U.S. Government employees and civilian employees in the Baltimore area have experienced the Great Recession , the sequester and, more recently, the government shutdown. The loss of jobs as a result of the Great Recession, the sequester, and the loss of paychecks as a result of the government shutdown have all brought hard times for U.S. government employees. These hard times for U.S. government employees also have resulted in the loss of civilian sector jobs that are highly dependent upon government agencies.
In short, because of events such as the Great Recession, the sequester, and the government shutdown, many people today are unemployed, underemployed, anxious regarding the security of their jobs, or unhappily employed in jobs that are not in line with their interests, aptitudes, personalities, or values. When desperate for employment, job seekers will settle for jobs that are not in line with their interests, aptitudes, personalities, or values.
The interviews in Studs Terkel’s book, “Working, " captured the emotions that American employees were feeling during the 1970’s. The American workplace has changed in ways that are even less beneficial to American employees than the American workplace was in the 1970’s. Thus, the career pain revealed in “Working” is even more relevant to today’s workplace.
The ideal jobs are those jobs that allow workers to be somewhat independent and creative and to feel good about the positive impact of their jobs. Regretfully, many employees today are not fortunate enough to have such jobs. Workers often have:
- Feelings that their jobs are dehumanizing.
- Feelings that their compensation and benefits packages are not adequate.
- Regrets that excessive work hours and power games have degraded the quality their of personal, family, and community health.
- A dislike of the conflict between different employees in their work groups.
- An animosity between them and their bosses.
- The frustrations of trying to reconcile their career dreams and career realities.
- Negative feelings that come from competing with people.
Especially because of the realities of today’s workplace, individuals would do well to invest a substantial portion of their self-esteem in their spouses, children, friends, or hobbies. In today's workplace, the self-esteem of the workaholic is very vulnerable.
How do you feel about your job and your workplace today? Please comment below.