An open letter to employees in New Zealand, on behalf of all Arts graduates.

Greetings and salutations,

I hope you find this polite and to the point, it is neither my intention to lick your shoes nor waffle on about my skills. You are an employer, I am a graduate. You have money and a job that needs doing; I am broke with time on my hands. Do not treat me like a fool. Putting ‘comprehensive prior experience’ as a prerequisite for whatever banal position you care to throw into the market – as the gorged diner throws his scraps to the dogs – does not change nature of the job itself.

I am a Bachelor of Arts graduate, which means I spent at least three years buried in academia. Three years of experimenting with ideas and points of view, learning how to deconstruct an argument and assemble another from scratch. I was not allowed to have ideas of my own, I wrote what others before me had said; fastidiously referenced it all. I came through it with knowledge of political systems, the basics in policy making, even the vagaries of Japanese Kabuki theatre. I can learn anything, question anyone, and argue any point.

You want me to have experience in the kind of job you’re offering? I want it too; why not give it to me? Employment law now says you can sack me within 90 days, so give me that chance to prove myself. You hold all the cards, so ditch the automated system that filters out the best applicants on account of them declining to put all the right buzz words into the fields. Treat me as a human being, I studied humanities – I know the difference.

An Arts Graduate

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