I’m setting off on my newest LCSG assignment: creating a website! It will be a work in progress for awhile, but in the meantime it can be found at http://lowercolumbiasolutions.org/.
It amazes me how skills like building a website are often so highly valued even in career fields that seem like you could avoid such things. It is interesting talking to case managers about how much they wish they had “tech skills” because they are constantly finding they need to be able to build a website, make a video, run a voting software (like the moderators at the Citizens Initiative Review), manage an online file sharing system, or make a flier. Having the skills to be a moderator/facilitator/mediator, skills like listening, reframing, cultural competency, stakeholder interviewing, case analysis, etc are what allow you to be in the field, yet to really thrive in the job it seems you either have to be able to pay or contract out these other jobs or do it yourself. In my last job in the non-profit sector, when hiring we, of course, looked for the person with the best teaching credentials or the best coordinating credentials as the given job required. However, we then often hired the person who not only had those, but also had skills to do their own graphic design, manage the facebook page, update their portion of the website, run a database, etc. We might even opt for the person with slightly less of the obvious credential in exchange for these everyday job skills. Unfortunately this desire for these everyday job skills went a little too far when they replaced me and instead of hiring a person who not only had those skills, but also could connect with volunteers, manage teams, and be inspiring, they went only for the skills. That individual only lasted a few months before she became the first person fired at that non-profit. Being witness to that experience and the modern reality of the needs of that nonprofit and now also the modern reality needs of the LCSG makes me appreciate how essential it is that new graduates not only have the career skills of our desired field, but also these everyday job skills. Luckily we have this blog requirement in CRES that gives students at least a taste of building and managing a website.