Why do I care if you get a job?

When I first announced that I was publishing Seven Simple Steps to Landing Your First Job, a close friend asked, “Why do you care about that?” Fair point. It’s been over twenty years since I had my first job. I have a job and plenty of options. Why would I care?

And yet, I care a lot. I want to see bright, enthusiastic people sporting that look you get when you first hear you got the job. I love seeing that.

I have three big reasons for caring a lot about you getting a job: strength, balance, and emotions.

First, in every way I can think of, more people doing work they love means strength–strength of the economy, strength of employers, and strength of families. When people are happy and secure, society is more robust in every way.

Second, a healthy match between employers and employees creates balance. Right now there is a fundamental imbalance in the job market. There are over 15 million people out of work with another 2 million coming out of college and grad school each year. This is before graduates of high school, trade school, and other institutions are even considered, and those numbers fail to take into account several million more people who have just given up. This would be cause for dismay if there weren’t jobs out there–but there are. There are millions of jobs to be had, employers making do with positions left vacant. Whether through better awareness, skills development, or a better process for finding work, there is an imbalance that is causing unnecessary suffering, and that imbalance needs to be corrected.

Finally, the thing that really gets me going is the emotions you face when you need a job and don’t have one. I have seen so many talented, educated, passionate people struggle to find work. I have watched Ivy League graduates take a year or more to get jobs for which they’re overqualified. I have watched masters of trade circle want ads in the newspaper. It’s tough dealing with everything that goes along with watching your savings run out, having too much time on your hands, not getting to do what you love and are good at.

So yes, I care a lot about whether you get a job. I know there are jobs out there, I know there’s a better way to get them, and I know everyone’s happier when we can do work we love.

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