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You are almost certainly a Prostitute, don’t also be a Slave

Anyone working for a living is prostituting themselves by selling their life off a day at a time. Don't also be a slave by doing something you hate.
One of the dictionary definitions of Prostitution is:
"the unworthy or corrupt use of one's talents for personal or financial gain"

You are already a prostitute

The unworthy or corrupt part is somewhat subjective, but anybody who turns up for work each day is undoubtedly trading their talents for personal or financial gain. Whether they realise it or not, they are selling off their lives one day at a time in return for the promise of a pay cheque.

You shameless hussy!

You harlot!

You slut!

Labels hurt, no? Who am I to judge? If it makes you happy, and isn’t hurting anybody, then it is all good.

Selling your life off a day at a time? Prostitute!

Freelancers, contractors, and artists probably recognise this line of reasoning better than most.

They negotiate the best possible rate to charge clients for the pleasure of their time and expertise. Many of the “benefits” enjoyed by permanent employees (such as on the job training, paid holiday, health insurance, pension contributions) have been stripped away from the equation. This keeps the transaction honest, much like removing the “dinner and a movie” portion of a date.

Freelancers recognise that there is no such thing as a secure job, any contract is only ever dependably as long as the notice period. There is no pretence of employer loyalty, which is probably a much more honest accounting of the realities of today’s workplace… just ask all those folks who have been made redundant for the second or third time in their careers how far a permanent employee can bank on their employer’s loyalty!

In fact many contractors even have pimps, agents who help find them roles in return for a slice of the earnings should the contractor successfully land the gig.

Let’s be honest, almost all of us are prostitutes... we keep turning up for work seeking our pay cheques, not because we love our employers.

Are you also a slave?

One of the dictionary definitions of Slavery is:
“a condition of having to work very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation”
While I dispute that the majority of workers would regard themselves as slaves, I suspect that deep down many employees genuinely feel that the remuneration and appreciation demonstrated by their employees does not properly reflect their efforts and contributions to the success of the firm.
Many employees feel under appreciated and poorly remunerated.

One of the big differences between being a slave and being a victim is the luxury of choice.

Hardly anybody would choose to become a slave. I would wager very few people who are slaves would actively seek to remain as one.

I once spent a year working at a large American investment bank on a sponsored work visa. It was a dire job market, and the chances of finding another employer willing to take over the visa sponsorship were vanishingly small.
It was a miserable existence.

At my desk by 8am each morning.

Still there at 9pm each night.

Often still there much, much later.

I worked for a boss who knew the score, and subjected me to the sort of treatment that would give an even semi-competent HR person lifelong nightmares. However I sucked it up because, for a variety of misguided reasons, at the time it seemed more important to remain in the country than retain my self respect.

It turns out that when they are sufficiently motivated people are remarkably resilient.
The day I no longer needed the visa I quit the job. I did the victory dance the whole way home. Six weeks later that same manager was fired for gross incompetence. Karma? I’ll leave that for the reader to decide.

If you are feeling trapped, exploited, or are otherwise being made to feel miserable in your current job then what the hell are you doing?

Make the most of your opportunities

Many people less fortunate than you would likely kill for the opportunity you possess to seek out something better, something different, something that may help you find the happy.

If you're not an indentured servant. If you're not locked into a job because of a visa, or some other circumstance for which being miserable in the short term is possibly justified by the a big win over the longer term. If you have viable alternative options, then do something about it!
Find the happy!

Need a new job?

Here are some signs that you need to have a long hard think about your current employment situation:
  • You wake up in the morning feeling tired, and dreading going back to work.
  • The very thought of work causes a stomach churning, acidy, physiological reaction in your body.
  • You reach the end of the working week, and rather than feeling happy that it is the weekend, you instead look past that to worry about returning to work on Monday.
  • You dream (have nightmares?) about your work. Or your drink yourself into a stupor so that you don’t have the dreams. Which means not sleeping well, and/or waking up with a hangover. Either way drinking to get drunk is expensive, and makes you fat!
  • You start inventing illnesses and actively looking for other plausible excuses to get out of going to work.
  • Your kids start dreading Sundays, because their parent is always grumpy/stressed/short tempered about returning to work on Monday.
  • When you go on holiday you have trouble switching off the work stress. Before your holiday is even half way over you start dreading the inevitable return to work.
  • The high point of your working day, the thing you secretly look forward to the most, is finishing work… or that first beer/wine after work.

So what?

If you're not enjoying what you do, or the people you do it with, then do something else. Very few people genuinely lack the option to change, and even some of them have needlessly closed off possibilities due to fear or a lack of imagination.

Stop feeling miserable or put upon, and take action to help yourself. Find your happy!

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