Teaching How To Fish

Traditional fish traps in Vietnam.

Unemployment is at a high in ­many parts of the world and the most obvious reason to that is a weak global economy.  So, are we simply going to sit down and wait for bad times to pass?  While many wounds could heal with time, it’s not the same with the economy, with unemployment.

In this case, things has to be done.

We have heard of many suggestions; and we have heard of a saying that goes something like – “give a child a fish, you feed him for a day; teach a child to fish, you feed him for life”.  But then, what if there’s nothing to fish?  It’s either you move to another lake, or just get berries, or hunt for game instead.

The same is true with unemployment – it’s either you migrate, or reinvent yourself, or set up a business.

For a number of countries, jobs have gone to other nations thru outsourcing or foreign investment.  And this means one thing – more than having reach, labor is cheaper abroad than at home.  While the burden falls on the government to provide opportunities, jobseekers and private companies should do their share as well.


Governments operate within a notion of policies and enticing foreign investors but a robust economy does not happen overnight and austerity measures do not translate to more jobs.  Hence, governments should be more “creative” with state-owned corporations; if it only coughs money but less jobs then break it up and diversify.  Never divest without “plans” for the unemployed; yes, selling will give you revenue but not the power to create jobs, unless…

Private Companies

Living in a mantra like only “hiring the employed” would not necessarily bring you breakthroughs.  Recruit and invest in Leaders and talents when you see promise.  Open up to the unemployed and you might even find a gold mine.  Remember, they have their reasons too.

More so, with a shaky economy, you could still help lower unemployment and even make some headway by considering “home-based and part-time workers” do some outsourced or similar jobs for a lower fee.  If costs are still high, consider restructuring labor.

If your organization only exists for profit without social responsibility then you could one day find yourself with demotivated employees, otherwise, walk the talk.


Create livelihood projects, take into account unserved and underserved needs.  Preach self-sufficiency.  Pool your resources and knowledge then set up a revenue-generating entity utilizing the area’s resources, culture and tradition.  Have community schools train for skills needed for your area’s businesses and livelihood projects.  Connect with other communities and see how you could help each other.


You’ve heard it before – Arm Yourself.  Know what’s going on.  Determine transferable skills and strengthen them.  Learn things, even in non-traditional ways, that are specially in-demand.  If your hands are not busy, keep your minds busy.  Network with sincere and action-oriented people.  At the end of the day, fishing is just a matter of patience and focus.

What’s your take?