Global Corp Career Fair, 2020
"Thanks for taking the time to interview me today, Ma'am! I appreciate the opportunity!" The young woman was well spoken, appropriately dressed, and had a genuine smile. 'So far, so good', thought the interviewer.
"The pleasure is ours. Is this your resume?" The interviewer indicated the copies displayed on the table. She picked them up, and handed a copy to each of her two colleagues seated on either side.
"Yes. I wanted to be sure to mention a few things about it. You'll notice I don't have a lot of work experience." She was going to explain further, but was interrupted.
"Yes, that's understandable, what with jobs being so hard to come by these days. Honestly, we see that quite a bit with young people. What we'd like to know is what sets you apart from all of the other applicants in the waiting area."
"Well, that's the other thing I wanted to talk about. You see, I'm hoping that my winning personality and good humor get me the job, because I don't have a lot of skills compared to them. While we were waiting, I was talking with them about their backgrounds. Two are from India, three are from China, and two of the other three are from Europe. All of them are more qualified than I am, because I grew up in the United States. During the last ten years or so, while our country was cutting from education budgets nationwide during the recession, their countries valued the investment in their future and put more money in their education systems. I'm not only outnumbered by the millions, but I'm at a severe disadvantage educationally to every one of those millions."
The interviewer was baffled at these comments, however true. It wasn't the norm for candidates to talk her out of hiring them. She couldn't think of one good reason to hire the young lady.
And neither will the real interviewers in 2020-if we continue to treat children's futures as a luxury only afforded during the best of times.