Do Americans Really Want to Work? | Thoughts After My One-Man Job Fair

Being afforded the opportunity to work, both physically and legally, is a liberty revered by many who cannot. Like children who are unable to attend school long for the sound of a school bell, so do many persons from other countries long to come to America to find work.

I recently held a job fair for an entry level position at We posted the job description on and applications immediately came pouring in. We went through fifty applications before removing the post and of those fifty applicants, chose twenty. The selected applicants were emailed an invitation to interview with me. Ten respondents said they would be there.

I bet my millennial son that three out of ten respondents would show up for the interview, stating, “People don’t really want to work.” He disagreed. I love the young because of their faith in mankind; I want to still be like that. On the day of the interview, we found we were both wrong … only one applicant showed up.

My employee, Nigel, who was born in Jamaica, worked in London and now works in the office next to mine at, knows what I’m working on most of the time. He commented on our low turnout. He recounted how two weeks ago, I’d hired someone who showed up three hours late on her first day and never even made it to the second day.

Since Nigel is a worldly kind of guy, I asked him if he found turn out to be similar in other countries. He said, “No. American’s are spoiled. They don’t understand how lucky they are to have job opportunities of any kind.”

When I listen to news reports of people lamenting that they can’t find jobs, I wonder if they are talking about the fifty applicants who hit the send button on their computer, or the one person who put forth some effort?

Maybe we should change the word “work” to “opportunity” so it more truly reflects what it is: the opportunity to feel good about yourself, bring honor to your family, be a contributing citizen, learn something, share something, meet new people and add purpose to your life. Sure, it takes discipline to get up, get dressed and get out every morning and sometimes it can be scary. But who can afford to miss out on so much goodness? And isn’t everything worth doing at least a little bit hard?