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Dispelling The “Blue-Collar” Myths - Jobs/Vacancies - Nairaland

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Dispelling The “Blue-Collar” Myths by bizngr(f): 9:20am On Aug 12, 2014
Serious emotions and thoughts are evoked when we read or hear the word “Blue-Collar”. These emotions and thoughts are usually connected to 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 different of 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’.

Myth #3: Blue-collar workers are either unable or are unwilling to understand (let alone accept) the truth about the business.

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.


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Re: Dispelling The “Blue-Collar” Myths by Nobody: 9:34am On Aug 12, 2014
Ok. Blue collar job is very good.
Re: Dispelling The “Blue-Collar” Myths by bizngr(f): 10:00am On Aug 12, 2014
adebayor1490: Ok. Blue collar job is very good.
Our graduates should stop looking down on these type of jobs... I have a friend who though studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering still went ahead to learn the skill of underwater welding. This was after he had roamed the street for three years seeking for non-existent white-collar job with our telecom industry. But today, he is a "big boy" in PortHarcourt: going offshore every to weeks.

He was recruited as a blue-collar staff for one of the top oil firms but I know he earns far better than some managers. Plus he works two weeks on and two weeks off.

Learn a skill today!


Re: Dispelling The “Blue-Collar” Myths by Nobody: 10:20am On Aug 12, 2014
Thanks. Is learning computer [engineering or graphic] is also a blue collar job?
Re: Dispelling The “Blue-Collar” Myths by bizngr(f): 10:34am On Aug 12, 2014
adebayor1490: Thanks. Is learning computer [engineering or graphic] is also a blue collar job?
Sometimes depends on the path through which the skill is acquired and the job duties such person is made to perform.

1. If you acquired the skill through out-of-"formal"-classroom scenario and practices then it may be seen as blue-collar. This situation usually requires more of manual labour.

2. If you obtained the knowledge through a recognised degree awarding tertiary institution then you may be viewed as a white-collar worker.

But in all, the major difference is usually:

- White-Collar: managerial, or administrative work (i.e. works in an office/cubicle environment)
- Blue-Collar: manual labour, mechanical, construction etc. (usually works in a workshop, field)

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Re: Dispelling The “Blue-Collar” Myths by donigspain(m): 10:37am On Aug 12, 2014
Nice one @OP...

Frontpage material. Hope our unemployed graduates get to learn a thing from this post. No job is small!
Re: Dispelling The “Blue-Collar” Myths by Nobody: 10:42am On Aug 12, 2014
Thanks jare. God bless u front & back right & left

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