It is not about courage or pride.
People don’t show how much they need a job because they know exploitation comes with the package.
I see a few posts on LinkedIn where HR influencers and leaders praise people who say it loud “World, I need a job! S.O.S.” They say it is courage, it is taking responsibility for their vulnerability, and that is power.
I say this is fake news.
Pride inhibition generated by the stress and pressure of paying for your life and not having support from anywhere is not courage, it is despair. It is the last resort. People who already reached this point are facing crisis and many of them are one step away from collapse. Material, physical, emotional, or mental. These people walk daily on the sharps margins of life.
Leaders and influencers praising despair is just a mirror of how powerless they are. Even when the intention is to motivate, encourage and show moral support, the mirror remains the same. Of how much they do not know how to help people by activating their network, by reaching these people out, by knowing them, by saying a few good things to the right people to push them forward. They don’t do that vital step they can do to explore how they can tangibly do something. They don’t do what they can do to help in meaningful ways.
If you find yourself in a place of power and you don’t do anything tangible when you see people signaling S.O.S., then your network value is shit and you have to reconsider the life principles that guide your life. Such leader has no more power than the person asking for help.
When you consider yourself a leader, there are no jurisdictions. You can positively impact people everywhere, anytime.
Actions are the best possible words.
Next time you see a person asking for a job on LinkedIn, stop talking alone in front of an invisible and unknown crowd. Reach that person out, analyze her/his profile, see what you can do about it. Especially if you activate in the HR industry or your books are about leadership.
There are many years since I am “desperate” for a job. Despair that translated in hunger, not having a roof over my head, debts and so on, the usual stuff that comes with a hard life. But somehow I am more resilient than others, and maybe that is because I was an entrepreneur before, I have been trainded to stand the heat and the frost, maybe I am aware and cool with the fact that no modern organization or standard leader will ever hire “rebels”, no matter the benefits and value they can bring in.
Or maybe because I know the truth about myself and I take full ownership for it.
I don’t need a job, I need to do meaningful work.
I don’t need a job, I need to do meaningful work and protect my space, my freedom. To see tangible things happening in real-time, to see people being better under my performance. And when such options are not available, I find them or I invent them to keep myself on track. Maybe this is how I have been awarded for six meaningful solutions to six meaningful problems and won myself more time to figure it all out by grabbing those seekers money for the prize. Maybe this is how I survived and did the things I wanted by having neither a company or a „job” in the last decade.
I wonder many times how I did it, because it was too damn hard and it still is. Each day I wake up and I see the impossible and no clues of how to reach tomorrow. Each night I go to bed stronger and happier because somehow I did it one more time.
Or maybe I am also too aware of the fact that once I show how much I need the money, I will be automatically underpaid, I’ll be exploited. I’ve been there too many times to doubt it. There are endless stats showing big companies hiring insecure overachievers. Someone that I have been once.
I rejected or quit plenty of key positions jobs or consulting requests because of exploiting reason and I will continue doing so as many times as necessary. If you want more for less, go find someone else. When I want to give more for less I take the crowdsourcing route and solve a problem, but that is my choice, it is because I want it so.
The smell of blood attracts wolves. Then, if it is about the money for you, it is also about the money for them. No one offers you a correct price for your value. You have to stand for yourself and be aware of your market value because you are on your own.
Most of the leaders and influencers I met in my life are powerless and meeting a person in need is a unique opportunity for them not to help, but to exert their ascendant of power over others, one way or another.
Very few people have a straight sense of justice, of righteousness, of integrity, of ethics. And even fewer people in power positions. They are there because they wanted power, not because they wanted to help further. It is the main reason we lack truly inspiring and catalyzing leaders in the world today. People able to light the fire in your heart, to give you real power and to guide your way out of crisis and darkness.
We don’t have that anymore. The leaders today just want to sell you something or give you something free to take something from you, like data or your behavioral patterns for the same core purpose: to sell . That is all about. You are on your own.
The only leader you can count on is you.
You have to understand and accept the mechanism of the world to conquer your place in it and to rise above.
In your worst times remember that. It is how you’ll know how to best make your case, how to best shout it loud and to whom, when and where, and whatever you must do to get where you want, in the shortest time possible.
I will always choose to make 10 meaningless jobs at once and at the right price than to accept a perfect match for the wrong price. It is a matter of principle. At least I know exactly how I stand and what for: pushing my own ideas further, doing more meaningful work in my own terms, protecting my space, values and freedom.
Don’t let a crisis or rough times to make you doubt yourself, your capabilities. Don’t allow anyone to underpay you no matter how hard it is. It will lead to frustrations, to unhappiness, to depression. In reality, it won’t solve your problems, it will just amplify them.
The underpaid venue leads nowhere better.