What a former college instructor really thinks…

My Dream Job: Educational Deprogrammer

I will be back to the victimizations tomorrow, but today I’d like to continue on the same topic I was on yesterday.  A question I am often asked is what a former college instructor can do outside of a university setting.  The other question is what on earth I would want to do outside of a university setting.  The first question has an easy answer: a former college instructor (who was good at his job) has demonstrated excellence in writing, research, teaching (management), oral presentation, oral sex, and whatever skills and knowledge come with the subject the instructor taught.  In theory, someone with these capabilities should be snapped up almost immediately by employers.  However, as I indicated in my last post, it does not turn out that way because so many people have negative views of people with a Ph.D.  Or maybe the lowly resume readers in HR were never forced to read a word with more than one syllable in it while they were in college.  Same difference.

And that brings me to the second question: what I would want to do.  A lot of businesses assume that a Ph.D. means that I don’t want to be working for them, that a Ph.D. would only be happy in the university.  As you know about me by now, that’s not true.   I’ve been amazed at how much there is outside of the university and I’ve seen quite a few things (that are legal in at least 25 states) that would make me very happy.  I don’t much feel like going through a complete list, so I’ll offer up a take on my dream job… if it exists anywhere.  And to get things started, I have a pretty little picture for you:

Okay, so it’s a cheap PowerPoint slide, but this picture symbolizes the kind of job I would like to have.  To protect their jobs, educators spend a lot of time inflating students’ self-esteem and the kids often become arrogant and a little lazy.  And then businesses hire them and have to figure out a way to make them productive.  These kids need pretty little pictures if they are to pay attention to reading material and, like with the picture, they have a hard time deciphering anything that hints at their lack of unique awesomeness.  It is my hope that a business will hire me as an educational deprogrammer who will put these kids in their place explain to these kids what was done to them when they were students.  Because I’ve worked in college teaching, I understand the psychological complexes that the universities are sowing in their students and I can speak with authority when I tell the kids that it’s not their fault that they need to change.  (And let’s be honest: “it’s not your fault” is the only message the kids will listen to.  Fortunately, it’s the truth.)

I’ve never heard of a job like this… but if your business needs help straightening out its recent hires, I would be happy to victimize them.  And I even promise to be nice about it!  I’ll be my usual happy-go-lucky self.

6 responses

  1. Like this post. Absolutely new idea.
    (Just for discussion’s sake- let’s say a person realises his true worth and finally faces reality, how does that make life better for him and the people around him? )

    July 24, 2011 at 2:32 am

    • Okay, I’ll bite.

      A person who knows that he has shortcomings is better able to grow. That makes life better for him. If that realization can be fostered in an environment where it could be harnessed for personal growth, it would help the person navigate some inevitable psychological trauma. Eventually, virtually all of these students will be forced to face the fact that they aren’t the ultra-special unique people who deserved the constant praise their teachers had to give them. (I think the author of Crazy Normal, in my blog roll, has written about the psychological strain this causes. If the realization comes as a result of negative consequences for one’s behavior, that’s an additional problem.) For me, the idea is really about making that realization happen in a productive manner.

      2nd half:

      The people around him would benefit from having someone who knows that he doesn’t have all the answers. For employers, the recent grads would have to learn that the entitlements they were given as students (okay to turn work in late, constant praise even when you do nothing, etc.) aren’t to be expected in the workplace.

      July 24, 2011 at 2:57 am

  2. You are spot on with the younger generation. Back in my former life as an employed person, I managed an accounting office. Most of my direct reports were older (over 40), but I did have one young lady in her twenties. She was very bright and had a good work ethic, but needed constant reassurance and feedback that she was doing well.

    I never thought the educational system was to blame, but that is probably because I’m a product of a different era having graduated college in 1979. I always blamed poor parenting and the culture of everyone is a winner no matter how you perform – think Little League baseball where every player gets a trophy. That is not real life and we are giving young people false expectations that do not serve them well when they enter the work force.

    Kudos to you for shining a light on this. Educational/Parental Deprogrammer is a needed position, but I doubt corporate America thinks so.

    July 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    • Yeah… and there’s one other problem. If corporate America were to start recognizing the need for the position, how would they go about looking for people to fill it? If they went for education majors, they end up with the people whose knowledge is the methods and theories that caused this mess in the first place…

      July 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm

  3. Others have noted the neediness of today’s students and recent graduates, and some even admit as you do that it’s not really their own fault. Pitching yourself as a deprogrammer to get the little snot over themselves and actually be productive in a workplace is arch, which I like plenty.

    I may have you beat, though, because I have actually, honest to god, in the flesh, pitched myself for a newly coined job title as an aid for writers who can’t write. My own writing isn’t flawless, of course, but the level of so-called professionals who get paid to write is frequently so abysmal that at least one office manager said she’d hire me if her office weren’t so small. I fired the resume at a few larger offices and got no takers, but as with your deprogrammer’s job, I suspect the time is soon coming. Meanwhile, my own period of unemployment has extended to eight months. Ugh.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm

  4. Yeah…

    I have tried the writing path too. My degree is in Something Completely Different, so I stand no chance there.

    I wrote about it here:


    July 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s