Longterm Careers

The fantasy of loving a job is one too many people hold. The reality is, most are depressing voids of time and energy. A small, privileged few will disagree, but that fantasy goes out of the window at a certain point. It is usually the point where their family, life, security and shelter depend on that job.

The employment situation has been changing since the Great Recession. The old days of remaining at a company for a lifetime are over, causing a slew of issues. Regrettably, most people are hesitant to share the specifics of the working world. Companies and employers would prefer that you remain unaware of your options as an employee. Go figure.

The first thing to note is not all jobs are equal. The perfect job that suits experience level is not possible for a lot of people. After school, most scramble to take whatever job they can before their 'grace period' is over. They are often underpaid and over-qualified, but bills make them rush. Once workers find their feet and better prospects appear, they move on. This is the new norm, so companies had to adjust.

Leaving positions after a short period of time used to hold a large stigma. Sometimes it still does, because older employees are the ones reviewing resumes. The general rule is to stick it out for at least six months if you can. Bolstering your resumé is apparently more important than the cost of your sanity.

I do not like to tie it towards money, but that is what we work for. Keep in mind the U.S. has grown six times more productive since the 1970s, but only 5% of Americans have over one million dollars.

Capitalism focuses on growth. That leaves employers always demanding higher profits. That also means more work for the same pay. If they could get away with paying less, they would do it in a heartbeat. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the minimum wage has been stagnant for 10 years. An important tidbit is 2/3 of all Americans do not have a bachelor's degree, locking them into lower wages.

I am sure your feelings toward minimum payment are valid, but please consider this math. It would take over 135 hours of minimum wage work per month to earn $1000, equating to 35 hours a week. According to the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines, it would take over 1,700 hours of minimum wage work to hit the 2019 poverty line of $12,490. The Bureau of Labor Statistics listed over 144 million jobs in 2018, but the median wage was $18.58. Basically, over half of all U.S. workers are making under $20 an hour.

After a certain breaking point of ridiculous growth demands, people started moving on. Now, employers are struggling to curtail turnover. All of those shifting positions cause delays, training and less profit.

Employers had to start investing their time and money into every employee. To save on money, they shifted towards keeping employees happy and interested in their jobs. Those perks, like occasional pizza, beer, games and employee bonding programs, are tiny bribes. They are intentional methods to avoid raising salaries but keep you there.

Overall, I know my outlook on current jobs is bleak. Billionaires and millionaires are like dragons hoarding gold and the other 95% of people are peasants. It really makes those "perks" seem a lot less valuable when compared to a simple raise. Jobs have been getting weirder for a while, but now jumping ship every few years is the only option to regularly grow your salary. Say goodbye to long-term career plans.

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