The irony of success

I started MyWorkSearch Ltd a year ago and by all commercial measures the business has been a tremendous success.  We are on track for several millions of turnover and the business is healthily profitable.  There are 11 employees and we are hiring more as we continue to expand.  Meanwhile a lot of my time is spent looking for new markets for us to move into – both sector and geography.  A very rewarding recognition came from LinkedIn with their European Business Awards. MyWorkSearch has been shortlisted in the Startup category and my colleagues and I are nervously waiting for the awards ceremony on 24th March when we will find out how we have done.  If you are a LinkedIn member you can show your support and vote for us at

However our success has been based upon the very large number of people who are unemployed.  Yes, we console ourselves, we are helping our customers be the ones who swiftly secure new jobs.  However to be a customer in the first place the individual has first lost his or her job.  As a business, rising sales are a good thing yet each additional subscription is an unemployed person who is inevitably experiencing a very challenging time.  This goes with the space we operate in and I feel great that we are providing a sufficiently good service that people choose us.  But it is a sobering thought that must temper our celebrations of commercial success.

And this brings me to the future of MyWorkSearch.  I don’t believe the economy is out of trouble and high unemployment will remain a problem for some while.  However a recovery will, I hope, come and with it greater employment prospects.  The future of MyWorkSearch will be in helping people far more actively manage their careers.  Instead of relying upon a buoyant economy providing opportunities I hope that the majority of those who wish to work will actively manage their careers.  They will think about the working life they want and what they need to do to achieve this.  Our service will be the resource that helps them define their aspirations and then manage the activities that will realise these goals.  If we get this right our service will be usefully available 24*7 for as long as it is required whilst also being affordable to all.  Working on this plan is inspirational for the team.  If we get it right it will make life better for huge numbers of people.  Meanwhile we will build a great and sustainable business.  And if we don’t get it right we hope that at least we inspire someone else to do it properly and effect this necessary transformation.