Sunday, January 27, 2008

On working and the workforce

It's Sunday so I thought to indulge in a little bit of blogging transparency, because after all, we are in a post-consumerism age where most people are used to being marketed to and I know that for myself, I'm just looking for a bit of honesty in the world.* I'm taking a stand on this in the perspective spirit of Cormac McCarthy's The Road and his book has a very scary but beautiful quality to it which I can't match up here, but at least that will help create the idea of why this blog post should be shrouded with a spray of misty fear.

On Friday, I alluded to this idea that according to the sociological belief about the different generations in the workforce, Millenials may not grasp the idea of what it means to hit "rock bottom" because we're spoiled. (PINK Magazine has a great article about "Gen Y" which will offer some perspective.)

Well, I'd like to disagree a little bit about Millenials being spoiled. I think a lot of us are willing to work and work hard, but our definition is probably a little bit different from generations of workers before us. One thing that has always perturbed me about the job marketing for young people entering the workforce in Silicon Valley is its highly competitive nature, relative to other cities, as it is full of seasoned workers. So, perhaps I am not looking the right places because the Hidden Job Market plays a huge role here, but it's tough going to win a job, especially for someone who is just starting out and looking for experience. Also, the pricing isn't a great motivator: I scanned a few job boards today just to get an idea of how I can illustrate this point. There are a lot of internships with exciting descriptions which are either don't pay or offer a small stipend. This means most of the money better be coming from somewhere else and it's scary to think, it's really true that survival is not easy.

And then there is something else that I find a little bit scary about working. Social networking tools definitely make networking easier and creating individual publicity easier but the economy is going up and down so much that people are working harder and harder. Work is a good thing, it keeps people busy and hopefully it leads to living fulfilling lives.

But since we're no longer confined to the 9 to 5 in professional jobs, and the internet is pervasive in all its ways, I've been debating whether this affects families and general human relationships, "in person" versus over your social network.

Sometimes I look at the myriad of ways people can communicate over the internet and the amount of time people may spend working just to survive; and maybe I'm being naive but it doesn't always make a lot of sense that families don't have a lot of time to spend together.

Also, I read this article called What should I do With My Life? and look at the comments. There are so many people who expressed their struggle and troubles trying to find passion. A lot of them sound disjointed and I think that is scary.

So, readers out there, what do you think? Is it possible to have a fulfilling family life and a good job? What does the "Pursuit of Happyness" really mean now in 2008?

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