Society needs people to perform all kinds of tasks, from the banker, lawyer, doctor, entrepreneur and actress to the teacher, clerk, nurse, police officer, soldier, exterminator and software engineer. Some jobs pay much better than others and some seem glamourous or indicative of intellect and skill, but all jobs are necessary for the world to function. We need our truck drivers, farmers, gym trainers, and waiters as much as we need journalists, brain surgeons, and judges. But there is a scale to things. We see pay for a job is based on its perceived importance or ability to make money for a company. Some jobs require special schooling or training, where the pool of talented practitioners is limited. And yet it sometimes seems like the jobs that involve risk (firemen) or a task few want to perform (janitor) aren’t always paid as much as they should. But when I heard that New York City receives 100,000 applicants for 500 job openings (200 apply per hire) to be a sanitation worker making around $35,000 a year I was surprised.
Why were people fighting for the opportunity to work with garbage, risking injury, and disease while having to work through snow, rain, bitter cold, and exhausting heat waves? Why were so many competing for a job that really offered little room for growth as far as advancement opportunities? Well, the job doesn’t require much by way of education or even one’s ability to speak English. For the low-skilled, undereducated person this may be the ideal job. It comes with OT, benefits, and a chance to make around $75,000 by one’s fifth year.
Maybe it shouldn’t surprise me that so many applied for the job of garbageman. More people look to become authors, which arguably has a smaller payoff than being a salaried, union worker.
Some people want jobs with security, benefits, and decent pay while others strive to be entrepreneurs. Authors get neither – they are not often well compensated, have no job security, no benefits and are forced to be entrepreneurs even though it’s not a part of their DNA to be in business.
I wonder how many sanitation workers are also authors. Writers perform many jobs, often because they can’t afford to write full-time. Or they work for years until they are in a position to write and not work a job as well. Imagine if our best writers could be allowed to flourish at a young age and get to have a 50-60-70-year career dedicated to writing books, how great would that be?
When people are fighting for the privilege to haul your garbage away, few are able to write 24-7 without worrying how to pay the rent and childcare. But when you do get to write, enjoy what you do and live in those moments as if it really was your full-time career.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs
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