Archives for category: work life

The main focus of the debate about social mobility however was on the State v.s. Private education divide.

Studies have proven that privately educated working class individuals rarely attain a leadership position in any organization or any industry whatsoever.

During the years of private education strong personal alliances are formed as a copig strategy for later life. This is how such privileged pupils from exclusive institutions reach adulthood occupying outstanding professional roles knowing several specialists in various fields (since school days) who can be reached at the touch of a button.

Private Or Public Keys Stock Photo

Those who attend State schools are more likely to become familiar with a future drug dealer, prostitute, institutionalized benefits claimant, cleaner or bin man…rather than seating next to the future prime minister, secretary for justice, medical doctor, MP, etc

Even those blessed by Nature to break through the poverty trap and get a scholarship to an Ivy League establishment will experience a massive shock in terms of social class divide, lifestyle, habits and extra-curricular activities that their own family budgets never allowed financially.

As much as they try to fit in they never will fit it completely but surely will survive the experience, but as outsiders looking in.

social interaction

Those early bonds created in life’s playground represent the social capital that opens doors in the later professional life through the formation of effective social networks.

Each network represents a social circle of opportunities, benefits, exclusive information and resources to be pooled out according to its members specific needs.

Some social networks are so tightly knit no outsider can step through the ranks. If you consider recruitment is informally carried out within the social networks via system of recommendations, that just leaves out everybody who is underprivileged, marginalized and simply not in the know.

Many people standing on pie chart conceptual 3d illustration

There is a massive gap in accessing the jobs market as every year many positions remain void since companies cannot fill them with suitable applicants. Yet society is so fragmented that the existent social classes do not interact or mingle in any way.

Universities may open doors to people set on learning and improving their life chances but once that is over, unfortunately they stand no chance of securing a well paid role and decent life standards because they have no social capital nor real access to the jobs market via those exclusive and tight social networks…therefore mind the (social) gap!

Last year London was granted the honour of being the European Capital of Europe. Consequently several events and activities took place throughout the year to mark the auspicious occasion.

Volunteering has had a massive impact in the UK for many generations and the charity sector has through the years stepped in to complement the role of the State working in tandem.

In general, the public, private and charity sectors staff have always been encouraged to volunteer and many do so with great joy.

Volunteering word cloud, heart concept

According to experts, volunteering contributes towards social cohesion, psychological and physical wellbeing, developing more knowledge, skills and experience. It also boosts one’s self esteem, independence and personal confidence.

Altogether this wonderful combination of elements should equip and assist the volunteer in stepping up to a new or better job in the near future.

I have come across some people in well paid full time jobs, performing demanding roles whilst facing hostile working environments who take great pleasure in volunteering as they find it extremely rewarding and healing.

Chalkboard writing: volunteer at work

For them it becomes a way of maintaining their own sanity, bringing a balance to their own personal life and nurture meaningful rapports with people outside their usual social  circles they would not meet otherwise in a healthy and constructive way.

I guess this could be regarded as a positive way of detoxing after leaving a hostile office culture behind.

Hand design vector.
It has been proven that doing good is actually wonderful for both the provider of the good deed as well as the recipient.

It actually releases endorphins, providing you with a sense of pride and self-fulfilment just for helping someone else in need

 In some nations around the world people go to work to make a living. They have a life outside work and they make time for personal leisure, their family and social circles.

London however remains fiercely different. Once you start working in the capital all that framework disappears and everything changes.

First you notice that in the capital life is generally geared towards work as the country’s main engine room. You almost don’t want to believe it but soon realize that in fact people live to work!

The company they work for and the job title will gradually define their social identity and shape their own notion of self-worth.

Business People Working in an Office

On a daily basis things are extremely blurry as people go to work to share every aspect of their lives, perform a role play and the office becomes their stage…basically a freak show!  More often than not people discuss their sex lives openly, medical issues, marriage breakdowns, divorce proceedings and the cat’s visits to the vet!…All this takes place while the city delivers “professional services” to the rest of the global economy!

The problems arise when they believe their actions are normalized and think everybody else should be doing the same as themselves. Quite often I noticed that those who seem desperate to find out personal information about fellow colleagues are the worst offenders and trouble makers. Their biggest talent lies in distorting facts and fabricating “truths” and unbiased rumours about people’s lives in order to proceed with character assassination and destruct one’s careers prospects at work.

