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Give People What They Want

Harrison Barnes
By Jun 12,2024
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You need to provide people what they want, otherwise you will not have a job. Although they might not always be the most desirable kinds of jobs, certain jobs always exist because they provide services that people will always require. The only secret to continual employment is to provide a service that people always need; if you do this, and nothing else, you will always find yourself employed. Give people what they want.

Lately I have been hearing more and more people say that there are no jobs. I hear this so much it is making me angry. There may not be the same number of jobs that there were two years ago; however, there are still jobs. There are actually tons of jobs all over the place. But here is a brief reality check:

  • If you want to make $70,000 a year assembling steering assemblies in an auto plant, there are not as many of these jobs anymore.
  • If you want to work for a newspaper that is losing money, there are not as many of these jobs anymore either.
  • If you want to get overtime every week on your job, there are not as many jobs that are paying overtime anymore, since companies are cutting back and watching their money more carefully.
  • If you want to make $80,000 as a salesperson in a furniture store, there are not as many of these jobs as there were a few years ago.
  • If you are a union electrician who used to get paid $60 an hour to install wiring in Las Vegas high rises—there are not as many of these jobs as there were a few years ago.
  • If they typically pay you $250,000 a year as a copywriter in an advertising agency, there are not as many jobs as there were a few years ago.
  • If you are a corporate attorney who used to make $275,000 a year, whose job is to help big companies sell securities, there are not as many of these jobs around.
  • And if you are a finance wiz who used to be paid $500,000 a year to do incredibly creative things with numbers–there are not as many of these jobs around either.

The viability of certain types of jobs out there has diminished because the demand for the work simply has gone away or decreased dramatically. There is no doubt about it: there are fewer of these sorts of jobs available—but still there are jobs. This process will continue into the foreseeable future. There used to be a lot of jobs for people making horse buggies, and these jobs do not exist anymore—but this does not mean that every job has gone away. The issue is that people no longer need or want horse buggies.

In order to reach our full potential in everything that we do, we need to give people what they want. If we are not providing what people want, then we will not have jobs. It is as simple as that.

But there are always jobs, more than you might believe.

When I watch the news, read the paper, and so forth, I am amazed when I see newscasts that show people spending their days sitting in diners, smoking cigarettes, looking at the classified ads and declaring, “There are no jobs!” It is incredible to me that so many people are brainwashing themselves into believing this. If you watch the news for a day or two, you will always see news crews interviewing various people who declare that there are no jobs anywhere.

I have seen at least ten news stories on television in the last month or so where carpenters, electricians, and many people who have lost their jobs with the housing bust in Las Vegas, Florida, and elsewhere have made this declaration.

When you read the paper, you see the same thing. It could be a giant protest occurring in France or Germany, where people are declaring, “There are no jobs!” All over the world, people seem to declare, “There are no jobs! There’s nothing to be done! There’s no work to be found! The world is awful!”

What people should say is “There are not the same jobs!” Because there are always jobs out there. Always. Jobs do not go away. Jobs change, people become interested in different things, the world changes direction–but there is always work to be done.

Even in the most inhospitable and economically ravaged areas, you will find people employed. Find the worst neighborhood in America and you will see countless people employed. You will always see people employed.

  • If there are children, there is a school somewhere nearby, for which teachers, janitors, bus drivers, and other will be working.
  • If you call the police, ambulance, or fire department, they will appear wherever you are–police, ambulance drivers, and firefighters are always working.
  • There will always be people working in the jails and in law enforcement, taking care of the criminals.
  • There will be people working in the hospital, taking care of the sick.
  • There will always be people working in the Department of Motor Vehicles, and in the unemployment offices, and other various state offices.
  • If a neighborhood is in really terrible shape, you might see real estate signs up. Real estate agents are working, and so are carpenters, if they are boarding up the houses.
  • There is usually a market nearby that sells food, liquor, cigarettes, and so forth. People are working in the market.
  • People need clothes, and other essentials, and many stores are around to fill these needs. They must staff adequately the stores.
  • Someone will always pick the garbage up at houses and stores. Garbage men and so forth will always be working.

These jobs never go away. They may not be the jobs that everyone wants to do, but they are there. They exist because people require certain things, and there will always be jobs for the people who provide these things.

If there is enough demand for something, there will be people willing to pay for it and this provides jobs. The only secret to continually being employed is to always be providing a service that people want or need. If you do this and nothing more, you will always be employed.

