4 (funny) reasons why people look for jobs

by Tunde-Success Osideko


While applicants have reasons why they need a job, prospective employers also have reasons why they need an employee and as long as these reasons are not mutually exclusive or congruent, then an applicant would never be able to convert a vacancy into a job.

Depending on where you are, this article will either make you curious or bewildered. We assume that it is a simple fact the reason why people are looking for a job. But that is not the case. This is where Employability Intelligence begins from.  By the way, Employability Intelligence is the basic set of relevant skills, knowledge, exposure and attitude that an individual possess that guarantees their value adding potential.

In my interaction with quite a number of fresh graduates as well as experienced hires who are job hunting on the questions of why they are looking for a job, below are some of their responses;

  • I need a job to keep body and soul together
  • I need a job because now I am a graduate
  • I need a job because all my school mates are working
  • I need a job because I am tired of staying at home


I called these funny reasons because they are all self-centred and selfish in design focusing only what the applicants can get from a prospective employer and not what they can give.

If you are an applicant, these reasons make you look selfish, desperate, dangerous and mostly importantly, it puts you at the mercy of the employer.  It’s like tying the very essence of your life to someone and locking up the door of your happiness and putting the key in the hands of your “would be employer”.

Yes, these may seem normal justifications to an average applicant on why a job is worth pursuing but to an employer, they are not strategic reasons why you should be employed.

You are not going to be employed because you need money to take care of your needs, no organisation would give you a job just to meet your needs neither would you be employed because now you have earned a degree.

Some of the reasons highlighted above drive the mindset of most applicants and this mindset shows up in their performance throughout the process of job hunting. It is not unlikely that someone who needs a job because she/he needs money to survive would express desperation during  the interview process and end up exhibiting unprofessional behaviour because as far this is concerned, it is a matter of life and death. Most candidates lose self-confidence and perform poorly during the recruitment exercise not because they are not qualified for the job but because of the tendency to think they are at the mercy of the recruiter.

While applicants have reasons why they need a job, prospective employers also have reasons why they need an employee and as long as these reasons are not mutually exclusive or congruent, then an applicant would never be able to convert a vacancy into a job.

As long as the reasons you are looking for a job includes one or all of the funny reasons above, then your chances of getting a great job is slim.

This does not mean that those reasons are bad in themselves or that you should deny the existence of your needs.

What I am trying to do is to help young applicants, shift the focus of their job hunting from self to the prospective employer; to get them to think of why their prospective employer would want to hire anyone in the first place.

There is only one reason why employers look for someone to hire- employers are looking for someone that can ADD VALUE to their businesses.  There are however, four ways by which all employers interpret your ability to add value whether it is in Telecoms, Financial, or Manufacturing industry.

Your ability to add value is determined by the following:

  • Your ability to help the company make more money
  • Your ability to help the company save money
  • Your ability to help the company increase its brand equity
  • Your ability to help the company increase its market share


As a winning candidate in search of a job, you must understand these interpretations and reckon with any of them in your preparation for the job if you must stay ahead of thousands of others in competition with you, for the same job.

We can safely state that these are basic reasons why employers look for employees and it is in your best interest to also make them the reasons for your job search. In other words, the reasons you are looking for a job, is that you are looking for organisations that YOU can help to either make money, save money, increase market share or increase brand equity.

You must turn the table around if you want to succeed in your job hunting exercise.

There is no how you can succeed in your attempt to help an organisation if you don’t even know anything about the company prior to the recruitment exercise. It is amazing how many applicants show up at an interview without even knowing the name of the company or the job they are being interviewed for. No wonder they never do well.

One of the first things you must do is to research the organisations you want to work for.  There is nothing strategic in sending your CVs everywhere all in the name of looking for a job; it is only a waste of your limited resources.

Send your CVs to specific organisations and take note of those places. Do research about the organisations; gather as much information as you can about the firms, their vision, mission, values, people, goals and most importantly the challenges they face as business entities.

Show your prospective employer that you are different, one -in -a -million applicant and that you are coming on board to add value and help the organisation solve its problems. If these become your mindset, very soon you would have too many great jobs to choose from.

When you put the needs of the organisation first, the organisation would take care of your needs beyond your wildest expectation!

And then you would soon realise that the organisation needs you more than you need the organisation and you would not approach the recruitment process thinking that your life is at the mercy of the company you intend to work for.

This is how to succeed when looking for a job; it first starts with your mindset. Once you have the right mindset about your justification for a job, you have won the battle and in no time, your story would change!


Tunde-Success Osideko (HRMP SHRMCertified) is an HR Professional, career coach and an internationally trained and certified Change Manager. He is also the author of the book- The Game Changer, Intelligent Ways of Looking for a Job in a competitive World. He can be reached on [email protected]


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (4)

  1. Thank you for the exposure sir.

  2. Tunde, pls refrain from posting this kind of hypocritical essay. Shio!

  3. wat a way to change the mind of a job seeker. thank you sir

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