Work and livelihoods is something which defines our lives. We spend the most productive years after college at our work places creating wealth, making something worthwhile of our life, and simply traveling in the capsule called time. We have 50 weekends per year, in which we can attempt doing things apart from the chores of our work life. On an average, a person works 35 years until retirement and this is for the Blessed folks who have medicare and retirement savings. Most guys have temporary contract based employment in this age of hire and fire, life long employment is an oxymoron. Welfare states are crumbling under the weight of retirement obligations, France is resisting labor reform violently on the streets as it would take away the french way of life; a 35 hour work week, summer vacations and time for the family. The changing nature of work is creating havoc in terms of social dynamics. People work longer hours to be productive in the run for profit maximization for companies, have lower savings as inflation shoots up but salaries do not keep pace. More people stay with parents because they cannot afford their own home leading to men and women getting married much later than the previous generation.
Unpredictable career trajectories mean higher divorce rates from office romances, lower self esteem in men because they do not earn enough to support families and lower fertility rates in east asia leading to pronatalist policies in Taiwan and Singapore. People work on weekends remotely from home via VPN and the Blackberry has sounded the death knell for privacy at home. Of course, this means flexibility but it also means that we all check mail and write reports on vacation while our partners are asleep at 3am in the morning. Technology is changing the nature of work and the way we shape society for the worse.
The static nature of graduate education (undergrad degree is simply not enough now a days, sad fact) is contributing to the nature of debt people accumulate and pay off through out their careers. A graduate education degree does not mean we are work life worthy with the right skill sets.We all have to be entrepreneurial in seeking opportunities out of the box to make our ends meet. We have to do a lot more to meet the living standards which were given to us during our upbringing by our parents in our current state of work and education.