I am sure you did this mistake just accidentally 😉

  3. nourann May 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm #


    this is one of my favorite topics as I think about it a lot. I am pretty sure that our education is not as important as we all assume it is. In the end, it is all about luck – and moreover, about knowing the right people. Maybe it would be smarter to substitute away from studying to networking! School/university cannot teach you everything, and it should not be the perspective to do so. In my opinion, our university years are more of a personal period of orientation and learning a little by the way!

    Look at all the successful people in business, most of them either dropped out of college our studied something completely different. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs – they all did not graduate but dropped out of college to create their own business. I just hate the idea that you work hard in order to achieve a good diploma, but eventually, it is all about the recruiter and your luck whether you get the job or not. You might be the most qualified person on earth, but when the recruiter knows somebody personally it will not be you who will be treated better.

    Does not everybody know a “Wladimir” among his/her acquaintances? I do, and I think many people do so as well. We should just not get all too crazy about our grades I guess. We cannot determine our future anyway! 🙂

    Great movie reference, I love “The Pursuit of Happiness”, and also a nice reference to Korinna! Very well done!


  4. Nicpic May 17, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Hi Melissa,
    I agree with Rose, definitely a great post!
    You don’t only use one but two true stories (the movie is also based on a true story) through which your blog post becomes very easy to relate to and enjoyable to read.
    Moreover great use of “white space” which Dr. B! implied in our last session, this gives your post a structure and us a better overall view. You separate your post into digestible chunks, nicely done!
    Concerning the topic of your post it is a very relevant issue to all of us. Sooner or later all of us are going to try and get hired. Therefore we have to be informed about the recruiting process and selection.
    Did you know that some companies refuse to hire some people on the ground that they’re “overqualified”. The pickle though is, employees are actually allowed to sue their company if they feel they’re “overqualified”. Seems ridiculous doesn’t it? If someone applies for the job he should know what it entails and want that job exactly.
    Moreover we also have to see the other see regarding recruiters getting to know the candidates. If this becomes normal some of them might end up choosing based on personal feelings instead of picking the most qualified and that does not seem fair either!
    One thing you could try to include next time is the “They say I say” – structure and more reporting verbs. And why not give the questions in your ninth paragraph as a list 🙂
    Great work, keep it up. I’m looking forward to what you come up with next!
    Cheers Nicky

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