Serious emotions and thoughts are evoked whenever we read or hear the word “Blue-Collar jobs”. These emotions and thoughts are usually connected to the imagery of truck drivers, construction workers, garbage collectors, plumbers, electricians, and other “low class” jobs. This may not be unconnected with the two contrasting pictures about blue-collar and white-collar jobs implanted in our minds while growing up. The latter often representing an “honourable” reward for academic excellence.
Sadly, these are all unfounded destructive myths that have left our graduates short-sighted when it comes to building a career.
I have devoted this article to tackling some of these fallacious beliefs.
Myth #1—Blue-collar workers are ‘less than’ than their management brethren.
‘Less-sophisticated’…’less-responsible’…’less-committed’ …these are three of many inaccurate perceptions held about blue-collar workers. The vast majority of blue-collar workers are intelligent, capable, and responsible. It takes a coordinated mind to effectively use a box of different tools and bolts to get the job done in the least comfortable conditions.
Myth #2—The core values of blue-collar workers are vastly different than those in management.
People are people. Blue-collar workers want many of the same types of things everyone else wants in their work-life— competence in a field that they can continue to excel in, work that holds meaning, respect, etc. There are few major differences in values between blue-collar workers and ‘management types’.
This perception is particularly troublesome—largely because it suggests that blue-collar workers are somehow incapable of understanding the (so- called) complexities of the business. That’s disrespectful on any number of levels. Through various applications of self-management, many companies have exposed the fallacy of this perception.
Myth #4—Blue-collar workers’ self- interests will always take precedent over the interest of the business.
The implication is that blue-collar workers are just in it for the money. This hasn’t been my experience nor the experience of my colleagues. They are mostly people who chose to follow their passion. There are endless numbers of examples that put a stake in the heart of this myth.
Myth #5—Blue-collar workers will lose respect for management if managers don’t have all the answers.
This is a common misconception. A manager being unaware of something is normal (assuming ‘being unaware’ hasn’t become a pattern) as long as the situation is looked into and communicated back to the troops.
A manager who, when faced with a serious issue, says to the troops “I don’t have all the answers” will not be disrespected by the troops as long as that same manager also commits to finding a solution to the issue. Blue-collar workers (at least reasonable ones) aren’t expecting their manager to be Superman.
Myth #6—The risks associated with blue-collar workers too-frequently out-weigh the benefits.
In many ways, Nigeria was built by working people—what we might refer to today as blue-collar employees. It’s a disservice to hold the mind-set that the glass is half-empty when it comes to blue-collar workers.
Myth #7—Blue-collar workers aren’t really professionals.
Sorry, I don’t buy it. Being a professional is an equal opportunity aspiration. This myth is not only ridiculous but it also reeks of ignorance. Being a professional has little to do with the colour of one’s collar. It mostly describes belonging to a particular profession and being good at it.
There are a lot of misconceptions about blue-collar workers and that’s really unfortunate. It’s been said that, “how we see the problem, is the problem.” For those holding any of these myths, that couldn’t be more true.
Originally posted on Bizngr
Recommended Must Read
Latest posts by admin (see all)
- 3 IT Skills to Keep Your Career Future Proof - May 26, 2016
- 5 Workplace Romance Rules - February 14, 2016
- Career Questions and Answers-How Do I Accelerate My Career - January 18, 2016