The secret your employer won’t tell you (but I will)

We all have to work in some capacity. Income enables us to pay rent, put gas in the car, buy food, spend silly amounts of money on coffee… Most of us go somewhere to work, or we produce something that someone else consumes. Regardless of how you obtain your income we all have customers/employers. These are the people who pay us for our services. Now there is a whole gambit of work scenarios out there now.

Many of your Gen X friends like me marvel at the new “gig” economy. We didn’t have those options when we were 20-30 and it’s really opened up a lot of possibilities for everyone. Out there of course are all sorts of competition, we now have a global pool of people whom we can get what we want from. Outsourcing is a thing, and if you have a good Wi-Fi connection you can work from anywhere in the world.

A lot of positives I know, it’s a great time to be working (covid aside of course). Many of us though suffer from anxiety and work, or more specifically, how we obtain income can be one of our greatest sources of grief. Many of us worry daily about performance, availability of work, pay scale, coworkers on and on and on. It can really wear you down and in some cases cause serious complications to your life emotionally.

There is a secret though, something that is never on a job description. You don’t hear it in your reviews, companies don’t normally profess it.

Am I contagious?
Really? They need me? Is that why they give me money?

What is it? THEY NEED YOU

Simple right? Try convincing yourself of it though. All of these companies and individuals who want your time/expertise/product need you. Sure maybe someone else can produce the outcome you can, but then they would just need them. You are highly valuable, that Accounts Payable job at XYZ company? Why are the advertising it? Because they don’t want to do it and they need you (or someone like you) to do it.

I know this all sounds rather simplistic and it is. The problem is, the person producing the outcome other people want (that person is you) is rarely, if ever told how much they are needed. Imagine you got that AP job did it for a year and then said “I’m done” and stopped doing it? It would still need to be done, so who does it? There are no practice squad teams out there, someone else will have to be brought in (and paid) to do what you did.

They need you, and that is your leverage position. If nothing else this should give you a sense of value that, while you aren’t being told regularly, clearly exists. That job you’re doing needs to be done by someone. Don’t ever forget that your value as a person is well beyond the measure of what people say to you. Exampled above, your value is also intrinsic in the notion that you are needed to produce a desired outcome.

That’s huge and as individuals with Anxiety we should be reminding ourselves regularly of just how valuable we are.

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UK working mums are stressed !

So, in my travels around the internet I stumbled across an interesting article from Yahoo finance UK here.

Turns out of the women surveyed 46% suffered from “severe” anxiety. WOW that’s very high. Now the sample size of the survey wasn’t huge, but it was enough to extrapolate out that many working mothers in the UK are extremely stressed out.

From the article: Gerard Barnes, CEO of Smart TMS, said: “The effort required to care for and bring up a son or daughter is considerable; when you add the strain of a professional career to this, it’s not hard to imagine how the mental health of working mothers could be affected.”

He added: “I would encourage all mothers or mothers-to-be, who intend to simultaneously achieve new career heights, to take the time to consider their resources, desires and motivations. They must ensure they are aware of the potential health consequences.

“It is also vital for working mothers to understand that they are just as prone to depression than anyone else, if not more so, and should ensure they have a strong support network and treatment options available if needed.”

So, what we have here is evidence, in my opinion of how social constructs affect people in different ways. First is the notion of family, this is the first line of a support network. These mum’s hopefully have partners in their lives that are helpful and supportive but that’s not always the case. Second, in most cases of child birth (exception being planned IVF with a host) there should be a father, ideally an engaged one who supports the family.

Then we have government. Now I don’t believe that government should be the catch all for our social ill’s, but we do pay taxes to the government. This should equate to certain services. What is more important than the health of children and the parents who care for them? You could argue the elderly and I wouldn’t protest but children are innocents, they simply don’t have the resources to fend for themselves.

These mum’s need to be supported ideally with the taxes they have already paid. My solution would be to provide a subsidy based to the families to enable them to financially be able to make the decision to stay home if desired. I think more positive outcomes for families happen when one or both parents can stay home with children for extended periods. Not months, years.

Of course, someone must pay the bills, and not all mothers (or fathers) have a partner or a family network to assist them. Therefore, I believe portions of your tax money should be available to use to supplement your income during this period. In the states we have social security tax, we pay it for our whole working lives and then collect it when we retire. Why can’t a portion of that be used earlier to help mothers and families with child care burdens?

In a perfect world, mothers would be stressed but we don’t live in a perfect world. This is alarming to say the least, stress leads to negative outcomes and an unhappy mother often leads to unhappy children.