In every civic and civil society, in every city, town, and village in the western hemisphere, the UK notwithstanding, you will find the masses going off to work for their employer. Some work five or six days a week, some part time, but most people will, by and large, be an employee of either a private, governmental, or third sector organisation. And certainly when an individual secures a new role and in the early days of that job, the employee will feel a sense of pride, purpose, and accomplishment as they participate and contribute to the social economic mix and basic practicality of being a productive and useful member of society. And on top of that, there are those essential and first response services such as police, paramedic, hospital, and fire whose staff believe their jobs are more of a calling to serve the greater public. And so we can see why going off to work for most people is normal and part and parcel of a wider societal conformity that the majority of the population are socialised and conditioned be obedient to and comply with literally as soon as they enter the formal education system.
And so as the wheels in the cog turn, and the daily grind continues, the juggling act and work/life balance of the average worker can become overwhelming, as commutes become tiresome, challenging, and often times expensive, singles become couples and joint conjugal roles become the norm, children are born and add to the pressure of family responsibility and expectation to work, provide, rest and play all in equal measures. Then there are the subtle mass media messages workers are bombarded with everyday, such as improving and continuing education, work towards promotion, volunteering to take on more responsibility at work to show commitment, participating in social activities with colleagues often referred to as team building, working towards, and last but not least, being more active and improving one's diet which often means completely changing they what one eats, the latest fad being to eat vegan in the UK, for example.
It is then no surprise with all these demands placed upon the average worker, many simply cannot keep up with the pace and eventually crash and burn. A vast number of time employees in all organisations take sick leave every year. The Office for National Statistics report that:
"...in 2016 an estimated 137.3 working days were lost due to sickness and injury. And of the figure, minor illnesses (such as coughs and colds) were the most common reason for sickness absence in 2016, accounting for approximately 34.0 million days lost (24.8% of the total days lost). This was followed by musculoskeletal problems (including back pain, neck and upper limb problems) at 30.8 million days (22.4%). After ‘other’ conditions, mental health issues (including stress, depression, anxiety, and serious conditions) were the next most common reason for sickness absence, resulting in 15.8 million days lost (11.5%)."
Whilst the general trend has actually been downward in recent years and there has been a decline in corporate sick leave, these figures are still extremely worrying and extraordinary, to say the least. The question beckons as to why are so many workers absent from work and for such a myriad of reasons. Well, for those who question the status quo and seek to find answers to this problem, it is obvious to them that all is not well with the so called work/life balance and people who are tired and under great pressure to stay on top of their game and all their responsibilities and expectations are becoming physically ill, encountering accidents, and experiencing mental health related conditions.
And so those who question are the ones who have determined that surely there must be a better way. These are the ones who have become dissatisfied with living in the rat race. They may have served their time in their respective organisations and are now ready to explore alternative ways to create an income and build modest financial security for their family. There are also even those who dare to dream of creating something mammoth; a business, an empire, or an iconic brand which will propel them among the ranks of the wealthiest individuals in the nation or even globally.
And there is evidence that more and more individuals are leaving behind the stuffy echelons of corporate and organisational culture and are going it alone. The Federation of Small Business reports that in 2016 there were 4.2 million non-employing business in the UK which of that 76% of businesses did not employ anyone aside from the owner. It is glaringly obvious by these figures that workers are rising up and taking back their lives and empowering themselves to create income and wealth on their own terms. These go getters have become dissatisfied with what society says is the norm and are building a new normal. They are quite literally applying their talents and passions to their goals and desires and making it happen!
So, if you have been wondering what else is there in life other than being part of the employed masses, my advice to you in this article is to look at the truth of what is going on and what many are doing to go against the grain and successfully create an alternative means of employment. The evidence is there and there is indeed a paradigm shift happening, people are leaving their jobs and setting up on their own. All you need is a workable idea and belief in yourself, the right support networks i.e. banks, credit unions, business clubs, and you can be on your way to redress the work/life balance and obtain the freedom every worker the length and breadth of the land dreams of. So what's stopping you? Put pen to paper today, scribble on the back of a beer mat, but just do something towards making your ideas a reality! Enjoy the journey and all the very best!