JOBS – ARE YOU FRUSTRATED?
Jobs are quite important to most of us. We need to work to support ourselves and often our family members. Work can also give us a purpose on a deeper level, if we are fortunate. Are you frustrated because your job does not pay a living wage? Are you frustrated because you cannot find a job? Does your frustration lie in knowing friends who are working quite hard and are quite underpaid? Are friends or acquaintances being forced to retire early and often without benefits? Have you noticed big shifts in our society?
Elizabeth Gilbert answered a question of the day in a January Facebook post. The question was “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?” In her reply, she divided life into four categories. They are: hobby, job, career, and vocation. Today I will focus on jobs. In future posts, I will write about the other ones. (https://www.facebook.com/GilbertLiz/posts/948792035202912:0?__mref=message_bubble)
Gilbert’s article is interesting and thought-provoking. She writes:
“You don’t need to love your job: you just need to have a job and do it with respect. Of course, if you absolutely hate your job, by all means look for another one, but try to be philosophical about why you have this job right now.”
“Your job does not need to be how you define yourself; you can create your own definitions of your purpose and your meaning, pulled from deep within your imagination.”
Women who leave domestic violence situations most likely need to find jobs (and quickly) in order to support themselves and their children (if they have offspring). Young adults who leave violent or abusive homes of origins need to find jobs also. What types of work situations are actually available in our society today? Unfortunately many victims of domestic violence return to the household with the abuser due to financial reasons.
For whatever reason, synchronicity or not, articles regarding jobs now and in the future have been either sent to me by friends or just noticed by me in passing. I will share some of these links with you, my readers.
Barbara Ehrenreich, author of “Nickel and Dimed” wrote an article titled, “Divisions of Labor”. The article is interesting as well as the comments by average people. One mentioned, try working at ToysRUs during Christmas season or Starbucks during peak! Read: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/magazine/american-working-class-future.html?_r=0.
Service jobs and health care jobs that are available are not easy jobs. Many of these jobs are quite physically taxing. Dealing with the public can be quite rewarding but also challenging. The pay rate is usually low and often one cannot live off the pay given.
The New York Times ran a story called, “The Jobs Americans Do”. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/magazine/the-new-working-class.html?emc=edit_th_20170224&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=70371174&_r=0
When I began my life over in Colorado in 2010-2011, I had a college degree in psychology with little recent work experience but much life experience. My life experience included homeschooling my daughter, research, dealing with legal issues and institutions, etc. After much searching, I landed a job as a barista. This job paid minimum wage. Of course, minimum wage varies from state to state. At the time I was hired, it was around $7.25 an hour in my part of the country. I could barely afford to rent a room and definitely could not afford health insurance (which was offered at a decent rate at that time). Slowly my salary rose as I became a shift supervisor as well as barista. Still after five plus years at that job, I barely make over $12 an hour. That is not enough to rent a single bedroom apartment in this area.
A life coaching practice takes time to form. Until I am fully self-sustaining as a life coach, my job as a shift supervisor/barista keeps me afloat. As a barista, I work with many college students as well as young and older college graduates.
Many people in our society have been forced into early retirement (without benefits) and are searching for employment. Age does play a factor in receiving job offers. (Just google age discrimination in jobs.)
Life is changing – for the entire world.
Realistically, what jobs are available? Which ones actually pay a living wage? Do we value all work that people do? How do we recognize that value?
An NPR segment titled “As Our Jobs Are Automated, Some Say We’ll Need a Guaranteed Basic Income” brings the automation and loss of job issues to the forefront.
“The debate about whether machines are taking our jobs is beside the point, says Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook who is active in the basic income movement. He says that whether you like the idea or not, there won’t be an alternative because decent-paying jobs are disappearing for millions of people.
“The reality is that work has changed. Forty percent of jobs are now contingent, meaning they’re part-time, independent contractors, Uber drivers,” he says.
And he says that shift has already left middle-class Americans economically insecure. A recent study by the Federal Reserve found that 46 percent of Americans surveyed didn’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency expense. That feeling of insecurity is evident in this tumultuous presidential election.
“I think there is a sense that our economy is broken in many ways,” Hughes says. “But rather than try to restructure our economy so it looks like the 1950s, I think we have to be honest with ourselves.”
Hughes says that means basic income isn’t an idea for the distant future but one we need to consider today.”
Two more articles on the subject of a guaranteed basic income are:
If I was given a guaranteed basic income or won the lottery, I would like to put my energy into volunteer work and writing. Imagining the possibility of free time can be a fun, creative exercise. I would most likely:
give pro bono writing workshops (individual or small group) as a survivor and life coach
serve meals to others in need (and listen to their stories)
spend more time in spiritual activities such as prayer and meditation
volunteer for the local film festival!
I encourage others to look outside the box when deciding about jobs or ways to make a living in our society today. There is a need for creativity. As a society, we also need to look outside the box. A guaranteed basic income may sound outrageous. Yet, maybe we need to consider the changes in our society.
In the local college newspaper, an article was printed regarding an automated barista! It is worth clicking the link, just to view the photo of the barista.
Next time you enter a Panera Bread restaurant, check out the kiosk that is available for your use instead of speaking with a person at the register taking your order.
Think seriously about the future. What will it look like? The technology is here or will be here for human beings to be replaced by technology in many fields. As a society, if there are not jobs available … especially if jobs do not pay a living wage … how are we going to live as individuals and as a collective group of people in this country and on this earth?
Let us appreciate the people who serve us today. (Maybe one day it will not be a human being! You may not witness a person’s smile!)
Do not berate yourself if you are doing your best to find employment or better employment and have not been successful yet. Personal responsibility is part of the equation and so is viewing the larger picture. Doing one’s best, living with dignity and integrity, sharing love, being compassionate (to yourself and others) and being authentic as you travel the road of your life is most important.
I understand that my blog post today does not present answers. Life needs our creativity. Human beings are interdependent. How can each of us be part of the solution? More questions!!