Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Typing - oh so simple but no one can do it! Those who are looking for jobs that is

I am inundated with calls, drop-ins and CVs sent via my Boss who receives so many each week on his work, for employment. However it appears that none of the above know what it takes to pick them in preference to others in the competition for employment.

In Sri Lanka unfortunately, the job seems to the seeker to be a God given right, and if a politico or a friend of the family cannot fix that, then there is something wrong with the individual who can help with finding employment for this “oh so darling offspring”. The real problem is with the offspring, who has NO clue how to go about getting this elusive job, and the simple things that can make a difference.

I am now aging, but my mother sent me in my school holidays, (I was at Boarding School in England and had a two to three month summer vacation when I returned home) to Sinnathurai’s School of Typing it was called, off Mile Post Avenue, Kollupitiya, for shorthand and typing classes, and for the life of me I never realized why! I just went. For a 14 year old amongst all these older women training to be secretaries I was quite out of place.

The long and short of it, I learned the basics of touch typing here, on these huge clunky typewriters and at the dawn of the internet, before high speed broadband in the days of Yahoo Messenger first version and “You’ve Got Mail” sounds over 15 years ago, in the USA, I perfected the art of typing at high speed, as I could chat with over 8 people at the same time on 8 different boxes on my PC in possibly 8 different Countries in the world, and in order to do this as conversation was all in typing then, without much effort automatically gave me the edge in speed typing. To Say nothing of Multitasking as the conversations were on diff subjects

My abiding regret is not learning to touch type in Sinhala, but in my desperation due to the lack of others who can, it may be the last thing I learn seriously,  so I can blog in Sinhala and use it in numerous areas of work here in Sri Lanka.

I gave this background above to show, that the ability to type in Sinhala or English and preferably both is almost a sure license in the job market that puts you to the top of the heap when it comes to being interviewed and getting the job too if other qualifications are similar.

I try to explain this to potential candidates I speak with all the time, and they fail to comprehend this importance. Funnily though our offices are desperately looking for Sinhala typists and in this case we are looking for those from our constituency, as it will not be politically correct to get from other areas, and despite the need for 4 people, we are still unable to find one who can.

Many come saying that they can type, and when tested show their true colors of believing that they can, when they just have no clue, and think typing is punching one letter at a time with their index finger!

So any of you who are looking for an entry level job typing various letters in Sinhala at speed for a Minister, and you are from Biyagama, please let me know and will test you out. To be politically correct I would face the wrath of the Party if you are not UNP! Damn!     


Anonymous said...

What is the salary and benefits offered? Would it make sense for a housemaid in the Middle East to return to fill this job?

Ratmale,Minneriya,Sri Lanka said...

A person who goes for a maid’s job in general is not one with A levels. The comment therefore is not appropriate under these circumstances, even though she may technically get a monthly salary that is much higher.

A level students, who I am generally referring to here are too qualified for working as Housemaids. So it is these A level students who twiddle their thumbs at home for 5 years before they finally find a job commensurate with their expectations, that this request is posed.

I am referring to the many young people who cannot find work with their A level results and who are currently doing CIM or CIMA or both, but who would gladly work for Rs15,000 a month if it is close to home, but they don’t have the typing skills needed for the job, nor do they realize the importance of this skill for later in whatever field they may wish to work in. The alternative is wait for years at home getting old without the discipline of work.

Few realize the importance of experience, especially in the office context as it takes a lot to handle office politics and pressure, as well as the gossip and be able to work under many challenges. It is this experience that employers want and potential employees don’t have.

It is best to work and study. Many ambitious people work to get experience and go to classes at weekends. The prospect of paid work is attractive to people whose alternative is no pay! I know people in Sri Lanka due the advantages of living at home, are not pushed out to the workforce, unlike in many other countries and therefore linger longer at home being well taken care of by their parents, but lose out on the job ladder and wonder why they are falling behind.

It is the discipline of work that will hold good for any other more qualified job, and the experience of being able to type is something no one will regret in future life, be it even CEOs of a company who always wish they could type to show off to their PA s who sometimes delay important reports, which they can write and email after hours, after the PA has left!

I know typing in Sinhala is difficult, but then Sri Lankan students do all their degree work in English without being able to speak the language, an altogether more difficult task than typing in Sinhala!!!!

So it is NOT the pay of this job that matters, but the experience that the person will receive, that will far outweigh the shortfall in expected compensation. Don’t forget in a Country like the US, people will work anywhere for a Congressmen or a Minister just so that they can say that on their Resume, as they know that it is worth a lot.

I know, I try to give the staff a breadth of experience, and lessons in thinking that will definitely hold them in good stead in the future! More beneficial than the experience of a maid !