Get a Job?
Estimated Lesson Time: 4 minutes
In my four years of high school and four years as an undergraduate (okay, four and a quarter), the idea that I had the choice of starting my own business, or working for myself in some other way, was mentioned but a few times. As a student, the traditional approach of “study hard, get good grades, find a good job” was hammered into our brains over and over. What appears to be good, solid advice is the same advice that is creating a society of dependent and financially insecure adults.
What if.... what if we ALL followed this “sound” advice? Who would create the jobs that we are all seeking? There are only so many government jobs, and even those have to be created by someone. We would rely on the jobs that are currently available, which by attrition, would eventually decrease. The jobs that are available would be more and more competitive which would result in higher unemployment. Does this sound familiar?
Why is getting a job sold as a “better” option than creating a job for oneself?
- Social status. To many people, a title is more important than a raise. It does wonders for one’s self-esteem and feeling of importance. Jobs come with impressive titles these days. Landing a good job gives one instant social status and bragging rights (Vice President of Pencil Sharpening?).
- Credibility. Somewhere, sometime, someone linked a paid job with credibility. It seems that if an employer is willing to pay someone in advance for services rendered, both the job and the employee’s abilities are credible. The common perception is, those who choose the riskier path of self-employment or an opportunity heavily based on performance pay, somehow could not get a “real job.”
- Security. For the most part, security in the workforce is a myth. One is only truly secure with confidence in one’s own abilities.
- Instant gratification. Getting a job usually means instant gratification via a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly paycheck. The need for immediate cash flow prohibits most people from investing in themselves and being independent of an employer. In today’s business world, there are so many opportunities that can be done part-time and with little or no money down. Creating your own job is rewarding in so many ways and brings with it long-term gratification.
- It’s easier. Depending on the job, one’s abilities, skills and education, it is generally much easier to get a job than create one with a similar financial benefit. Most people choose the easier path in life to their own detriment. Success is not easy, but it sure is worth it.
- Lack of confidence. Although filled with good intentions, most parents and teachers do not encourage children and students to go for the “dare to be great” situation. With their best interest at heart, adults condition students to “study hard, get good grades, find a good job.” Statistically speaking, this is the soundest advice considering an estimated 90% of all businesses fail in the first five years. However, what if students were conditioned for success? Would this failure rate be so high? What’s wrong with failure anyway? Perhaps students would be better off studying persistence rather than making birdhouses.
There is more to creating a job than just securing your own financial future. Bill Gates chose to create a job for himself rather than join the existing workforce. As a result, his company, Microsoft, employs more than 99,000 people (as of 2013) in 72 countries, not to mention the number of jobs and opportunities it has created indirectly. This comes back to one of my favorite “keys to success” by Zig Ziglar, who says, “You can get what you want by helping enough other people get what they want.”
There are numerous benefits to employment as well. Without employees, companies could not operate. There will always be those who prefer the path of employment and employers are grateful for that. However, let’s have a little more faith in our youth and at least introduce them to the option of creating jobs rather than taking them. It is the entrepreneurs that create opportunity and is our duty to do our best to create a better world for the next generation.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)