Why Steve Strauss Hires English Majors

By the way, did I say I was an English major for my BA? Yes, software entrepreneur, yes, business planner, erstwhile programmer, and MBA … but I carry around a degree in English Literature. I don’t push that up a lot in my bio, but it’s there in the fine print.

English Major hired

So I like what Steve Strauss, Mr. Small Business, USA Today expert, says in his post Why I Hire English Majors in yesterday’s Huffington Post. Here’s some reasons he likes us. He starts with (you can see why I like this post) “smarts:”

They are taught to think critically, and that is exactly what I want in my business. … They know how to think, to think for themselves, and how to analyze a problem. Business majors are fine, but they are preoccupied with theory, proving themselves, and doing it “right.” But the English majors are used to getting a tough assignment, figuring it out, and getting it done, (usually) on time.

Yup. That’s me.

And how about this one: boldness. Wait. What? Steve says:

… these folks have to be bold simply to make such a choice of majors at a time when everyone is advising them to think about making themselves as practical as possible in this shrinking, global job market, but the nature of their gig is that they have to be bold. Reading Chaucer, making sense of it, writing a term paper on it, and then being able to defend it, takes far more bravery than, say, analyzing the fall of the Soviet Union.

Well, that’s maybe a stretch.

Then his third point is writing ability. Of course. One of my favorite clients in business plan consulting told me his group liked me more for readable communications than for anything else. I think that was only half a compliment.

And his last point:

Easy to work with: This is an underrated trait that I think many people applying for a job don’t get or appreciate. People like working with people they like. I find that, usually, English majors are interesting, well spoken, can take a position and defend it with logic and reason, are (obviously) well read, and are, well, pleasant to be around.

Who could argue with that?

(Image: istockphoto.com)


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