Why Can’t They Just Get A Job? 

Why Overcoming Poverty Is More Complicated Than We Think, And What We Can Do About It.

When confronted with a story about an individual suffering from the effects of poverty, some of us might initially think, “Why can’t they just get a job?” Maybe this question often comes to mind when you see the suffering right in front of you – on the street or in that part of town. 

If you’ve ever asked the question, then you’re not alone. However, instead of asking “Why can’t they just get a job?” we are challenging you to ask “Why can’t they just get a job?” 

When asked the right way, you can change your perspective to begin working toward the answer. Since you are here, we assume that you are already pulling for the less fortunate. You are compassionate, open minded, and searching for a way to help. Sure, you might also be a bit skeptical, but we trust that you know that those who are suffering are not the problem. 

Jobs, jobs, everywhere…

The issue is not a lack of jobs. It’s not a lack of trainable people. It’s that there isn’t a clear path between vulnerable people and employers. If there was, there would already be a solution. 

You can be part of the bridge across this gap, helping to map the path for both parties.

Both sides see the gap, and people on both sides have tried to cross it. What’s missing are resources, training, and people with the right vision. On both sides of the process, people lack the freedom to take risks. 

What are the risks for the employer? 

  • They’ve been burned before when trying to do “the right thing.”
  • They fear what they’ve never successfully done.
  • They don’t want to risk the costs of hiring a higher risk employee.

What about risks for the employee? 

  • They, too, might fear what they’ve never successfully done. 
  • Trading dependence for independence isn’t easy. Sometimes handouts are the only “income” a person has ever known. 
  • They have dependents to consider as well. Very few are responsible for themselves only.

Employers and future employees have to be brought closer to each other, bringing opportunities within reach for both parties. Trust has to grow and be earned from both directions. The bridge we are building together can’t just support the employees – the employers are half of the solution, and their needs can’t be ignored. 

How Does The Bridge Get Built?

First, recognize that these potential future employees are vulnerable. Whether they’re suffering from abuse, neglect, trauma, abandonment, or war – they’re survivors. They’re strong, and we know this because they’ve already made it through hell.

Coming from a past without role models and a present without mentors, these individuals approach our program for a chance to change their futures with meaningful employment. We could list all of the things that they don’t have that makes this journey harder for them than it was for you and I, but that list isn’t what they want to be known for. They want to begin their futures, free of the stress and hopelessness that comes with poverty. 

The markets already exist. New markets don’t need to be created through  social enterprises. While many “businesses for good” are doing remarkable things for a limited number of recipients, it’s unnecessary and insulting to assume that vulnerable people can only be helped when customers know they’re purchasing something for a good cause. When survivors are trained in skills sought after by traditional workplaces, their value as employees will be increased for the rest of their careers. 

If workers are needed in almost every field, then the solution will not simply be found in creating more jobs. More individuals must be prepared to become successful workers.

Countless resources already exist, and there are leaders with experience successfully hiring individuals from at-risk communities. Employers need to be shown how to use what’s already out there. Imagine the possibilities of a network of executives helping each other solve similar problems in this realm. Imagine what you could do if you had connections with other leaders with common goals: helping people, while also increasing productivity and profits. 

Does any of this sound like you? We’re looking for business leaders with compassion and vision, but in need of a roadmap to get started. You can keep doing exactly what you’re doing, but extend it to people coming out of vulnerable situations. Treating employees with care and dignity is mission work. 

Viable doesn’t want to be your middle man. Viable wants to teach you how to use the resources that are available to you, connect you to others in your position who have done this work successfully, and introduce you to employees who are ready to be productive for you. Let us know when you’re ready. 

On the other half of the bridge, Viable works with individuals who are asking for help. They are taught the basics of responsible employment, shown what possibilities match their interests, provided with counseling as needed, and connected to mentors in their prospective fields. They’ve done the hardest work before coming to us, benefiting from compassionate organizations that provide immediate resources after rescue. Beyond rescue and recovery, there is hope. And hope is found through meaningful employment. 

Why can’t they just get a job? With your help, they can. 

Vulnerable individuals will become valuable employees. Desperate employers will contribute to the solution while still meeting their goals. If you feel called to help us make these connections, please donate today. 

Why Overcoming Poverty Is More Complicated Than We Think, And What We Can Do About It.



Reese Parrott: Director of Career Development

Reese is a seasoned professional in career development, with experience spanning entry-level to C-level roles across a wide variety of industries. She passionately advocates that employees are a company’s greatest asset and champions positive culture change by prioritizing the hiring of individuals who bring more than what’s listed in job descriptions. Reese excels in creating efficient processes, driving performance improvements, and establishing corporate talent acquisition divisions from the ground up. Her life’s work centers around helping others. She found her true calling at Viable Inc, where she guides trauma survivors to discover meaningful work and independence. Reese’s journey is one of empowerment, transformation, and a relentless commitment to the growth of individuals and organizations alike.