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Many Prefer to be Employer Dependent Despite Influencers Claiming 9-5 Is Repulsive

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I empathize with people who dislike the idea of working 9-5. Who likes the idea of constantly putting aside their authentic self so they fit in and being under management’s control, who can let you go at any time?

Recent layoffs at Meta, Twitter, Redfin, Shopify, Flipboard, Dapper, et al. are reminders that:

  • You do not own your job.
  • All jobs are temporary and disposable.
  • You are a free agent.
  • You should consistently save no less than 20% of every paycheck.
  • You should constantly be building skills that add value to your employability.

I understand the appeal of 9-5.

All the turmoil in the job market over the past four decades due to recessions, jobs being sent overseas, erratic consumer demands, a worldwide pandemic, and today’s supply chain issues coupled with runaway inflation has made downsizing so common that when the media announces layoffs, we barely shrug our shoulders. Yet, despite the constant turbulence in the job market, wishful thinking makes many believe a “steady job” is not the oxymoron it has become but is still more stable and less risky than going out on your own.

A self-employed person (an entrepreneur or freelancer) is gambling with their livelihood. Despite what people preach, it takes more than strategy and hard work to succeed in the non-9-5 world; luck plays a significant role. First, you need to resonate with a large audience and then—here is the hard part—offer something of value your audience is willing to you pay for.

Years ago, the point that luck is a key component in achieving success was made to me on a Friday morning, around 2:30 AM, in New York City’s Times Square. It had stopped raining. My friend was trying to hail a taxi to get us back to Hackensack, New Jersey. I took out a cigarette and realized I did not have a lighter. A hunched-over man was walking by, so I asked him for a light. Without uttering a word, he pulled out a Zippo. I commented on how beautiful the neon lights looked, reflecting off the wet pavement. My new friend snapped shut his Zippo. As he walked away, he said, “For every lightbulb on Broadway, there are a thousand broken hearts.”

Internet talking heads, peddling lessons they have barely learned, preach that the entrepreneur/freelancer lifestyle should be everyone’s dream. They would like nothing more than to start a #HireYourself movement. Conveniently they do not mention the loneliness, fear, constant instability, and chronic worry that often come with such a lifestyle.

Nowadays, there’s so much noise around the best way to earn a living; much of it is just made-up stories by influencers, a subjective label, trying to manipulate you for their benefit.

A sentence designed to make you unhappy: If you work a 9 to 5 job, you are working for someone else’s dreams. Is it not possible that working for someone else helps you to live your dream? Your dream could be to save enough money to retire at 55. Your dream could be to golf every weekend with a clear mind. (When you own a business, it’s on your mind 24/7.). Your dream could be as simple as making enough money to pay the rent, eat and enjoy a few of life’s pleasures while having two days off a week to chill. Today approximately 734 million people around the globe live on $2 a day, a 9-5 job that keeps them out of extreme poverty is an unimaginable dream.

There is no shame in wanting and being happy with a 9-5 job. Most people just want to show up, perform their duties, get paid and have evenings and weekends to enjoy their lives and try to accumulate some savings—a financial cushion for the inevitable “Sorry, we no longer need you.”

Not everyone wants to work from home, have a side hustle or become a millionaire. Money is not everything. (Gasp!) The happiest people I know are those chasing a purpose instead of money.

A trend among influencers is to tell their followers to quit their jobs because they are being exploited, so they, too, can make $5,000 by creating content such as writing a blog or a newsletter, podcasting, or making videos. Yes, it is possible not to work a 9-5, as millions do, but you will work, and you will constantly be hustling for your next gig.

Influencers make their money by selling dreams, hopes, and emotions. Their business model is telling their followers what they want to hear. In order to make money, they must tell thousands of people they have a sure-fire 5 Easy Ways to Make Money methodology and then digitally reel you in to buy their book and courses or to attend their virtual boot camp to learn the secrets and skills that will free you from, God forbid, relying on an employer to earn a living.

I am sure your social media feeds, like mine, are full of self-serving motivational quotes and posts designed to make people, especially those who have not yet settled on a career path (READ: young, impressionable, haven’t yet taken on full adult responsibilities), feel guilty if they want to be a doctor, accountant, engineer, or chef.

At my age, I am deeply ingrained in the corporate world; thus, it is easy for me to see through these attempts to make those who have chosen to be an employee miserable. In my opinion, their sales pitch is equivalent to, You may be good at working on someone’s dream, but you do not feel and look good. So why not blow off your 9-5 to become a millionaire and get plastic surgery?

So, what if a person is happy trading their time for money?

Everyone has different circumstances. Being an employee is far more secure, especially if you adopt the habit of saving 20%, than going on your own.

Many people buy into the self-serving narratives influencers sell. First, they write a blog, but as much as they try, they cannot get traffic to their blog. Then they write a book; only it does not sell because there are 1,000s of books evangelizing what they are evangelizing. Next, they set up a YouTube channel and upload their homemade video, Ten Ways to Cook Eggs. DAMN! NO VIEWS!

Much of the craziness, toxicity, and photoshopped pictures that primarily populate social media are desperate attempts to generate the number of followers and viewership believed to be a requirement to becoming an influencer and escaping their 9-5.

