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Good news for those of us without a formal education

from rainy - Monday, March 26, 2007
accessed 873 times

It seems Google's getting a clue when it comes to looking for employees. Instead of simply going for grades, they're going for character, cleverness, and strength of personality.

Read this article:

I hope it catches on.

"Google set out to find out if there were any bits of life experience or personality it could use to spot future stars.

Last summer, Google asked every employee who had been working at the company for at least five months to fill out a 300-question survey.

Some questions were factual: What programming languages are you familiar with? What Internet mailing lists do you subscribe to?

Some looked for behavior: Is your work space messy or neat?

And some looked at personality: Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

And some fell into no traditional category in the human resources world: What magazines do you subscribe to What pets do you have?

We wanted to cast a very wide net, Mr. Bock said. It is not unusual to walk the halls here and bump into dogs. Maybe people who own dogs have some personality trait that is useful.

The data from this initial survey was then compared with 25 separate measures of each employee's performance. Again there were traditional yardsticks the employee�'s reviews, both by supervisors and peers, and their compensation and some oddball ones.

One score was what the company called organizational citizenship, said Todd Carlisle, an analyst with a doctorate in organizational psychology, who designed the survey. That is, things you do that aren�t technically part of your job but make Google a better place to work, Dr. Carlisle said, such as helping interview job candidates.

When all this was completed, Dr. Carlisle set about analyzing the two million data points the survey collected. Among the first results was confirmation that Google's obsession with academic performance was not always correlated with success at the company.

Sometimes too much schooling will be a detriment to you in your job, Dr. Carlisle said, adding that not all of the more than 600 people with doctorates at Google are equally well suited to their current assignments. "

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from exister
Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 08:16

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Yeah, mostly education is just a rubber stamp that allows those of us who have it to lord it over those who don't. Ain't that just life though?

One of the most important realizations that I had when I graduated from college was that the corporate world is not a meritocracy. That is, they are not as concerned with rewarding you for what you have achieved as they are with determining whether or not you will make a good wage slave. Furthermore, a strong GPA is not a reliable indicator of good wage slave potential. Workaholism and having your self esteem tightly tangled to your title and pay check are much better indicators. This leads to my theory of "work" vs. work.

"Work" is whatever shit you do to make money and provide your physical needs, whereas work is all of the physical and mental things you do to nourish your soul. Note that the quotes imply some sort of fakeness for the first category. As an example, your "work" might be computer programming, whereas your work is to own your oponents playing Rainbow 6 on the X-Box. I see no reason to tie one's self esteem into "work." Instead, take pride in your work.
(reply to this comment)

From Ne Oublie
Thursday, March 29, 2007, 08:39


I wouldn't have put it exactly like that - and would take exception to your statement that "corporate world is not a meritocracy" - but I agree with the point you're making. An interesting comment on the topic - from an academic, incidentally: “Too much of what is called "education" is little more than an expensive isolation from reality”.(reply to this comment

From elisha717
Tuesday, May 06, 2008, 08:15


Actually I have to agree with most people's point of view so far ( I know this is a year late comment); however, defending the need for academia I will say this (not that you probably really want to hear it), but here I go: I still suggest everyone get a (2 yr) Assoiates degree.

There are basics I think everyone should know! It is almost like a more in depth review of what you are supposed to learn in High-school! It covers every angle, from basic Science, to Basic English, math- Algebra, (take functional approach and it is quite helpful in everyday life), PE class (with all the basic new health info, and it teaches you basic excersize the body needs to be in the best shape), Business computer basics, History, Government, Humanities, and one class in the Arts.

So, really, you take this to make yourself a more well-rounded individual, and you become a lot more aware of how people think around you. Any local community college has these basics, it is about 150$ a coures, (plus books), and finacial aide is really easy to get, (especially it you tell them about your past).

Counselors are there to help you with your individual needs and they will tell you exactly the steps you have to take on an individual level. I am amazed at how many adults I see in these classes.(reply to this comment

From sar
Tuesday, May 06, 2008, 09:01


I don't think getting a high school level of education can really be called academia. Where I'm from the term academia denotes a slightly higher level of education. They tend to have at least a PhD and work in education at university level or above. While I have met PhDs who consider themselves academics, they tend to be those that are University lecturers while doing their PhD.

Perhaps you meant to defend the need for base level knowledge, schooling or education?(reply to this comment

From exister
Friday, March 30, 2007, 08:51

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Then let's say that it is not a meritocracy to me in that it does not reward the things that I believe are worthy of merit, such as mathematical rigor and raw problem solving skills. It places higher value on things like networking, kissing ass, making people feel good about themselves, all of those nebulous social skills that do little more than make society function. I can certainly play those games, but I don't find them to be worth much in the long run, therefore a system that uses them as its primary capital is not a worthwhile meritocracy in my opinion.(reply to this comment
From rainy
Friday, March 30, 2007, 14:24

Speaking of kissing ass- I may have just destroyed my own chances for future advancement in my company. My immediate boss is the marketing manager, and she has mentioned to me that eventually I caould take her job, which is much more lucrative than mine. But she puts on this fake personal whenever agents and clients come through, It's fascinating to watch, but Oh, I know how to do it too well, and it's something I rebel against.

So the other day, she's going to buy all the agents in the city coffee for morning tea and carry it to their offices. She rings up, in her best "PR" voice, "(The name of our company) would like to buy coffee and cake for everyone in your office, What would everyone like?" So of course when she gets off the phone, I"m mimicking, "(our company)would like to kiss your ass this morning. How would you like it?" She laughed with me, because we always laugh together, but then shook her head and said sadly, "You'll never make it in sales. You're way to idealistic for a 28 year old." Idealistic? I thought I was cold and bitter. Oh well.(reply to this comment
From rainy
Friday, March 30, 2007, 14:25

*could *fake persona(reply to this comment
From v
Friday, March 30, 2007, 14:26


Why the hell are you posting yet you're not in the chat?? I know you're here now, it's no use trying to sneak away.

(reply to this comment

From rainy
Friday, March 30, 2007, 14:29

Is there some law that says I can't post unless I'm willing to get stuck in the chat room? I can post, walk away, wash dishes, come back, post again. If I go in chatroom it might be hours before I caome up for air.(reply to this comment
From v
Friday, March 30, 2007, 14:31


Yes actually, there is such a law, and it is the law of ME!

(reply to this comment

From rainy
Friday, March 30, 2007, 14:33

Dear V, I have one word to say to you. Yaaaahoooooo!!!!!(reply to this comment
From Ne Oublie
Friday, March 30, 2007, 09:30


Ok, on that count I will agree with you... to an extent. :D

I would simply counter that if someone is indeed posessed of 'raw problem solving skills' that they would in fact be able to 'solve' this 'problem' and equip themselves with the necessary skills to progress. As those skills are not the exclusive domain of any given group of individuals, I would say that it remains a meritocratic system.

Additionally, I would say that leadership skills are often on the 'softer' side and involve one's ability to effectively interact with and motivate others. Unfortunately, it is too often the case that the two skill sets are mutually exclusive, and as such those who are able to communicate effectively do not have the 'raw' skills which they profess, while the efforts of those who have only the 'raw' skills are not sufficiently recognised due to their inability to effectively communicate their worth.

That said, I would say that in many cases the inter-personal skills are in themselves significantly valuable, as everything in the busines world (as in life as a whole) is about interaction between individuals and groups. So, it's no point being the most highly skilled person in some field if you don't also communicate that fact.(reply to this comment

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