Let me begin this with a disclaimer, this is not about my current workplace, this is about workplace culture in general as I see it experienced by those around me in my generation, as well as Gen z and Gen x.
Also, some of this rant is largely directed at corporate, office type jobs. Retail and service work has been always been shit and, despite everyone suddenly realising the value of these ‘low skilled’ jobs when these services were closed during the pandemic, retail workers are being treated worse than ever… but that is a different rant altogether.
*there will be swearing in this rant*
I had this sliver of hope that the one good thing that would come out of the pandemic was a shift in attitude. We all had to pause for a minute and realised that we were exhausted and strung out. Yet, more than a few of my friends have returned to their full time, in person roles this summer and all positive changes in work-life balance and workplace culture have gone out the window (I.E flexible working for a start, plus, open and understanding conversations about mental health).
So, once again I feel like I must rant about something.
NO JOB IS WORTH KILLING YOURSELF OVER
Now, secondary disclaimer, that the ability to leave a dysfunctional or toxic job is a position of privilege that some people reading this might not have. But the aim of this blog is to impress upon you that, even if you are in the unfortunate circumstance of being stuck there, you are worth more and deserve so much more than this.
Because, frankly, there is no prize at the end of this.
Before, in maybe even our parent’s generation (I’m 27), sacrificing your health, or happiness for a few years hard graft in a job, would have been had the end benefits of supporting your family, getting you that house, the nice car etc etc.
The fact is that is no longer a reality for people around my age, who don’t have generational wealth. That horrible, ‘entry level’ job will not result in a well- paying job at the end and it will certainly not help you attain those goals like as mortgage etc.
So what’s the point?
What’s the prize?
That’s why we are seeing a generational priority shift. If my shitty, horrible job isn’t going to help me attain certain life goals, then there is no point to it. There is no point sacrificing 90% of your time and energy for an unfulfilling job.
Yet, we are working later, starting earlier, skipping breaks, not taking holiday and FOR WHAT? This is worse as technology progresses because, in some roles, we are expected to always be available by email. Our bosses have us on WhatsApp, we have workplace specific apps, we have teams etc, we literally cannot escape it. For a generation with an ‘aways on’ mentality, it is absolutely toxic.
Where’s the prize?
Every single one of my friends, bar one, has been made redundant at some point already in their working careers. This the reality for people my age.
No wonder we’re not having kids, or if we are, we are having them later in life. I have one friend whose getting married, looking to settle down and get a house for their eventual baby. Collectively, they earn 50k +, they got the deposit etc etc and yet, they got laughed at by the mortgage advisor. Never mind my friends who are single, who, at best, will get a mortgage at 20% ownership with a whopping deposit. Now, I know the focus on owning your home is a very English/ American viewpoint. In a lot of other countries, its normal for everyone to rent. My point is, this is one of the milestones you’re told to aim for, or are measured by and it is no longer attainable like it was, for even gen x.
Call us snowflakes if you wish but the fact, the same amount of ‘hard work’ does not equate to the same amount of rewards/ milestones.
I worked my arse off in an entry level job that destroyed my physical and mental health, which only just about helped me get into my current role, which is as a bottom of the rung Marketing Assistant, who still can’t afford to move out of her childhood bedroom. (Again no shade to my current employer, who are literally the nicest I’ve ever had).
My point is, there is no reward.
There is no prize at the end of the misery.
So don’t do it.
I am so sick and tired of seeing people I love being used and abused by their employers. Underpaid, with their talent taken for granted and gas lit by toxic middle-management into believing they don’t have enough ‘experience’ or ‘skill level’ to be paid appropriately for the job they are already doing (because you start the higher level responsibility level role before they’ll pay you for it, to ‘prove’ you’re worth promoting).
And we are so desperate for the experience, so afraid of losing that precious reference that we cannot even call these people out. There are no consequences for these employers who are ringing their employees dry because there is a surplus workforce of people they can pull from. There is always someone else willing to work the long hours, willing to put up with the abuse and willing to do it for less money. So there is no motivation for them to value their employees. This is why, in turn, there is very little job loyalty.
It just feels like a massive fucking trick.
There has to be more to life than working yourself to the bone, just to fill the pockets of some other dude.
So, once again, I say to you that there is no job left that’s worth putting yourself through hell for because there is no point.