Random people on the internet bragging about their supposed four-hour work week gives many the idea that hustling 24/7 is the life they should be leading.

Welcome to the hustle culture.

I have seen firsthand the consequences of participating in the hustle culture.

  • Constantly feeling the urge to be busy. (A recipe for inducing anxiety.)
  • Wanting to make everyone around them join the “productivity” cult.
  • Being disrespectful to those around them whom they perceive as less ambitious than they are.
  • Feeling guilty when spending leisurely, socializing, or having fun.

 

The definition of success varies from person to person. How someone defines their success is personal. You are no less human because a 9-5 job works for you, as it does for most people. Do not let “influencers,” whose purpose is to make you unhappy for being an employee and then conveniently sell you their solution to the unhappiness they created, steer you otherwise—just do not forget to save 20%.

____________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a self-described connoisseur of human psychology, writes about what’s on his mind from Toronto. You can follow Nick on Twitter and Instagram @NKossovan

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Jade Eagleson, MacKenzie Porter, the Reklaws among leading CCMA nominees

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Jade Eagleson and MacKenzie Porter are the leading nominees at this year’s Canadian Country Music Association Awards.

The singer-songwriters each received six CCMA nods, including for entertainer of the year and album of the year.

Eagleson is also nominated for male artist of the year and songwriter of the year, while Porter will be vying for female artist of the year and video of the year trophies.

Porter is also co-hosting the CCMAs with U.S. country music star Thomas Rhett in Edmonton on Sept. 14, with the bash set to air on CTV.

Sibling duo the Reklaws and last year’s leading nominee Josh Ross are each nominated in five categories, including entertainer of the year.

Rounding out the list of top nominees are Owen Riegling, Dallas Smith and the High Valley band, with four nods each.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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Bissell Recalls 3.3 Million Steam Cleaners Due to Burn Hazard

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NEW YORK — Bissell is recalling approximately 3.3 million “Steam Shot Handheld Steam Cleaners” across North America due to a burn hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada issued notices on Thursday detailing the risk, which has led to over 150 reported injuries.

The recall affects select models of the Bissell-branded steam cleaners, which can spew hot water or steam while in use or heating up. This malfunction poses a burn risk to users. Bissell has received 183 reports of hot water or steam expelling from the devices, including 157 minor burn injuries. Of these, 145 injuries occurred in the U.S. and 12 in Canada as of June 4, according to Health Canada.

Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the recalled steam cleaners. They should contact Bissell for either a refund or store credit. Impacted customers can choose between $60 (CA$82) in store credit or a $40 (CA$55) refund for each affected unit. Detailed instructions for identifying the recalled models, cutting the product cord, and uploading photos are available on Bissell’s website.

Bissell emphasized that “safety is our top priority,” and the company opted for a voluntary recall “out of an abundance of caution.”

The affected steam cleaners, manufactured in China, were sold at major retailers such as Target and Walmart, as well as online platforms including Bissell’s website and Amazon, from August 2008 through May 2024. About 3.2 million units were purchased in the U.S. and nearly 355,000 in Canada.

For more information on the recall and to register for a refund or store credit, consumers can visit Bissell’s website.

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Court Ruling on CRA Audit Condones Government Overreach, Says Leading Muslim Charity

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The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) has expressed strong disapproval of a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, claiming it allows the federal government to violate Charter rights with impunity. The court’s decision upheld a ruling that permits the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to continue its audit of MAC, a process the charity alleges is tainted by systemic bias and Islamophobia.

MAC, an organization that promotes community service, education, and youth empowerment, serves over 150,000 Canadians through its mosques, schools, and community centers. The association argues that the CRA’s audit infringes on their Charter rights, specifically the guarantees of equality, freedom of religion, expression, and association.

The association initially sought to halt the audit through the Ontario Superior Court, arguing that the audit process was fundamentally biased. However, Superior Court Justice Markus Koehnen rejected their request last year, stating it was premature to intervene in the ongoing federal review. Koehnen acknowledged the validity of many of MAC’s arguments but emphasized that court involvement was inappropriate while the audit process was still active.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld Justice Koehnen’s decision, agreeing that the challenge was premature. The panel of judges found no error in the previous ruling, emphasizing the necessity of allowing the CRA’s internal processes to conclude before judicial intervention.

MAC’s representative, Sharaf Sharafeldin, criticized the decision, stating that the “prematurity principle” imposes significant legal and administrative burdens on charities. These costs, according to Sharafeldin, lead to financial hardship, reduced programs, and compromised charitable work, preventing effective challenges to Charter violations by the time the audit is completed.

In a statement, MAC highlighted that the decision disproportionately harms visible minorities and disadvantaged communities, who already suffer from systemic discrimination by government agencies.

The federal government has argued that the CRA’s selection of MAC for audit and subsequent review did not infringe upon Charter rights. The audit process includes potential internal appeals within the CRA, appeals to the Tax Court of Canada in the event of financial penalties, and to the Federal Court of Appeal if charitable status is revoked.

This ruling underscores the tension between government oversight and the protection of Charter rights, particularly for minority and disadvantaged communities. The outcome of this case could set a significant precedent for how charitable organizations can challenge perceived systemic bias and government overreach in Canada.

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