What's everyone's thoughts on these "Employment Assistance" businesses? If you're unsure what these are, they're basically third-party firms that you're referred to after being unemployed for a length of time, and they attempt to find out why you're unemployed and look at what might be the cause(s).

In the UK, we have several, such as A4E and Remploy. I was recently referred to A4E for an introductory meeting. I don't have a grudge against going to these places regardless of it being mandatory. However, in this meting, i was basically told that my goals in life should be;
- Owning a car and a house
- Having kids (how that makes me better off or is related to employment, i don't know)
- Having some money in my pocket to "be able to go out drinking with mates"

Straight away, i feel like this probably won't work out as a useful endeavor. I'm 23, and none of those things interest me;

- Money might have some use, but it's not an interest or a real motivator. It is nothing to me, not even a means to an end.
- Going out "drinking with mates" isn't something i do. Never have, likely never will, it's just something i don't bother doing.
- I don't travel as i feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings (though that shouldn't imply i'm opposed to travelling).
- Having kids certainly isn't something i'm interested in since;
--- A) I'm happy being single.
--- B) I'm too self-centered to be able to be a good parent.
--- C) I wouldn't want to bring kids into a world like this, not right now at least.
- On the basis of the above points, having a car is of no use or interest to me.
- Owning my own house might have some benefits, but with it comes responsibility. I'm not against responsibility, but i am against "unnecessary responsibility".

So, right on the first meeting, the adviser has already assumed these things about me. I know he probably meant well, but it really stands to reason that an introductory meeting would be more about me introducing myself than about being told what i should have aspirations for, or assuming that everyone has the same goals in life.

My goal in life is to create software, not for money or fame, but because it's what i enjoy. I enjoy being creative, and have found something that allows me to do that in a way that's often useful to other people in their everyday lives. My "end game" in life is to bring about some changes to the way we interact with software and computers to make it better for everyone, or at the very least being some contributing factor to it. In the same way that "modes" were abandoned in text editors all those years ago (thanks to Larry Tesler), i want to contribute something major in my life. I'm in no rush to get there as all great ideas take time and effort and i've accepted that. It's the only aspiration i have and i'm perfectly happy with that. Even if i don't manage to do that, i'll die happy if i know i've tried to reach it and still brought about fantastic applications and done what i enjoyed doing throughout my life, and not been forced to live by these "standards". Maybe that dream isn't for everyone, but for me, it's all i want out of life. Nothing more.

I want to do something with my skill and i genuinely do want to work, but i don't see any of those things as motivators towards it. I want to stand on my own merit and stand by my values, and not try to live by the standards someone else thinks i should live by.

When i told him what i wanted to do, it suddenly became all about how he used to do all these things. He's apparently led teams of software developers, been hired to do website designs worth £10000+, has been to university for 5 years for a degree and didn't get to use it. How he "didn't get to use it" but still got to do those things evades me. Rather ironically, he tried to imply that i should go to university, be left with loads of debt at the end, and probably still be unemployable... right after he said getting a degree hadn't really worked for him.

However, one thing he said stands above all of that as the epitome of "blind faith";
The richer you are, the luckier you get.

I disagree with this. I think my general mindset is the reason why, but i just totally disagree with this sentence. It sorta seems like greed is what my goal should be. Not happiness, or living a dream, or even living the half-dream throughout your life. Greed should be what drives me.

Perhaps this was a rare experience. Perhaps i'm over-analyzing it. Perhaps it's true that it's not normal to not want any of those things. Either way, if this is meant to help me find employment, i don't think it's going to work. I'll attend and do what's asked in addition to what i normally do, but unless they attempt to get to know me rather than draw these assumptions about me, then there's only so much i can do to seem interested in it.

What's everyone elses experience with these places?