Nice and NEET?: Reflections On A Social Trend

Today, I’ll be attempting to destroy this image of the NEET lifestyle.
Source: wakwakwak.wordpress.com

While doing my usual ‘net patrol for interesting stories, I came across a video by the brilliant Gaijin Goombah discussing the use of recurring terms in his videos. There, I was surprised to see a phrase I had never heard before.

NEET (short for Not in Education, Employment or Training) is a term used to describe people who, for various reasons, are not in school, in an internship or otherwise employed full-time.

This struck close to home for me since I technically qualify as a NEET. I graduated Cum Laude about a year ago, I only work part-time as a Night Auditor for a local inn and I use the extra free time to polish my writing skills with you – my kind readers.

So naturally, with the number of NEETs on the rise as Gaijin illustrated, I wondered if being a part of this trend (some what inadvertently, granted) was a positive or a negative.

At first glance, you’d want to say that it’s a bad thing. No job means no money and that life becomes tougher for you and anyone you support. And that certainly is true. Speaking from personal experience, the best part of my tax return this year is that I got enough back to completely pay back ONE of my student loans.

However, as Gaijin pointed out, many NEETs aren’t the lazy, redundant blobs of protoplasm many would have you believe us to be. Almost all professional bloggers and Youtube personalities are technically NEET; using a part-time job to support their passion projects and, in turn, the returns from those projects supplementing their part-time income.

Again, speaking from personal experience, many of my close personal friends are NEET. One runs her own bookkeeping business. Another builds computers on the side. Yet another is a freelance graphic artist/model designer for video games. I myself am trying to build up this blog, hopefully by making more frequent posts and investing in video equipment for taped episodes, to get enough readership to sell ad space and live a comfortable life helping support my parents as they draw closer to retirement.

For some of us, the choice to become a NEET is hardly a choice at all. I personally live in a very sparse area of the northeast (what I lovingly refer to as East Bumblescum, New Ver-maine-shire) where job options are limited and few and far between. Most jobs that are looking for my skills are in states on the other side of the country and I just don’t have the means for long distance travel or relocation. Being NEET and opting to be a self-made entrepreneurial Op/Ed writer is just me using what skills I have to make a name and living for myself due to a lack of options.

Admittedly, this trend is a problem for big businesses needing full-time workers and for the elderly population as Gaijin noted. However, many businesses prefer part-time workers anyway as it means they don’t have to offer them full-time benefits. And with free government-funded healthcare becoming more of a reality everyday, that seems to be less of a problem for everyone.

What’s more, many traditional jobs are becoming automated and employees are being phased out. Living an entrepreneurial NEET lifestyle seems only logical in a world where, more and more, humans need not apply.

In closing, yes, the NEET trend is scary and has a host of problems that need addressing. But, it’s important to note that we are not (and can’t allow ourselves to be) lazy, ignorant slobs. We’re still human and we’re dealing with the same serious human social and economic issues as the rest of you the only way we can see how. And just like you, we need the emotional support and help of others to give us strength.

Thoughts On The Graveyard Shift (And Why I Love It)

Shown above: the biggest challenge of working third shift.

Local news seems to be slow for me this week (the story of the man who went on a naked rampage after falling through a ceiling at Logan Airport was interesting, but there’s not much to add to it) and as disgusted as I am with the jury ruling regarding Darren Wilson, I feel I don’t need to explain to you why I feel that way.

So allow me to regale you with some of my innermost thoughts this week in lieu of actual commentary on the state of the world in hopes of finding something that I can add my thoughts to next week.

For those of you who follow me, you know that I work third shift as a Night Auditor at a local inn and spa. When I first took the job, I had people telling me that I would hate it and that it would completely ruin me.

Well folks, I’m here to tell you I’m still doing it and it was the best choice I ever made. I love the so-called ‘Graveyard Shift.’ It’s perfect for people like me and everyone should be so lucky to have a great job at such a late hour. Like so much of the best things in life, it’s the small things that add up to greatness.

First of all, for someone who is likely to feel uncomfortable and even panicky around large crowds of people, the late shift is great because so few crowds come in. It give you more time to focus on maintaining a stable work environment.

Speaking of time to focus, the lack of interruption during this quieter time of the day lets one think about thinks more clearly and completely. I’ve had some great ideas come to me in those silent hours while mulling over stacks of paperwork.

Even the drive to and from work is more enjoyable. There’s practically no traffic on the roads making for a peaceful cruise. What’s more, I find that the radio stations play more interesting music late at night/early in the morning when new songs are testing the waters and searching for an audience. This is especially true if, like me, you have a local independent radio station to jam to.

There has been a transitional period trying to adjust to a new sleep schedule, but it’s not nearly the pain that others warned it would be. Perhaps I just work better under these conditions than most, but what problems I had adapting were remedied with ear plugs and a face mask during the day.

