Impact of Being a Slave to Your Job

"...The bargaining power of the typical blue-collar worker eroded as technology and globalisation handed bosses a whole toolkit of ways to squeeze labour costs..."

Ryan Avent, 2016

" and globalisation mean that an increasing number of good jobs are winner-take-most competitions. Banks and law firms amass extraordinary financial returns, directors and partners within those firms make colossal salaries, and the route to those coveted positions lies through years of round-the-clock work. The number of firms with global reach, and of tech start-ups that dominate a market niche, is limited. Securing a place in the top of the income spectrum in such a firm, and remaining in it, is a matter of constant struggle and competition..."

Ryan Avent, 2016

Many of these high salary earners get hooked into the 'good life', ie cycle of materialism and consumerism, eg conspicuous consumption, plus keeping up the status and appearances, like children going to expensive schools, domestic help, up market houses, etc.. This puts more pressure on them to work longer and harder. Work becomes the centre of their lives. Previously work was the means to an end, ie it was something you did to earn the money to pay for the important things in life. Life was what happened outside work.

Technology is allowing us to spend more time working, ie available 24/7. Some examples

- smart phones enable us to work anywhere, ie at home, traveling, etc

- reduces the need for support staff, ie

" need to employ a full-time personal assistant to run the errands these days; there are apps to take care of the shopping, the laundry and the dinner, walk the dog, fixed the car and even the hole in the roof..."

Ryan Avent, 2016

There are downsides to this, ie less time with anything not intimately connected with professional success, eg less time with the family, less time for leisure activities like hobbies, side interests, civil institutions like charities, etc.

Being constantly immersed in your work allows you to forget other difficulties.

Your job becomes the dominant part of your identity and pivotal to your self-esteem; your main social network is work-related, ie friends of convenience, and reinforces the notion that hard work is part of the good life and sacrifices are required if you are to be successful. However, it makes failure or error much harder to handle.

In summary

"...To build my career to make myself indispensable, demonstrating indispensability means burying myself in the work, and the upshot of successfully demonstrating my indispensability is the need to continue working tirelessly..."

Ryan Avent, 2016


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