Joe Biden’s Advice to Job Seekers (from 2011): Be Hopeful

Joe Biden’s advice to job seekers felt… out of touch. He didn’t say, “suck it up!” but to a lot of people that’s how it felt.

Hearing advice that sounds patronizing, especially from career politicians (who’s pay is decent and lifelong benefits are incredible), is always demoralizing. It doesn’t matter what party they are in, or what party you are in, patronizing advice when you feel like you are doing everything you know to do to get out of a miserable job search is not easy to hear.

Joe Bident’s advice to job seekers was basically, “hang in there.”  He indicated there are lots of companies who say they are going to hire more this year, so just hang in there, be patient and maybe you’ll land one of those jobs.

Ugh. If you have been hanging in there for months, perhaps losing cars or your house, straining personal relationships, and depressed, hanging in there and being patient waiting for companies to change their hiring strategy, or actually hire people, is just darn hard to hear.

Joe Biden's advice to job seekers was to wait

Oh, while you are hanging in there, make sure you don’t drain the country’s finances with your bad health habits.

Joe Biden’s Advice to Job Seekers

The Huffington Post reports he says:

“Don’t smoke, eat healthy, do not consume junk foods,” he said. “I know that sounds silly, but it’s very practical in terms of your own health and well-being, and also on the impact of the cost of maintaining the health care system in the United States.”

Joe Biden’s advice to job seekers is a sliver of what we need to hear.

I agree that maintaining healthy habits is a great idea.  I’m surprised, though, that Biden didn’t talk about the options a job seeker has.

Like any of the state or federal programs available for job seekers. Does he not believe in them?

Like looking at starting their own business. How many of the major (and minor) employers today were started by someone who took a risk?  Does he not believe America is a great place to provide this opportunity?

Like improving your education, if that is an issue, so you can either compete on a level playing field, or improve your chances of getting noticed?  Is it better to “hang in there” than to do something to sharpen our saw?

Joe Biden's advice to job seeker could have included educational options

Hang in there sounds incredibly ignorant… it sounds like “hang out until it gets better.” But you have to remember who you get job search advice from. Joe Biden’s advice to job seekers isn’t horrible, it’s just incomplete. And from his position, he should either defer to experts or give more holistic advice.

I have some advice for Biden, and anyone in the government who is involved in the jobs stats.  Stay tuned for my post tomorrow (click here). (any ideas for them?)

… Oh yeah, one more thing about Joe Biden’s advice to job seekers: you might have heard stuff like this from other people. Slivers of what you need to hear. An incomplete or outdated picture.

Be careful who you take advice from. Some of it will be solid, other advice can be terribly misleading.

Joe Biden's advice to job seekers is to keep waiting

1 thought on “Joe Biden’s Advice to Job Seekers (from 2011): Be Hopeful”

  1. I have an idea for Joe Biden..Perhaps he would make more meaningful and less ignorant suggestions if he actually had an understanding of the reality of the world for today’s job seeker, especially anyone who has been at it for a while. I’d like to drop him in the home of someone who’s just (unwillingly) reached their 99th week of unemployment and let him spend even one week, dealing with the practicalities of trying to survive (including trying to stay healthy with no income), the stress of an uncertain future, the emotional toll of going from being a fully functional and successful member of society to someone who likely feels overlooked and judged, and go through all of the many hours spent searching, applying, waiting for responses, etc. It would be interesting to see if his advice would still be so glib or if he would consider it sufficient to say that some indefinable group of employers are filling some unknown quantity of fuzzy types of jobs. It was a little disheartening to hear the State of the Union and get a sense of the disconnect between the government and the people who are trying to cope with our current economic reality. Since that likely won’t happen, I’d settle for some sense that those in charge of forging a solution are actually talking to and have some sense of the reality of life for the millions of people currently out of work.

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