Give a man a rod – not a fish!

Give a man a fish

Give a man a fish


I was reminded recently of the old proverb – “ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

I can’t get that proverb out of my head as it is a pretty optimistic take on poverty. At All Star Labor & Staffing part of our mission is to be a second-chance employer and we see miraculous transformations in people every day. I began to think about the proverb and how it compares with what we do here. We have people come through our door who are so beaten down from their past experiences that they have very little faith in their future. Everyone who comes in seeking employment is coming from their own set of circumstances and sometimes those circumstances are dire. Our staffing coordinators work from a place of love. We have been recruiting and staffing since 2009 and throughout that time our staff has seen and heard thousands of horrific as well as inspiring stories from our applicants. Through hearing their stories, we are more committed than ever to finding the right employment situation for each individual.

So let’s break this down. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.” This part we are on board with. To us a fish represents that first interaction when a prospective employee walks through our door for an interview. We want to make each individual feel comfortable and our staffing team wants to know how to help – so we offer lattes with any kind of flavor you can think of and then we offer a big, delicious apple. The coffee and apple are just part of our “fish.” The second is the interview. By finding out what that person really wants and needs, we can begin the second part (our ideal) – “teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” You can’t just teach someone how do something without helping them develop the tools they need to sustain it. Why would you teach a man to fish but not give him a rod? For example; if someone comes to us with limited labor skills and we only send him out on occasional and seasonal general labor jobs – what does that do for his lifetime? Nothing, it is not sustainable. But if you send him out for those jobs while simultaneously teaching him skills needed for hospitality jobs such as serving, you can teach him the right set of tools to use for an entire lifetime. That is what we do here.

If you need help getting the right boots for a job, we will show you how. If you need help finding the right clothes to make a good impression with your employer, we will show you how. If you are out there thinking that there is no help available, or afraid to hope or are too nervous to walk through our door, please reconsider. It would be our honor to provide you with a fishing rod.

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