Two Seemingly Harmless Words to Leave Out of a Job Description

Cisco is looking for “A digital native with true love for all things mobile, and a social person by nature.”Jumpstart Automotive Group would really like to find a, “Sr Marketing Manager–Digital Native Needed!” Those are just two listings from five pages of results for companies looking for “digital native” at Meanwhile, other companies are offering “Millennials only seating areas.

Let’s talk about how ridiculously stupid this whole thing is. Digital natives are people who are young enough to have been raised on the computer, which means, what companies should say is, “Young person with true love for all things Mobile” or “Sr Marketing manager–30 and younger only need apply!” No one would do that, but for some reason people think it’s okay to use a code word.

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8 thoughts on “Two Seemingly Harmless Words to Leave Out of a Job Description

  1. also stupid and short-sighted – i don’t work in a tech field (lawyer!), but I’m the “techie” in my office. I was raised on computers, but those computers were 64-bit devices that I learned to do basic (and BASIC) programming on when I was ten. People far younger than me in my office and my family come crying and begging to me for help with their devices because none of them are as intuitive as me. I’m the liaison between my department and IT for all development projects because I “speak nerd”.

    I’m also a woman in my 40s, so I sometimes break people’s heads when I’m sent into a room with the IT group to give comments on a new platform for our department (meaning, help them understand our needs as lawyers) and I start giving comments on design in actual code.

    1. My mom (I’m 42, so you can guess herage!) used to program games for us in BASIC to help us learn things like state capitals and memorize all the spelling bee words. Seriously. Don’t reject people because they weren’t born with a tablet.

      1. My mom and my dad took a BASIC class together when my mom was getting her associate’s degree in comp sci. I still remember the punch cards in the house. 🙂

      2. I came along right after FORTRAN punch cards and cassette storage, but as a kid I taught myself Basic using just the skinny manual and wrote a game that wa good enough to be commercial. I’ve done computers my whole life including some awesome real-time systems that controlled huge swaths of the USA and I’ve given all kinds of techie talks across parts of the world. I’m the guru when all the kids get stuck. I guess all this makes me a digital native….and I’m in my fifties.

  2. Genuinely stupid. Employers can, should and do list the systems in which candidates need to possess a mastery and that’s how it should be, regardless of when — and how — the candidates acquired their skills.

  3. I think that there actually IS a real concept that people mean when they say “digital native” – or there USED to be, although now it’s more often used as a code word. The funny thing is that in my family, *I* am much more “digital naive” than the younger folks, even though I’m a grandmother.

    What happens is that when something comes up *I’m* the one who is likely to think of a way to use technology to assist. More often than not, it’s something really simple, but it’s just not on other people’s radar till I mention it and the it’s “Oh, yeah, that makes sense!”

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