Archive for the ‘work’ Category

Forever in Debt

February 22, 2007

Easy finance is everywhere. It seems all you have to do is ask, and you’ve got yourself a loan. Want a car? boat? house? 3 month holiday? Get it on credit.

It’s a far cry from my parent’s generation. Sure they struggled, but they always knew where they stood in terms of money. Their commitments were clear: a 20 year mortgage to own their own place.

How much murky are things today! I still have a student loan which runs into the tens of thousands of dollars. There’s still a good decade left on that one.

Credit card offers come in by the week, I kid you not. How many Visa cards do I need? I thought only one.

It seems like the greatest of traps for a young person today. You can imagine a 21 year old who has committed themselves to two decades of debt by the time they finish college.

Debt is not something to be taken lightly.

Is Unemployment a Bad Thing?

February 10, 2007

Metatrons Art Gallery

There are some schools of thought who think unemployment isn’t a bad thing.

Why?

People become unemployed for many reasons. First timers, people transitioning, people made redundant, just drifters. There’s no one type of unemployed person, just like there’s no one type of employed person. There’s all sorts.

So why’s it good?

It means the economy can expand quickly if there is a need to. Businesses can hire labourers, skilled workers, young people, old people, without pinching other people’s staff all the time. Job-hopping is still a problem, but it can be alleviated if there is a bigger pool to draw upon.

When it’s said and done, for all the salient arguments in favour of unemployment, I still have one thing left to say –

I’ve been there, and it sux.

The Inner Work-Life Balance

January 15, 2007

Work, for ninety percent of people, is about money.

Most people don’t mind their job, and some even find it gratifying, but start and stop of story, it’s about an income.

And why an income? Because you need to spend!

But what has to be acknowledged is that spending needs vary at different stages of life. And even then, there is a discretionary element. There are choices between renting/owning, driving/busing, eating out/cooking at home. Costs can be controlled.

There is only so much time in a month, and how you divide it up is up to you. Lots of costs, means full time work. Spending less, maybe there is an option to drop a day or two.

It’s that inner balance between what you have to do, and what you choose to do. The divide between the cares of life, and the joys of life. It’s up to you.

The 4 Day Work Week

January 12, 2007

Just recently I’ve dropped down to working 4 days. I’m fortunate enough to be still working Monday to Friday, but having the Wednesdays off. This means only two consecutive days at any one time. I have to say, the positive effects in terms of mind and well-being have been quite drastic. And all this from dropping one day!

It got me to thinking about the 8 hour workday, and the 40 hour week. These milestones were won against tremendous odds, and we have all been the beneficiaries. It has allowed the ordinary person time for their hobbies, time to know their partners and children, time to relax, time to be human beings. It has been one of the greatest of social advances.

But short of France pushing for the 35 hour workweek, is this where we stop? The productivity gains (more and more output per person) have been accumulating for half a century now, surely there will be no material loss if full time work became only 4 days.