Life Ventures

Is being employed a type of modern slavery?

The human race is the most powerful resource of this planet. Slavery was a known concept already in the first ancient civilisations such as Mezopotamia dating back to 3500BC. Slave trade continued in modern times, until it was first banned by Denmark-Norway in 1902. Although modern slavery now is illegal everywhere in the world, it is still existent in Asia and Africa. For example human trafficking remains an international problem and an estimated 25-40 million people are enslaved today. Now our work is exchanged for money. Does it give us freedom or does it still type of slavery? Can we say that it is disguised under a modern title – employment?

Modern slavery

Unfortunately also nowadays the rich ones are living off the work of the poor ones. We are the most efficient fuel that exists. We have it all, but we are being used, part of the 9/5 work system that for many of us doesn´t even pay most of the bills. They give us the freedom but we are working too much and struggling to survive. This topic first made me think after receiving my partner home exhausted and with no energy and ability to pay any attention neither to me nor the tv screen. I became really sad and felt a big pity. And then I thought, there must be millions of people out there working overtime and underpaid.

The system

Capitalism provided jobs, but took our freedom in exchange.  You see, employers are smart and greedy. They won’t pay you unless you ask for it. Instead they pay you the minimal they can so that you cannot afford to resign. For young graduates it’s the toughest. You just finished the school and have no real work experience, what is what they always ask for. How am I supposed to gain experience if I never get employed since I have no experience? Sounds Ironic ironic, doesn’t it?

“Work for free, intern (this 21st century word replacement for slave) – they say, “anyway you don’t know nothing.” No, I won’t waste my time, energy, and the best years for this “experience”.

Unfortunately there are thousands of other graduates who will accept the job and cut the brunch they are sitting on.

In the architecture school since the very first year they nourish the concept of sleepless working nights in the studio. They show you how it is supposed to be and you accept it like a new religion. I had course-mates who were working for 1eur an hour. And in the same time you have to study, buy materials, computer, watercolours, and pay for the studies. “Take a loan”, they say, “When you get to be an architect and earn millions it will be easy for you to pay it back.” – Yes it is so easy, I am a full time architect and have so much money that I don’t even feel that loan sitting on my shoulders (yes, we latvians like sarcasm). Right now what I just said might feel discouraging for young high-school graduates, but there are options, you just need to keep looking.

Do we have a choice?

What I want to convey with this post is that, yes, WE HAVE A CHOICE, if we all stay consistent and stand-up for ourselves. My ex-employee once gave me a “tip” on how to approach architecture offices – he said: “When you ask for job, ask just for sleep and food, not more, otherwise you will not get the job, because they will think that you just want the money.” I though, you’ve got to be kidding me. Then, a week ago I went for an interview, for a job that is not related to architecture. When asked the number, I would feel comfortable about, I told the real number, not some reduced/sleep-eat number. And you know what, I was asked for a second interview in a job with 80 applicants for a position that I had no experience in. I don’t want to sound cocky or anything, but this is just an example, how showing your self-worth, can actually make the employers believe that you value your job and will do it well.
And dear employer, if you will not change your system, soon everyone will volunteer and you will have no one to employ. Let’s put the cards on the table, if you offer this sleep-eat money, by volunteering, you get the bad and food, plus loads of free time. So let’s all think about this. 

Alternatives to 9/5 work

If you are tired of your job and you want to change your life, online is full of information. 21st century will be the breaking point, the way we work is changing. Employees are starting to understand what is the key to productivity. There are thousands of digital nomads working for themselves and managing their time the way they please. If you are good in work with computer you have all the potential to become one of them.

More and more people are working freelance, from home – earning money in internet. 

I used to be freelancer myself – there are certain challenges but I definitely prefer the independence gained with it.

Thanks for reading,
I wish you all successful job haunt! 🙂

You might be interested to read also: 

My Inner Journey – becoming generalist

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