When I was a contractor in Detroit, I knew another contractor who had never gone to college, and he lived in a $1 million house. He never really did much of anything, but he made a great living. He liked to say that his secret was to simply “follow the money”–and this is precisely what he did. One year, for example, the city passed a regulation stating that homeowners needed to do something in particular with their rain gutters. He spent the next year fixing rain gutters. Then cedar shake roofs became fashionable in one neighborhood, so he spent the next few years doing cedar shake roofing. He did small, stupid, odd type jobs, and he contradicted the projects he undertook, because they were always changing. This successful man was always giving people what they wanted.

This man never cared about what he wanted; he just cared about what other people wanted. He was always busy and always employed because he was looking for a way to give people what they wanted–not the other way around. You need to give people what they want. It is all about people and what they want.

In my line of work, I have encountered many people who have gone into the practice of law only to find that there are hardly any jobs out there for them. It is like this with many professions. People get the right education and attend the right schools, yet they end up jobless and with very few prospects. This is extremely disappointing, but it is a situation that occurs everywhere, and it will always go on. If lawyers are suddenly not in demand, then it means they are simply not providing a product that the world wants. There is no reason to be angry about this; it is simply the law of supply and demand.

However, in the legal profession, there are always tons of opportunities. There is a need for foreclosure attorneys, people to sue employers for wrongful discharge, and so forth. This demand might not be in your city or backyard, but an attorney should not have to search all that far to find work.

I absolutely hate it when I see businesses, and people fail. Even worse is when the people and businesses do not understand why they failed. There is nothing wrong with failing, of course, but failure is something that seems to visit a certain type of business and a certain type of person. Failing is sad; however, failure comes down to one very important concept I am about to share with you.

When you drive down any street long enough, you will see certain businesses that are thriving and others that are not. The businesses that are thriving are providing something and doing something in a certain way that people (customers) want. Businesses that survive and prosper in all economic climates are those that can provide consistent and ongoing value to people and give people what they want.

People, businesses, and others that provide what others want always prosper, and those who do not provide what others want to do not prosper. This is how our economic system is set up. Therefore, there are always going to be firefighter jobs, for example. This is something that people need and want.

Whatever you desire most in life, whether it be respect, a fresh start, a new job, love, money, and more–it can all be yours if you understand the secret of providing an excellent product. One of the greatest pieces of advice you will ever receive is to give people what they want. Not what you think people want, and not what you feel like, but what they really want. There are very few people out there who truly give people what they want.

Frankly, I am at a loss for words why more people do not understand this. The importance of giving people what they want has not changed since the beginning of time. People were using these same secrets in ancient Greece to have incredible careers and lives while walking around in sandals. The same secret is still at work today. If you give people what they want, you will always be employed, and your business will always be successful.

All you need to do is give people what they want.


You need to provide people with what they want. If you don’t you will not have a job. Although they might not always be the most desirable kinds of jobs, certain jobs always exist because they provide services that people will always require. The only secret to continual employment is to provide a service that people always need; if you do this, and nothing else, you will always find yourself employed. Give people what they want.

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is the Founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter himself. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in a search and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive that gets results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities that its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

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11 Responses to “ Give People What They Want”
  1. Avatar Omar says:

    I feel good when I help people with their goals and problems. It’s better than being on the receiving end.

  2. Avatar Gonzalo Vergara says:

    “What are you really passionate about in life, and is there a way to make a living at it?” Mark H. McCormack

  3. Avatar Pau; says:

    It is pretty bleak out there

    Florida Unemployment Trends – August 2009

    Florida Unemployment Situation in Heat Map form:
    here is a map of Florida Unemployment in August 2009 (BLS data)

    versus Florida Unemployment Levels 1 year ago

  4. Yes, job seekers need to wake up and adjust their mindset! I think some people just love a pity party.

    One thing, though: It’s not as easy as you make it sound to “give the people what they want” and switch careers. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I believe your main point is that job seekers should be attuned to what to new job market demands. It’s easy for an entrepreneur to determine a market void and try to fill it. It’s not as easy for a professional to recognize a change in his/her profession and try to transition into another career. An entrepreneur works for himself. A job seeker likely is looking to work for someone else. That someone else decides who fills the void, and the job market is seemingly full of candidates exactly qualified for each job posted. What that means is (and I’ve had experience with this) the DMV is going to see a career professional just “trying to fill a void” and think that person is going to jump ship as soon as the job market opens up again.