Not surprising they are also the most frustrated and repressed people of all who go to work just to take their own personal failures on others and often rejoice in causing misery to others.

Open hand raised, Poisonous sign painted

In order to survive in this working culture I kindly would suggest the following:

  • creating a personal life outside work without “work mates”,
  • detaching psychologically and physically from work as soon as you leave the office,
  • making a genuine effort to spend quality time with family members,
  • engaging in constructive activities with significant friends,
  • nurturing yourself completely and healthily.

Wellness sign with wooden cubes

This way you’ll have memorable experiences to store in your own “memory bank” for posterity, “to infinity and beyond”…

All those who live to work and centre their basic existence around the workplace will sooner or later feel true disappointment. Instead of leading meaningful lives they live vapid lives as they make no effort to enjoy the fruits of their own labour. Always working and networking is basically a nonsense approach to life!

As soon as the recession started people lost their jobs, wives, girlfriends, homes, professional status, social identities and social support networks. That alone provided a lesson for many but it seems that unfortunately people have short memories.

These days the word hygge is everywhere and is being used to almost saturation levels.

Is that bad at all? Let’s explore the topic now.

Right now it does seem like the Vikings are back again in the UK but now with a different peaceful mission to educate the Brits about a better quality of life… without breaking the piggy bank!

At a first glance it does seem like the true meaning of the word itself goes against the popular cultural habits of this native population.

cocktail dog

If you consider looking back to pre-recession days how people enjoyed boasting about the vast sums spent on expensive drinks and food, extravagant holidays, extreme consumption, bottox sessions ( on credit of course!), etc…Hygge channels people to the extreme opposite direction.

It is not just a different life style but also a change of mindset!

I can’t even begin to imagine anybody even noticing the meaning of hygge in the pre-recession days or attributing any value to it.

Family Of Four Stock Photo

It’s biggest accomplishment is to bring people back to basics in order to value living less stressed lives, appreciating all the existent material possessions without coveting more or envying what others have, cherishing precious family and social moments, investing quality time doing things you truly love in a healthy, constructive and safe manner.

For example, lit up candles, read a good book, sit with a warm blanket by the fireplace, drink a hot chocolate with a delicious cinnamon bun.

Want to be a giver and be happier? Share this post with a friend and spread some happiness!!!

 

1. Relationships are everything

The happiest people in the planet have something in common…strong social relationships. This is not just about the numbers in your contact list but the strength of social relationships. The point is, the more social support you have, the happier you are. If you do one thing today to be happier, spend time with friends. Not spending more time with people we love is something we regret the most.

 

2. Do more, not less

The happiest people are those who are very busy but don’t feel rushed:

Surveys show the least happy group to be those who quite often have excess time. Boredom, it seems, is stressful and burdensome.

So what do you need to be doing? Fill your life with activities you do enjoy and do things you’re good at, things you are uniquely talented at that bring you joy. Studies have shown that the more you use your signature strengths in daily life, the happier you become. Signature strengths are the secret to experiencing more “flow” at work and in life. The old saw “those who do what they love never work a day in their life” seems true.

 

3. Do not stay in a job you hate

Frankly spending years in a job you dislike is a recipe for regret and a tragic mistake. These days people spend most of their living week at work stuck in offices (some are healthy environments, others are mostly toxic and dysfunctional).

Even if you love what you do there is no control over what surroundings and people you will have to grow used to.

Life is too short and precious and you only have 1 go at it! Do not waste time in a job you hate!

 

4. Plan your happiness

Regularly we treasure happiness a lot but treat it as an extra-terrestral phenomenon. Passively waiting for happiness to “happen” is idiotic because it just needs regular appointments. I will expand on this.

Try scheduling the things that make you happy.

Identify the activities and people with whom you want to spend more time and allocate your time thoughtfully. When you put something on a calendar, you’re more likely to actually do that activity.

Look at the things that make you happy and plan them into your calendar and schedule them. Do not wait for happiness to occur. Some manipulation does help…refuse to leave it to chance.

 

5. Happiness isn’t everything

There are different types of happiness and the word itself can be pretty vague at times. We do need happy feelings but we also need meaningful lives.

