Never give up
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
- May 1, 2011
Functional illiteracy consist of reading and writing skills that are inadequate "to manage daily living and employment tasks that require reading skills beyond a basic level".
Whenever I'm looking for a new employee, I like to include in my job description a clear instruction to weed out those who don't read job descriptions carefully: "start your application with [SOMETHING VERY SPECIFIC, LIKE "DINOSAURS ARE EXTINCT"]." My reasoning is that if a person can't take the time to read the job description carefully, then they aren't particularly respectful, don't care about the job, and they won't be likely to follow future instructions and communicate well.
To filter even more low-quality candidates, I also add additional simple mandatory requirements, such as "shoot a quick 1-minute video in which you explain why you're a good fit for this position." (today I received an application in which the candidate said she doesn't have a video but is happy to meet in person even though this is a remote job and she lives in freaking Serbia).
You'd be surprised how few people actually read the entire job description and follow the easy instructions. For one of my previous jobs, out of 145 candidates, there were maybe 10-20 who followed all instructions. In my new job I require a password before you can see the application form (this alone reduced the number of applicants by a factor of five). Out of those who managed to find the password, there were just a few who followed the other instructions (like starting their application with a given sentence).
Today I received an email from a guy who said he can't apply because he doesn't know the password. Yet the password is given right in the job description! He took the time to email me but he didn't take the time to read the job description.
This also happened when I personally selected some possible good candidates and invited them to apply. Most don't take the time to read the job description.
I also had similar issues when looking for freelance writers and EDITORS. I'm looking for a person whose work is to read CAREFULLY and they show right off the bat that they haven't read the job post. Then they complain they can't get a job.
I also regularly deal with functional illiterates in my self-publishing business, when I interact with my readers (I know, it's so ironic). I give clear 3-step instructions how to receive a free copy of a book or something like that. No matter how easy I make the process, there are always some people who fail to follow the instructions or ask for something that I specifically emphasized is NOT available. Then there are people who simply ignore my requests (like "apply only if you have a valid Amazon account and actively post reviews") and then act surprised that a REVIEW copy was actually something I offer to REVIEWERS.
Another aspect of this is people who are willfully ignorant. Instead of taking the time to do proper research and find the answers, they waste other people's time or make stupid mistakes just because they were too lazy to read and educate themselves. I have a friend who's actually proud that he's not reading books, as if it was something to be proud of.
This article perfectly explains why it's so important to read constantly, as much as you can (of course, this isn't about reading for the sake of reading without ever taking action; it's about reading to advance in life):
General James Mattis is part of a long line of tradition of Stoic warriors. Just as Frederick the Great carried the Stoics in his saddlebags as he led his troops, or Cato proved his Stoicism by how he led his own troops in Rome’s Civil War, Mattis has long been known for taking Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations with him on campaign.
“Reading is an honor and a gift,” he explains, “from a warrior or a historian who—a decade or a thousand decades ago—set aside time to write.” Yet many people spurn this gift and still consider themselves educated. “If you haven’t read hundreds of books,” Mattis says, “you’re functionally illiterate.” Channeling Marcus Aurelius, Mattis notes that human beings have been fighting and dying and struggling and doing the same things for eons. To not avail yourself of that knowledge is profoundly arrogant and stupid. To fill up body bags of young soldiers while a commander learns by experience? It’s worse than arrogant. It’s unethical, even murderous.
Well, the same is true for much less lethal professions. How dare you waste your investor’s money by not reading and learning from the mistakes of other entrepreneurs? How dare you so take your marriage or your children for granted that you think you can afford to figure this out by doing the wrong things first? What is the upside of trying to make it in the NFL all on your own, and not looking for shortcuts and lessons from seasoned pros and students of the game who have published books? There is no real job training for an emperor or the advisor to the emperor, but you can imagine both Marcus Aurelius and Seneca read heavily from and about their predecessors. The stakes were too high for them not to.
In Mattis’ view, no Marine, and no leader is excused from studying. Consider yourself assigned to this as well. It’s wonderful that you’re reading this email, but more is demanded of you. Drink deeply from history, from philosophy, from the books of journalists and the memoirs of geniuses. Study the cautionary tales and the screw ups, read about failures and successes. Read constantly—read as a practice.
Because if you don’t, it’s a dereliction of duty.
source: If You Don’t Read, You’re Functionally Illiterate
What are your experiences with functional illiteracy? Do you think the problem is getting more widespread in today's constantly distracted world?
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