Happy Labor Day, from Victoree

Rosie The Riviter Honor Labor poster

Rosie says…

It’s the last party of the summer. It’s the holiday before we hang up our bathing suits and face the fact that last fall’s clothes don’t fit. After the heartburn from the hot dogs is long gone, we launch into the matter of school–beginning with, “what is school for?”

trinity-knot-clipart-1Whether we in this society state it clearly enough, consider that an active, successful producer in the workforce is the end product of schooling. We go to school to go to work and expect to work darned hard, too. Here’s a twist on that from the founder of Mindvalley,  Vishen Lakhiani. Over the years, industry has uncoupled itself from any responsibility for training and the task floated to education to basically prepare new entrants to the workforce. So, education and industry work hand in hand (or they used to). Instead, Industry and Education became like long-married people who grow apart over the years. This is why companies grumble when they discover they have acquired new hires who do not “come up to spec”. They feel somehow that they have been “cheated” and the schools have “failed” because the product they were promised never shows up. The relationship of school and industry is essentially a provider-consumer relationship. Then, we as a society hope that the schools we release our precious youth to, these educational expert partners we support with our taxes will somehow accomplish this:

  •  turn out good, patriotic citizens
  • caring, concerned parents
  • generally moral people

Yes, I said, “turn out”, because, let me repeat, the unspoken social contract school has with industry is that school will do the workforce preparation and industry will provide the employment. Religious institutions have the job of providing the moral piece. However, something has happened to “the triple knot” of home, school and business.

Whether you will be returning to school, college or work, remember on Labor Day (before the heartburn after that hamburger) that an honest day’s labor is an honorable thing to be celebrated. Work is not a curse. It is a blessing.

Happy Labor Day, from Victoree





Hang On To Your Hats! Victoree Is Changing

Fruit harvest

Fruit harvest

Thank you so much, dearest readers, for supporting Victoree’s Blog: No White Flag all these posts. As the author, I have enjoyed every bit of the ride with you.

As we change cars in life, it is now clear that it is about time to begin the metamorphosis including reworking this blog until it becomes a site. It will be renamed, restructured, but have all the same punch and fun you have come to expect from the irreverent Victoree, the job gypsy lady. I got a taste of writing for business audience with a venture into the LinkedIn blog, Pulse and found it a robust platform for addressing workplace issues. However, Pulse tends to take itself rather seriously in its attempt to appeal to its professional audience and, as you know, the Victoree approach is a little “edgy” and irreverent.

Girl unsure whether or not to be seen or get not seen

What will change:

  • Web address
  • Appearance – some “steampunk-like elements”
  • Potential New Name: Victoree’s Industrial Mythology
  • Movement toward becoming part of a professional author “platform”/media presence
  • Stronger professional-workplace emphasis
  • Less “personal opinion/emo-kid blah-blah-blah”
  • More journalistic style insight into the area of work issues but without the “heaviness” of Pulse
  • Integration with “Fruitivity: The Almanac of Life Husbandry”- inclusive personal development /career management arm of Victoree

Patriotic_USA_Funny_American_Barbecue_Clipart-1(1)What will not change:

  • The Victoree hardcore irreverence and Mark Twain-ish commentary on workforce issues
  • On-point, up to date relevance to current thinking on job searching and changing ideas about work

As you enjoy this wonderful weekend in celebration of workers, please accept my appreciation for your loyalty. Be safe. Happy Labor Day!

From Victoree

Back To School? …At My Time Of Life?

Benjamin Franklin 1767

Portrait of Benjamin Franklin

All the school systems in the Washington DC metro area are now in their first or second week of semester two. Some began the week before Labor Day and some after, but something altogether different figures into the thoughts swirling around the idea of returning to school for the midlife professional.  Since staying up-to-date in any field is not an option, some kind of schooling is definitely in the cards for all workers, so why not talk a bit about the thinking that goes into deciding what kind of education to acquire.

First of all, let us deep six some old-fashioned ideas about adults and schooling. There is no longer an impregnable wall surrounding the “first box of life” , to borrow a term from Richard Bolles‘ “The Three Boxes Of Life and How to Get Out of Them“, that usually begins at 4-years and ends with college.  Traditional 4-year colleges and universities are seeing more “non-traditional” students–including students entering at midlife. Their response to  this trend  is to create programs that are condensed for time efficiency and held on weekends and evenings to accommodate working adult’s schedules.

Then, there are proprietary schools–education businesses–that tend to have an “ear-to-the-ground”, market-based mind set and take care to offer quality programs that prepare students in the most currently-marketable skills.

Community colleges, which used to be seen mainly as pipelines to 4-year universities, do not play any second fiddle when it comes to forming closer associsations with the  local business community in order to fill the need for a prepared workforce.  Remember  “correspondence schools” from the days before pervasive internet use and distance learning? They are still around, but have been joined by independent on-line schools with no university affiliation,  and internet campuses of traditional universities. Remember business schools and poly-technical institutes? They are no longer the “ugly step-sisters” of education where the less-than-academic go, but have developed into the belles of the ball as they differentiated into  field specific  institutions that certify professionals such as computer assisted designers, network security specialists, administration professionals and computer  program creators. In fact, one common path is to earn a bachelor’s degree then refine it in one of these professional schools.

Which one is best? That depends upon the individual need of the student.  Things to consider when making the decision to return to school include determining the most appropriate type of school, total time commitment of the program, the certification needed, financial outlay, commuting distance, the school’s accreditation, childcare arrangements and admission requirements. Should a student be found lacking, programs that ramp-up to education programs come into play to serve the needs of  diverse populations including new Americans, the education interrupted, and the great American school-system disaffected (drop-outs).

Recalling arguments for a “practical /scientific education” on the side of Benjamin Franklin or a ‘humanities-based education on the side of Thomas Jefferson“, how to best educate America has been a running discussion since the early days of a young republic. Which kind of education best suits has not yet been settled and perhaps it is for the best. Having options is always a good thing.

Considering going back to school? Let us take a few weeks to think about it