As I said, working third shift is one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever had to do. It may be a chore for some to adapt to, but if you’re actively looking to avoid noise, interruptions, and large crowds of strangers, it’s absolutely the way to go. I’ve never felt so at peace in a place of employment as I am crunching numbers at a counter with nothing but the midnight wind blowing outside and the low droning of the radio in the lobby to accompany me and my thoughts.

What about you, folks? Do any of you work third shift? How was your experience? What was the best job you ever had? Share your thoughts with me and the others reading.

Good Worker Etiquette: Things You Should Do No Matter How Crappy Your Job Is

 

I don’t care how overworked you are, you can at least make the effort.
Source: Firstcall

Regardless of your feelings toward your job, there are just some lines you don’t cross. I understand the need to buck the system in the face of injustice, but you have to at least be considerate of the other people stuck in the same boat as you; i.e. your coworkers.

To that end, I’ve decided to construct a short list (ever notice how good I am at those) of faux pas to be avoided in the work place and why.

Avoid In-fighting with co-workers

It’s unavoidable. You’re going to come across someone that just rubs you the wrong way at work. Maybe they’re under educated, ignorant, and refuse to learn. Maybe they’re the type that like to tease co-workers for laughs.

The fact of the matter is this; neither of you are there to make friends, you’re there to get a job done and you won’t be able to do that if you’re both busy at each others throats.

If you have a problem with someone, unless it’s a serious issue like harassment or violence, just let the twit continue their childish antics. If it becomes an issue, then you have the right to raise a stink and inform your supervisor. The more time you waste fighting over mundane things, the more slack the other people you work with have to pick up for the both of you.

Everything Is Everyone’s Job

Have you ever heard the advice that you should specify a person to call for help in an emergency instead of simply saying, “Someone,, get help?” The reason for that is that people like to assume that someone else will do it instead of them and help comes to late

The same mentality exists in the workplace; everyone likes to think that something will be taken care of by a co-worker. As a result, the job never gets done.

If you’re a supervisor or otherwise in a position of authority, designate people to take care of tasks. This will increase the likelihood of it getting done as well as make it easier to find the people not doing their share of work.

If you’re an employee and you see something that needs doing, take charge and do it. It will make things go smoother later on and make you look good in the eyes of your superiors.

This isn’t to say that you should be constantly doing favors for others when you know that they were the ones charged to do it. It just means that if you have spare time between your tasks and notice something that needs doing, you should do it to help others stay on top of things.

Even Crappy Jobs Deserve a Two Week Notice

So, you’ve finally found a job you think you’ll enjoy. That’s great for you, but that will screw up things for you co-workers if they don’t know ahead of time.

The reason the “Two Week Notice” rule stands in most places is so that schedules can be worked around being short a person and so that employers can start looking for new hires to make life easier for everyone.

Ditching a job with no prior warning is a warning sign to other employers that you’ll back stab them and make life miserable for them the first chance you get. So be sure to provide a window of time between telling them you’re going to quit and actually quitting.

 

Work Search Reflections: On Job Applications and Resume Submission

Yes, I’m old fashioned and still use these. Let’s focus on the main issue, shall we?
Source: Heart At Work Associates

As many of you who follow me know, I’ve been fairly active in looking for work these last several months. As I’ve been doing so, I’ve noticed a few things.

I actually haven’t been in the job market for some time as a result of school; I was making a comfortable profit off of my grants and scholarships and the this allowed me to focus exclusively on my education. As a result, the market and methodology for gainful employment has changed quite a bit since my last search.

For starters, I’ve noticed that many places no longer accept traditional paper applications or resumes, instead insisting that all new applicants submit their information online.

Let me begin by saying that I get why they do this. The internet and digital communication in general are faster and allow mass communication. A digital application or resume can be forwarded to multiple higher-ups in a company for review and allows the applicant to apply from the comfort of home.

However, speaking as a both a communications major and a psychology minor, I find that a significant part of the job hunting process is making an impression with your prospective employer. By meeting them in person and physically handing them your credentials, to have a chance to let them know exactly who you are and make them remember you.

Also, the act of meeting them eye-to-eye increases the likelihood of them responding. When a person can associate a face to you and knows you are fully capable and willing to be proactive in making the first move, they will be more likely to respond in a more timely manner.

For example, most stores I applied to online took a month or more to respond back despite my contacting them multiple times on the subject. Meanwhile, other similar stores that still accept resumes and applications in person responded in less than a week.

Actually, this ‘online vs. in-person’ dilemma expands to most aspects of life. Communication with friends and family on Twitter, watching live streaming video, and playing games online just don’t feel as socially satisfying as chatting in the den, watching a movie in the theater, or throwing friendly smack talk to the guy next to you while playing Super Mario Kart.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is this: for the speed and convenience of online communication, it can’t and shouldn’t replace good old-fashioned chit-chat. As for the job market, I’d really like to see more places still accept hard copy applications as well as digital ones. It would give them one more opportunity to learn the character of the people that they hire.