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Is Work A Four-Letter Word?

May 26, 2008
Secretary, knitting instructor, social worker, writer - I've enjoyed my work. I've also enjoyed other peoples' work - like hairdressers. When I'm in a salon, I enjoy watching hairdressers change the look of their clients. Usually people with straight hair want curly hair and those with curly hair want straight hair; but with all the products on the market today, we can have the look we want. Rinses and dyes, perms and straighteners, extensions and implants - I'm continually amazed by how many unnatural ways there are to look natural.

Jobs come in all shapes and sizes. In 2008 seven of the ten most popular jobs were in the medical field and the other three were computer-related. Among the ten most popular jobs for parents returning to the workforce were non-profit manager, marketing analyst, accountant and bookkeeper. Is it just me or do the years I spent as an at-home mom sound like on-the-job-training for those.

According to a study published in "Occupational and Environmental Medicine", long working hours increase the risk of injury and illness; and that risk has nothing to do with how dangerous the job is. In the U.S. up to one-third of overtime is compulsory and employees working overtime are 61% more likely to have work-related injuries or illness. Although both Europe and Japan have laws that limit work time, the U.S. can't get its laws to work.

Because so many companies have moved their manufacturing business to countries with cheaper labor, three million manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2001.That's the bad news. The good news is that the higher-paying, high-skill, manufacturing jobs have grown by 37%. This is because the baby boomers are retiring and leaving 90% of American manufacturers short of qualified workers. By qualified workers they mean workers with strong skills in math, science and computer. Unfortunately, students who are strong in these skills don't think of manufacturing as a career. Nevertheless, because these jobs are predicted to pay about $70,000 a year, students should re-tool their thinking.

Money is the difference between work and a hobby. A hobby gives us a chance to do something the best we can; but because we're not being paid to do it, no one tells us that we're not doing it well enough. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Yahoo lists pyrotechnics as a hobby, but that's a hobby I'd have to be paid to have.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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