Friday, 2 March 2018

You're Doing It Wrong - Work - BBC Radio 4

In this series "Adam Buxton takes a sideways look at some of our confusing modern ideas." The first episode is about work. 

"Is the idea of a 'dream job' - one that inspires and fulfills us and makes our lives worth living - really possible? Or idealistic nonsense designed to make you feel guiltier, work harder, and complain less? Can we really be happy at work and should we be?

These days it's not enough just to turn up, work hard and bring home a wage; we should all be following our passions, chasing that dream job, and waking up every morning raring to get to the office. If your job is tedious, you hate your boss, and Monday mornings make you want to cry, it's probably YOUR FAULT for not being ambitious enough."

Buxton reveals that people working from home are said to be happier than those who go elsewhere to work. This is linked to having more control when working at home. But it does not necessarily mean that less work is done or that workers are less productive. In fact, research shows that people who work at home are more likely to work earlier, work later and overwork.

I can see that this is certainly a tendency of mine, but wonder how much of that is due to the type of work that I do. I enjoy being an artist and it is an important part of me. Would I be so driven and have the urge to reply to that last email late at night if I was not so passionate about what I do?

He discusses the problems of creative work and says that there are two ways to go about it
1. Have a non-creative job that pays the bills and then do the creative work in the evening
2. Get a job that pays you to be creative

I think there is an alternative, and that is the method that I choose. I have a part time job at a Library that helps pay the bills and provides me with some of the things I need from a job e.g. security, a routine, colleagues to be friends, a means of escape from my creative work. This part time job allows me to spend the rest of my time being a self employed artist. So I get the benefit of both worlds. I'm not saying that it is the perfect balance, but what is? One always needs more time, a pay rise and so on, but to be honest, I am pretty happy with the situation at the moment and long may that continue.

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