20 Jul 2012
You see, I have enough of my own. Problems can be time-consuming, stressful and challenging. Now I don’t resent my own problems as an absence would suggest there is either nothing much happening in my life or I have no control over it. But just because I recognise the value of taking responsibility for my own life does not mean I welcome other people parking their issues at my doorstep.
And this brings me to one of the aspects of the welfare to work sector that I find most puzzling. People who abrogate responsibility and just expect someone else to find a solution to their difficulties are simply ticking time bombs on the cusp of their next misfortune. Until a person takes personal responsibility s/he just blows in the wind and cannot be relied upon. So why do so many advisors pick up the baton and step in to find a job for a person? They are simply reinforcing the message that the individual is useless and needs everything done for him/her. It won’t be long before something happens and once again the person is unemployed, passively waiting to be assisted again.
This does not mean that jobseekers should be just left to it, somehow knowing what to do and how to do it. But there should be a crystal clear message that the advisor is not taking on the customer’s problems but is simply providing help so the person can find workable solutions. When selling MyWorkSearch I often focus on how technology saves costs and is convenient to access whenever and wherever required. However if I had to pick one attribute that is transformative, it is retaining responsibility with the jobseeker. Because once people cease being dependent they start coping and from this comes confidence and confident people are far more likely to have fulfilled and successful lives.
So I am happy to help people; indeed I delight in it. But don’t ever ask me to own your problems. They are your’s to solve.