Business: Why it works and how you can make it work for you

by Dylan Clarke
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Business: Why it works and how you can make it work for you

Image courtesy of jscreationzs /

An odd dogma held in the status quo is that business is the devil. Many seem to think that businesses are somehow a bad thing and that we should all make our own clothes. That’s great and all, but not everybody knits. A modern economy is necessary for the lives we lead, as is money (another one people seem to think is a conspiracy). Now it may be a fundamental of economics that producers and consumers are competing for surplus, but that doesn’t mean we’re enemies. In fact, it’s what keeps our markets efficient. It’s what keeps producers producing and consumers consuming. Businesses, or organizations as they are called in the status quo, are groups of people achieving a common goal. They have purpose. They have meaning. Not to mention the meaning and purpose they give to the people they employ. Now sometimes particular businesses aren’t overly moral, but that’s because consumers don’t respond by finding a substitute (or they can’t). Moreover, consumers don’t use their agency of demand as an anti-shirking mechanism to control the actions of businesses. I hope I’ve convinced you that we need businesses because there aren’t many, if any, arguments for the other side and this is only partially what I want to discuss today.

A much more prominent topic in the modern economy is how people with Arts & Humanities degrees can find jobs. Now whether you’re an English & Classics or a Social Psychology major, when you graduate you are going to have to get a job somewhere. And yes, most likely for a business. But, that’s okay you already have these skills – you have a wallet don’t you? Being business savvy and having an entrepreneurial mindset is extremely important for everyone, and it just takes some introspection. There’s a running joke at Business schools that Arts degrees have a lot of options… because the coffee shop market is booming. But I think if Arts degrees got their shit together they will be the ones laughing. BComm’s and BBA’s are becoming saturated – they’re a dime a dozen. The challenge for Arts undergrads is 1. realizing they need to make it known that their skills are transferable and 2. self-actualizing with their skill-set and improving their self-efficacy. So as a B-Schooler, here is my crash-course, with a few examples, for Arts undergrads (or anyone for that matter) that can help them brand themselves:

– You’ve probably read a lot of books (hint: English majors), so start to create a narrative for yourself and become aware of other people’s narratives. Write a narrative that is going to intrigue people. Make yourself interesting, detailed, but still professional. Somewhere to the right of Sylvia Plath and left of Kevin O’Leary.

– Make sure you highlight your leadership experiences. When have you been a leader? And I don’t mean that time you got voted captain of your high school volleyball team. When were you involved in a problem and had to exhibit leadership to solve it? When did you have personal power? Employers don’t care about your life, they just want to know you were reflecting on all of this life stuff while it was happening to you.

– Acknowledge what the functions and facets of a business are and SERIOUSLY find where your skill-set applies. If you’re a classics, film or philosophy undergrad you would make a kickass marketer. If you have psychology or literature degrees you could be of some serious help to the Human Resources department. If you can talk and are at ease in front of an audience, sales is really lucrative. For all my math-letes, the world of finance is just waiting for you. Although these are just suggestions in a silo, they illustrate my point – knowledge is transferable.

Don’t wait another day to start thinking about how you can fit into a business. Do it now. Think about why a company would want you and attribute these values, skills, and beliefs to your identity. Constantly try to improve. Some people think business is stupid – they probably don’t have jobs. In the modern economy businessmen/businesswomen are a lot more like philosophers than investment bankers. Although, you should try to learn as much about neoclassical economics and central banking as you can. As global macroeconomic conditions become worse, macroeconomics becomes more important. It’s perverse, but true. Business shapes the world. Start to be influential, consequential, and zealous so you can start to shape businesses with your career.

If you would like to let us in on any of your plans for making business work for you, please share them by commenting below or tweeting @FreshPrintMag!



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