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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.

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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%.

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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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COVID: Canada retaining Evusheld – CTV News

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While Health Canada says it is “aware” of the U.S. decision to withdraw the emergency use of Evusheld, a drug by AstraZeneca used to help prevent COVID-19 infection— the agency is maintaining its approval, citing the differences in variant circulation between Canada and the U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Jan. 26 that its emergency use authorization of the drug was pulled due to its inefficacy in treating “certain” COVID-19 variants.

The FDA stated in a release on its website that as the XBB.1.5. variant, nicknamed “Kraken”, is making up the majority of cases in the country, the use of Evusheld is “not expected to provide protection” and therefore not worth exposing the public to possible side effects of the drug, like allergic reactions.

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In an email to CTVNews.ca, Health Canada said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pulled the drug as the main variant of concern in the U.S. is XBB.1.5.

“Dominant variants in the [U.S.] may be different from those circulating in Canada,” the federal agency said in an email. “The most recent epidemiological data in Canada (as of January 1, 2023) indicate that BA.5 (Omicron) subvariants continue to account for more than 89 per cent of reported cases.”

On Jan. 6 the FDA said in press release that certain variants are not neutralized by Evusheld and cautioned people who are exposed to XBB.1.5. On Jan. 26, the FDA then updated its website by saying it would be limiting the use of Evusheld.

“Evusheld is not currently authorized for use in the U.S. until further notice by the Agency,” the FDA website states.

On Jan. 17, Health Canada issued a “risk communication” on Evusheld, explaining how it may not be effective against certain Omicron subvariants when used as a preventative measure or treatment for COVID-19.

“Decisions regarding the use of EVUSHELD should take into consideration what is known about the characteristics of the circulating COVID-19 variants, including geographical prevalence and individual exposure,” Health Canada said in an email.

Health Canada says Evusheld does neutralize against Omicron subvariant BA.2, which according to the agency, is the dominant variant in many communities in Canada.

The drug was introduced for prevention measures specifically for people who have weaker immune systems and are unlikely to be protected by a COVID-19 vaccine. It can only be given to people 12 years and older.

“EVUSHELD is not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination is recommended,” the agency’s website reads.

Health Canada says no drug, including Evusheld, is a substitute for vaccination.

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Alberta Justice spokespeople deliver duelling statements on prosecutor email review

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Alberta premier's prosecutor

An email probe into whether Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s office interfered with Crown prosecutors took a confusing turn Friday after two government spokespeople delivered duelling statements that raised questions over how far back the search went.

The review was ordered by Smith a week ago to respond to allegations in a CBC story that reported a staffer in the premier’s office emailed prosecutors last fall to question decisions and direction on cases stemming from a blockade at the Canada-U. S. border crossing at Coutts, Alta.

The Justice Department said Monday it had done a four-month search of ingoing, outgoing and deleted emails and found no evidence of contact.

Two days later, Alberta Justice communications director Charles Mainville said in a statement that deleted emails are wiped from the system after 30 days, meaning the search for deleted emails may not have covered the entire time period in question.

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On Thursday night, Ethan Lecavalier-Kidney, a spokesman for Justice Minister Tyler Shandro, responded to questions about Mainville’s statement. He said while emails are deleted after 30 days, they live on in the system for another 30 and could have been checked that far back by investigators.

“For example, if an email was deleted on Oct. 17, 2022, the email would no longer be accessible to the user as of Nov. 16, 2022, but would continue to be available to our investigation team until Dec. 16, 2022,” said Lecavalier-Kidney in his statement.

A 60-day search would have stretched back to late November, capturing all but the first six weeks of Smith’s United Conservative Party government. Smith was sworn in as premier on Oct. 11.

But while Lecavalier-Kidney’s statement said investigators could go back 60 days, it did not state that they did so, leaving confusion on how far back they went.

When asked Friday to clarify whether investigators went back 30 or 60 days on the deleted emails, Lecavalier-Kidney did not respond to questions while Mainville reissued the original statements in an email.

The government has also delivered conflicting messages on who was investigated in the review.

Smith promised that emails from all Crown prosecutors and the 34 staffers in her office would be checked.

However, the Justice Department later said emails between “relevant” prosecutors and Smith staffers were checked. It did not say how it determined who was relevant.

The Coutts blockade and COVID-19 protest at the border crossing last year saw RCMP lay charges against several people, ranging from mischief to conspiracy to commit murder.

Smith has said she did not direct prosecutors in the Coutts cases and the email review exonerated her office from what she called “baseless” allegations in the CBC story.

The CBC has said that it has not seen the emails in question but stands by its reporting.

The Opposition NDP said questions stemming from the CBC story, coupled with multiple conflicting statements from the premier on what she has said to Justice Department officials about the COVID-19 cases, can only be resolved through an independent investigation.

Smith has given six versions in recent weeks of what she has said to justice officials about COVID-19 cases.

Smith has said she talked to prosecutors directly and did not talk to prosecutors directly. She has said she reminded justice officials of general prosecution guidelines, but at other times reminded them to consider factors unique to COVID-19 cases. She has also suggested the conversations are ongoing and that they have ended.

She has attributed the confusion to “imprecise” word choices.

Smith has long been openly critical of COVID-19 masking, gathering and vaccine mandate rules, questioning if they were needed to fight the pandemic and labelling them intolerable violations of personal freedoms.

She has also called those unvaccinated against COVID-19 the most discriminated group she has seen in her lifetime.

Last fall, Smith said charges in the cases were grounded in politics and should be open to political solutions. But she recently said it’s important to let the court process play out independently.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.

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Trudeau government dropped the ball on fighting abuse in sport, former minister says

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A Liberal MP and former sport minister is again calling for a public inquiry into abuse in sport — and is accusing her own government of not doing enough to tackle the problem.

Kirsty Duncan said the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to build momentum behind her efforts to prevent harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport in the years after she left cabinet — despite knowing a lot about the problem well before Hockey Canada’s handling of sexual assault allegations exploded in the news last year.

Duncan said she even faced “pushback” from people within her own government when she made tackling abuse a top priority of her time as sport minister.

Duncan said she would not identify the individuals who resisted her efforts, or state whether they were in her own office or other government departments.

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“It should not be a fight. I’m asking for the protection of athletes and children. There should never have been pushback,” