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Each era brings with it its own particular set of ideas and social constructs that define the myriad of cultural and societal perspectives on the world. And with time, these perspectives undergo a dramatic transformation as we not only reflect on our values and beliefs but also while individuals simultaneously push for a change. This holds true for both the greater social injustices in society as well as for less visible biases, such as those against certain types of jobs.
Throughout history, blue-collar jobs have received their fair share of judgment and criticism from various facets of society. In many circles, they are looked down upon as somehow “inferior” or less valuable than other careers. Even in our own lifetimes, university education came to be viewed as something most people should aspire to, with more and more people deciding to seek out and acquire a college degree. More recently, however, with high student loans and a much more competitive job market, this view has been subtly changing.
Today, fewer people in the U.S. are going to universities. People are starting to step away from trying to gain knowledge or skill from a degree and instead are starting to appreciate the fact that people can be useful in many ways — even without having a higher-level, post-graduate education. With this transformation in ideas, there are also changes in the way various jobs are valued. Blue-collar jobs are long overdue in deserving a reevaluation. With that in mind, here are a few reasons why pursuing a blue-collar job is a solid idea.
They Teach Soft Knowledge
Jobs as a construction worker or a warehouse employee are no doubt going to include hard manual labor and potentially some tough working hours. However, both of these jobs, and others like them, offer incredible opportunities to learn something about the business. While it may seem like there’s very little to these jobs — after all, isn’t it just stacking shelves or hammering nails? — there are many technicalities you learn while on the job.With the current transformation in ideas, there are changes in the way various jobs are valued. Blue-collar jobs are long overdue in deserving a reevaluation. With that in mind, here are a few reasons why pursuing a blue-collar job is a solid idea.Click To Tweet
Warehouses, for instance, are large spaces with equally large logical systems for organization and thorough procedures for keeping records of inventory in and out, defective items, employee performance, and other considerations. In construction, there is a lot of oversight involved, and managers have to be on top of everything going on on-site. A proactive employee who took the time to observe and engage with their supervisors would end up learning a lot about how these major businesses are run. The knowledge could prove useful in all kinds of blue and white-collar positions later.
They Provide Technical Skills
Blue-collar jobs often involve manual labor, which means you have to use your hands to carry out some tasks. This often means you end up learning new technical skills along the way, while you work. Construction work, for example, requires that workers know how to work with different materials such as wood or concrete. It also teaches them skills such as drilling, welding, boring pipes into the ground, and other stuff that comes in handy in your own accommodation, as well.
As workers gain experience and progress through the job, they also learn how to use various kinds of machines. Operating heavy machinery and walking around in a heavy-duty exoskeleton suit while at work doesn’t just depict your willingness and ability to master new skills. It’s also a unique and interesting experience — one that can easily translate to both real-life and other industries.
Learning the Nitty-Gritty
The great thing about getting in the sandbox and getting dirt on your hands is that it teaches you things about the practical side of a job that you wouldn’t have learned if you had started in the middle of the ladder. Being a good manager at a software development organization is much easier if you yourself know how development works and what your coders can and cannot do. You can only know this either from taking a lot of time to gain the knowledge from hands-on experience or if you have been a coder yourself.
The same is true for blue-collar jobs, too. Dealing with delays or roadblocks in your projects, perhaps because of supply chain disruptions or because some materials aren’t up to par as you expected, is difficult. And it’s even more challenging if you aren’t familiar with the nitty-gritty of the business. In addition, it is easier to set achievable goals and keep realistic expectations of your employees if you have done the labor yourself.
All in all, working in a blue-collar job can provide you with valuable experience, a type of experience that helps you build vital workplace skills, be a better manager, and even teach you empathy for other manual laborers. And ultimately, a blue-collar job can also be a jumpstart to your own managerial career in your preferred industry — especially if you prove yourself to be a proactive worker, an enthusiastic learner, and most importantly, you keep an open mind.