I don’t. I don’t support it and I don’t believe in it. Here’s why:
1. Today’s “job” is not the same as yesteryear’s “job.”
10 or 20 years ago, getting a job meant something bigger than what it means today. It meant having a career. It meant job security. It meant benefits, like good health insurance, pension, and more.
Getting that job meant you had ARRIVED, and you could take a breath, and relax.
Today, a job doesn’t come with good healthcare. Companies that used to provide good healthcare have seen costs skyrocket, and so you have to pay more OR you get less coverage. Hardly anyone offers pensions. No company offers any job security.
Having a “job” today is more of a temporary status than it has been for a long time. I can’t get behind a movement that seems to push towards getting something that is different than what you think you are getting.
2. Jobs aren’t here in abundance.
I know, I know, they are there. You just have to find them. You have to network in and find the hidden job market. I BELIEVE THAT. I have a good friend who got an amazing job at an organization that was on a hiring freeze…. his brand and network helped him land an amazing job.
There are a few factors that have an impact on the number of jobs. The economy has been in the toilet long enough that employers are timid about bringing on new costs…. many seem to be holding their breath, waiting for better days (and less risk).
Also, the flat world has been too tempting for big companies to send billions of dollars of salaries overseas. Whether you think that is right or wrong, it is reality… and those jobs won’t be back for a while (or, forever).
In the webinar we did with Mark Hovind this week (should be posted soon), we learned that things aren’t going to get “back to normal” for about four or five more years (back to normal -> about 7% unemployment). That’s a LONG TIME.
3. Back to work is based on flawed metrics.
This is perhaps my biggest hangup. I don’t believe in many statistics, and the analysis thereof, especially from the government.
The success numbers behind “Back to work” go up when someone goes from not employed to employed. Even if it is a temporary or part-time job. The criteria is that they are getting a paycheck. It might end after the season… or it might be 10 hours a week. Regardless, the success measurement (which is GOT JOB=+1) is misleading.
The other hangup I have is that even if the job is a full-time, permanent, maybe even salaried job, the income might not be what you need to make. If you lose a $70k job, and then find a $35k job, is that a success? It might feel better to not be unemployed, but when you get that first paycheck and then realize you have to get a second or third job to make ends meet, it doesn’t feel like a success anymore.
I’m all about getting people back on their feet. But I’m not convinced that “getting back to work,” or “getting a job,” is the right answer for everyone.
There are other options… other career strategies. Like this concept.
Those are my three main thoughts… what do you think?