UTNE Reader Project April 1999greenspun.com : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread
UTNE Reader Project April 1999
-- Anonymous, April 28, 1999
Breaking the Job Lock, by Andrew Kimball, Utne Reader, February 1999, pp. 47-49. Finding the Right Job
In the middle of our technologically-focused society, many hard-working people are finding themselves overworked, underpaid, and feeling very unfulfilled. According to Andrew Kimballs article titled, Breaking the Job Lock, a recent survey indicated that a large percentage of hardworking people are putting in longer hours, working at accelerated speeds, and are also becoming highly discouraged in jobs that do little to enhance their lives. Some people feel they are nothing more than robots and slaves to their place of employment. Kimball also points out, that while politicians and lobbyists have good intentions by creating new jobs, they dont seem concerned about the kind and quality of jobs created. Jobs that dont nourish the mind, body, or the spirit, can make for a nation of unhappy, unsatisfied people.
Our economys job market, with its rigid set of values, has people continually complying to codes of efficiency, speed, and ability. Always answering to someone, or something, makes it very difficult for some people to value, and assume pride, for their jobs. I feel we live in a society where people are often equated with their job. Who we are, and what we believe in, often is perceived through our profession and our workplace. With such a great emphasis on our employment, it is very disheartening to find many employees are becoming increasingly stressful, more distraught, and more resentful about their jobs and their lives.
Finding a job which fulfills, as well as enhances, ones life, isnt always an easy thing to do. What makes up a good job varies among people, but the factor that is usually deemed most crucial is the wage or salary. Other important aspects of a job include insurance benefits, whether theres room for advancement, creative growth, and flexibility. Although these aspects are also important to consider, people arent always given the chance to choose their jobs accordingly. Today, the chances of obtaining a good paying job, as well as one with meaning and purpose, often seems to be dependent on whether a person gets an education after high school. Whether one has the opportunity to go to a college, or some kind of vocational school, has a direct bearing on the type of job, or profession, one will end up in. In order to support less fortunate people, and help the overall work ethic, advocates dedicated to improving jobs, have prompted some businesses to take a hard look at their policies and what they have to offer employees. This effort has prompted some businesses to institute drastic changes, such as including employees in making decisions and policies, and making sure employees are given appropriate and adequate training. Unfortunately, there are a lot of businesses who still have a long way to go.
Over the course of my life, I have had many jobs. Jobs which ranged from retail and secretarial to assembly lines and factory work. I often found my jobs to be extremely unsatisfying, as well as mentally stifling. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to be able to go back to school and pursue a career I really care about. Today, I find that I enjoy my job so much, I hardly even consider it to be work. I just couldnt imagine doing anything else which I find is as much fulfilling, as it is enjoyable.
Politically speaking, Kimball feels there are several things we can do to make better jobs, or professions, for our children and ourselves. This includes pushing for more vacation, higher wages, paid leaves, and good health insurance. Unfortunately, we also need to produce quality work. This involves educating our young people by discussing what quality is, and then finding ways to incorporate that process into their everyday lives. Also, we need to encourage teachers, counselors, and religious figures to help children see how getting a good education can pave the way to finding a job they will truly be happy with. Obviously this is not an easy job, but if its done carefully, and with patience, the results will be well worthwhile.
-- Anonymous, April 28, 1999