Many of us can recall those moments when we look back and know that for certain that that book, or that event changed everything for us. I have had a few of them myself. After reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown, I have no trouble saying “No” without guilt. Repelling down a rock cliff (and going back up a second time even though I could barely breathe with fright) – I trusted my physical self. The day I overheard my rebellious teenager giving advice to his older sister, using the very words that I had given him and which he had summarily dismissed – like most of the other advice I gave him – as being ‘stupid’…I stopped questioning my parenting skills.
There are more, but none of them had to do with finally, someone giving me a chance to prove that I am worthy to have job. I hear that a lot from the people that we hire at Green Trade, or that John Howard Society has helped place in the local labor market, “I am so grateful that you have given me the chance to prove that I am worthy of a job.” The concept of feeling un-hireable even though you have skills that are in demand can bring on feelings of overwhelming hopelessness. “What do I have to do to prove that I am worthy of having a job.”
Hope, for a job, for being able to provide for yourself and maybe even a family, for acceptance by community, is a defining asset for many people. Without it, there is a sense that nothing really matters.
Hope is a plan, for something better. It’s a reason to stay on the straight and narrow, to keep trying when it seems like nothing is working. It’s the first ingredient in the action plans that we help our job seekers put together – they need to believe that there is hope that their dreams and plans have a possibility to happen.
In one of life’s beautiful ironies, we hear from some employers that giving someone a chance to prove themselves became their defining moment. Because the highest form of leadership is service, what better way to serve your community than to give someone a chance to prove that they are worthy of working hard for a living?