Benefits of being employed

I have not been in the working market for very long comparitively but what I have gathered thus far is that working for someone else is a very interesting way to live and the people that I find are doing this, myself included begin to develop a very intriguing mindset toward certain amenities that can be provided by an employer, as well as toward employment altogether.

Employment is essentially the act of providing time or a service to another entity for previously negotiated compensation. That compensation usually comes in the form of cold hard cash. OK not really, most the time it comes in the form of a number in an account, and the cash is never actually seen as it usually goes right back out electronically toward bills or frivolously thrown at the many forms of self indulgences or entertainment widely available, but I digress…

The point I am trying to make here is this. Is not the act of employment’ getting paid for working or something to that affect? Then, why is it that people will base their job searches solely on what benefits are available from a company. Is employment not benefit enough?

I do not want to discount the fact that some people rely on benefits. Medical costs are high and some individuals or families really have no choice but to pay those costs, so if someone else out there will foot a portion of that bill, all the better. But I recently had a conversation with an individual that had turned down a job based solely on the fact that the benefits offered were not sufficient enough, (rather, they were not as good as the last place this individual had been employed) yet this individual was not currently working! Would not the benefit of a paycheck be more sufficient than the current financial void in this person’s life?

I currently, and for the past few years have been working on a contract to contract basis in the IT field. I change jobs at an average rate of every 9 months. I enjoy what I do and actually look forward to the next adventure because I like the change, the excitement and I love to join a new team with new people and see how each different business is operated. The time that I have between each contract varies depending on the market and other factors but it is usually relatively short and I get back to work as soon as I find something that will fit my needs and the needs of my family. The downside to a contract is that a contract lacks to provide any type of benefits. I do not get paid holidays, paid sick leave, and I am not provided with any insurance. Like I said, I have been doing this for a few years and prepare for the downtime or illness, and my family and I are fairly used to this way of life.

I can however imagine the emotionally and financial strain that this type of lifestyle may have on a family that is not accustomed to the dynamics of it. If one has not prepared for the downtime or for enough downtime. So why would an individual that was unexpectedly put into this situation, one that had not prepared for the situation, pass up an opportunity to join the workforce again, regardless of the extra benefits provided?

Have we as a nation lost sight of the previous generations working spirit?

“In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” —Walt Disney

Should we not take to heart this sentiment of one history’s greats and look toward the future. Times change and we must change with them. We cannot dwell on what we once were offered as an employee, but more on what we must do now to survive.

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