  5. Avatar Angela says:

    I totally agree with this analagy to “Give people what they want” this is the only way to keep the income coming and to ahve job stability. However, when you are let go even though you “gave” what the employer wanted, and when the employers tries to screw you over so you won’t get vested by laying you off 2 months prior to being vested in the retirement fund, what do you do then? Any comments are appreciated.


  6. Avatar Hmm says:

    It’s pretty easy to say there are “plenty of jobs out there” when you don’t need one. And I don’t think anyone is complaining about not getting a $70,000/year job. I would suggest you do a little research before you spout out ignorant assumptions. Get out in the world, wake up and look around you.

  7. Avatar Jason says:

    Try not to get too angry, Harrison. People are complaining about there being fewer jobs because there ARE fewer jobs – and it includes the legal profession. “Give people what they want” is an obvious – and simplistic – statement to make to anyone searching for a job. It is also a bit crass to make a statement like that in a job market like this. As a student, I can tell you that students are very nervous about incurring massive amounts of debt and seeing the reduced demand. Your “Give People What They Want” essay is not your best sales pitch to an already leveraged group of people from whom you would like to take an additional fee each month. Showing the students that you are on their side would lead to a better reputation down the road. That would be “Giving The Customers What They Want.”

  8. Avatar graham vertue says:

    Absolute stunnung article!!
    Harrison Barnes is really an amazing guy

  9. Avatar A Dev says:

    Giving people what they want is not easy. Very often people simply don’t know what they want. People want everything and nothing. This is why Change is always part of the succeeding ecuation. Give people the Change and they will take it with both hands.

  10. Avatar Michael says:

    I like what you have to say – as far as it goes. I understand it’s all about giving them what they want – my clients loved my work, and said so to my management regularly. They sent my firm more work every month because I did my job well, and they liked it. In fact I did my job really well for years. But when the economy shut down, businesses began looking for ways to save money, and some people who gave what everyone wanted all the time were laid off for purely economic reasons. I was let go from my job in August 2010…because they wanted someone for less pay. And college grads do get paid a lot less.

    And sure, there are a lot of jobs out there, and yes, most of them pay less. I just can’t have any of them, as I have a professional degree. Employers out of my field won’t touch me, as they readily admit that they won’t because they are sure I’ll leave the minute something better comes along. So while I’m willing to work for Lowes, they won’t hire me. I’d get another job in my area of expertise, however there isn’t one in my entire state.

    My problem is that my work was so specialized that there are only about a dozen people in my state that do it, and only about 5 jobs, all of which are taken. So when some people say there are no jobs – it’s because for them, there aren’t any. So I’m changing fields at the age of 58 because it’s easier to start over than find anything else. And I understand that failure is a complete possibility, but hey, I’m addicted to eating, having clothes, and all that.

    Did I mention I’m a lawyer? You made a big point about lawyers being able to get work if they will give people what they want. It’s not quite that easy. After all, you wouldn’t go to a throat doctor for a problem with your foot, any more than you would go to a bankruptcy attorney for advice on a DUI problem. Sure all attorneys have general legal knowledge, but so do half of the rest of the population out there.

    So for me it’s a matter of getting reeducated, and working my way up from the bottom again. It’s just a little more difficult if you have practiced in the exact same area since the mid 90s, and are an expert in nothing else.

  11. Avatar William R. Smith says:

    What makes me “a bit angry” is:

    (1) Well-paying, available attorney jobs are so narrowly defined that, I theorize, only the person who most recently held the position would truly qualify for it. Those of us who have not had the luxury of “specializing” in our careers are all but left out from serious consideration, no matter how outstanding our skill sets and backgrounds.

    (2) The time and effort required to jump through endless hoops of objectively questionable value in internet-based job applications. In many cases, I have found I must submit a resume and cover letter, then I must correct database information pulled incorrectly from my resume, then answer fifty fumbling, ill-focused questions.

    (3) Employers routinely do not respond to applications with a thumbs up or down. In a word, although I could think of several others, this is rude. After hours of time, effort, and nuisance to submit an application, I expect the simple, business courtesy of a response, I do not care how many thousands of applicants have bid for the work.

    And these are things that make me “a bit angry”.

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