Studies suggest that happiness is mainly about satisfying individual wants and needs, including from other people or even just by using money. In contrast, meaningfulness was linked to doing things that express and reflect the self, and in particular to doing positive things for others. Meaningful involvements increase one’s stress, worries, arguments, and anxiety, which reduce happiness. (Spending money to get things went with happiness, but managing money was linked to meaningfulness.) Happiness went with being a taker more than a giver, while meaningfulness was associated with being a giver more than a taker.

Running marathons is painful. Completing them is awesome. Studying is boring. Having a degree feels great. Sometimes just feeling happiness in the moment is not everything.

 

6. Give but only so much

Giving makes us happier than receiving. In fact, it can create a feedback loop of happiness in your life. Helping others reach their goals brings joy. Doing nice things for others today can literally make you happier for the rest of the week.

However, sacrificing everything for others and being a martyr stresses you out and is bad for your health.

Research shows that on the job, people who engage in selfless giving end up feeling overloaded and stressed, as well as experiencing conflict between work and family.

If people start volunteering two hours a week, their happiness, satisfaction, and self-esteem go up a year later. Want to be a giver and be happier? Share this post with a friend and spread some happiness

For all those out there who live in a mostly mono cultural place where there are only citizens belonging to the same nationality or culture  this piece may come to you as a shock.

Whenever there is a world cup, London a.k.a global village is the best place to be in the planet!

In this city where at times there is unbearable tension, challenging pressure, overwhelming  stress, ruthless prejudice, painful discrimination and serious confrontation between people of all sorts of backgrounds events such as the world cup help to heal the wounds and actually bring people together even more.

As I write this, 41.000 Portuguese, 53.000 Australians, 62.000 Ghanaians, 66.000 Frenchmen, 37.000 Iranians, 35.000 Iranians and 114,000 Nigerians are sharing the same urban jungle and eagerly awaiting the start of the world cup.

I noticed through the years that at the beginning they all support their own national teams and disregard the opposition, but as the cup goes on and some teams are eventually eliminated those individuals who share the same continental backgrounds (Latin America, Africa or Asia) start to show solidarity to each other and wish well for the last remaining team(s) that is still playing the beautiful game. They are looking for someone worthy to represent them at the crucial last stages.

It is quite a show worthy of an audience: you see Mexicans, Argentinians and Brazilians together at the same community centre, coffee shop or pub rooting for the last survivors who ultimately represent their roots. It is as if Argentinians and Brazlians can finally bury the hatchet and reconcile over football for even a short while. The Africans will also proceed the same way with the same “joie de vivre”, spirit and rhythm.

Everywhere you will see people (who before would never speak to each other) greet each other and ask the latest results of the same game, celebrating the victories and sharing the grief of loss in a rather humane way.

For those who never visited, studied, worked or lived in London….this is a scary cosmopolitan centre where most people do not know their own neighbours nor do they wish to, they hardly see their own family, never  ever smile or speak to anybody in public transports.

They just live to work, office life is the only life they have and when they are not working, well they network!

Basically the workplace is the centre of the universe for the rat-race characters.

Therefore being completely disconnected from the social fabric becomes the acceptable norm.

The world cup encourages the residents of this cosmopolitan giant to display a vast range of genuine felt emotions along with an array of flags from every participant nation.

People wear scarves on the day of the games and chant national anthems in an outburst of joy and pubs are generally busier than the local church bursting with people from every seam.

Welcome to the world cup and let the beautiful game start.

Bring it on!!!

Every Monday morning you see the same parody in the office: people who carry a Cheshire smile greening at everything that moves around them, people who flaunt how much weight they lost recently, those who like to announce how exciting their weekend was and how gloriously smashed they were Friday evening, worse even are those who trumpet to the whole world just how they woke up early Sunday morning just to finish their project before deadline is over…imagine the level of their commitment to the employer!

Everyone is so happy it feels more like a cheap parody, a 3rd rate sitcom rather than natural behavior!!!

In the midst of the recession with worsening labour conditions and with mostly low level entry jobs available in the job market are people out there genuinely happy?

Give it a good think about this. In fact, employee’s welfare and wellbeing is top management’s last concern. These days it is all about cutting expenses, budgets and literally chopping stuff!

Things become even worse for most of us knowing that the workplace is becoming increasingly most central in our lives sometimes even bypassing family and social lives. The latter is where people reflect and project their work problems therefore it’s best to leave all your work issues in the office, otherwise anxiety, stress and pressure will overwhelm you.