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Career Opportunities for the Arts Graduate

An Arts course is seldom a vocational training in itself. It is rather an educational experience which allows those who have completed it to cope more successfully with a variety of careers. It can be the first stepping stone to almost any job for which you have an interest and ability coupled with a willingness to learn further. It is true that the holder of an Arts degree rarely has an immediate passport to a particular job. You must be prepared to adapt the skills acquired in your undergraduate studies to the requirements of a particular career. This often means further study. About half of all Arts graduates in recent years have gone on to some variety of further training whether in College or in some other institution in the world outside. Most of the remainder do gain employment though this will involve further training on the job.

The traditional openings for Arts graduates have been in the public service, education, librarianship, and the media. But the variety of jobs has expanded greatly, and now one can find Arts graduates in everything from accountancy to voluntary organisations. A great number of vacancies for new graduates are open to those of any discipline, with general academic achievement and personal qualities being the only requirements. This calls for a flexible approach. It is important to remember that both people and jobs change, so that while your first choice is an important one, it is not binding for life. You should concentrate on long term career development and getting valuable experience and achievement. The Arts graduate may have problems in selecting the right avenue, but there is no shortage of avenues. He or she is a highly trained and flexible asset which the community needs.

SUPPLEMENTARY READING

When Not То Hire Your Friends

(abridged)

by Anthony Cook

It's a common problem. Your company is growing quicker than grass in August, and you've got a management slot to fill-fast! Thumbing through your Rolodex, you spy the perfect candidate: your onetime college roommate. You think: Old Butthead could really goose (1) that sales force, couldn't he? Maybe. And maybe not.

"Hiring a friend could be the smartest thing that you've ever done", said Clark Callahan, director of the Small Business Development Center at the University, of Pennsilvania's Wharton School, "or it could ruin your company." Callahan has seen the strategy work both ways, which is why he — and the majority of the 15 small business owners, managers and consultants we interviewed — warns you to think twice before putting a pal (2) on the payroll (3).

On the one hand, a friend represents a known quantity: he or she is trustworthy (you assume), reliable (you hope) and often willing to make sacrifices. "That's valuable," says Debbe Winkle, 43, who hired eight friends to fill the first 10 openings at her one-year-old cash flow consulting firm in Indianapolis. "If you're just getting started and you miss a week's pay, your friend's not going to report you to the Labor Board."

On the other hand, having a friend as an employee can confuse everyone in your organization about who's entitled to what and whether burdens will be fairly divided. "Friendship assumes equality, and you can't have equality in a hierarchy (4)" points out Leon Danco, chairman of Cleveland's Center for Family Business. "The first time you give your buddy (2) an order, he thinks, "What's he trying to do – be a big shot (5)?"

Here are the instances when you shouldn't try to recruit a pal:

*When you're not sure if your friend is qualified.

When it comes to a chum (2), small business owners often skip the basic vetting of Hiring 101. There's nothing wrong with asking for a resume from someone you know. Check references too, asking probing questions about your friends' skills, performance and dedication.

*When your friend's personality doesn’t jibe (6) with the job.

You have one advantage that you lack when interviewing the typical off-the-street candidate: You know your bud's quirks (7). The challenge is to assess them with a clear eye. If your irrepressible sorority (8) sister is always late for the movies, it's unlikely she'll do a good job of fulfilling time-sensitive customer orders. Conversely, if she throws soirees (9) that would put Martha Stewart to shame, she'll probably be great entertaining prospective clients.

*When your friend is not prepared to take orders from you.

What you think is a directive, your buddy may consider a suggestion – setting you up for stress you could do without. That's why it's so important to establish who's the boss right from the start. "Tell him or her at the outset, 'Working here may change our relationship. Can you handle that?'

*When either of you is not comfortable signing a pre-hire agreement.

Get everything nailed down beforehand, preferably in writing. At her start-up, Henderson hired a friend from cosmetology school to work as a beautician. But when Henderson asked for a noncomplete agreement, her friend got offended. So Henderson dropped the idea. Sure enough, two years later the friend quit to set up shop nearby but not before taking Dawcher's 300-name client list from the company's computer. "Now I have every new employee sign a sort of prenuptial agreement," says Henderson. "It makes clear to a new employee — regardless of friendship — what's hers, mine and ours."

*When you doubt you'll be able to treat your friend like any other employee.

Just as you'd never hire a friend for charitable reasons don’t give him a job and then make special allowances. Nothing poisons company morale more than an unhealthy dose of favoritism. So when it comes to annual reviews, establish goals that are measurable, quantifiable and objective.

*When you wouldn't be prepared to fire your friend if necessary.

It can happen. In 1994 New Haven entrepreneur Murat Armbuster, 26, hired a chum as vice president of operations at Globe Learn, his new firm that teaches kids geography and related subjects using computers (estimated 1995 revenues: $800,000). "As a friend, he was great," says Armbuster. "As a colleague, he failed." One problem: The friend wasn't ready for the long hours that the start-up venture required.

When Armbuster gave Mr. V.P. the word after several months that their agreement wasn't working, the entrepreneur says that his friend bowed out (10) in a huff (11). Recalls pained but determined Armbuster: "I had to put the company first, even if it meant being a SOB to someone I liked." Today the company thrives, but their friendship was damaged beyond repair.

Honesty can be painful. That's why, in the end, if you value Butthead as your buddy, think twice before hiring a friend you'd really hate to lose.

("Your Company", 1996)

Notes:

  1. goose – (зд.) улучшить, продвинуть;

  2. buddy (pal, chum) (coll.) – приятель, дружище;

  3. payroll – платежная ведомость;

  4. hierarchy ['haiəra:ki}

  5. a great shot – большая «шишка», важная персона

  6. jibe (with) – высказывать нерасположение к чему-либо;

  7. quirk [kwə:k] – причуда;

  8. sorority [sə'rorəti] – women's social club in a college or university

  9. soiree [ 'swа:rei] – званый вечер;

  10. bow out – (зд.) уйти;

  11. huff – раздражение.

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