Developing “Soft Skills”
I entered the workforce as many do after my 16th birthday. I wanted spending money and to begin saving for college and took my first job weeding peppermint fields. I was on a crew with seasoned and experienced women who spent the summer educating me about the world of work. Teamwork, dependability, attitude and communication were at the top of the list. How hot or tired I felt was not important to them, but keeping up, doing my part, and working with the team was paramount. If I didn’t arrive on time, I let the team down. If I complained, I was wasting work time and should be taken off the clock until I was productive again. If I didn’t do my part, that strip of the field would be overrun with weeds in just a few days and that would reflect on their work. At the end of the summer I had learned what is was like to work, and that I would NOT be spending the rest of my life in a peppermint field. “Soft Skills” are crucial to maintaining employment. Most employers are willing to train job skills when the applicant comes with the “soft skills” necessary to be a part of the business. Perhaps more should start in a peppermint field.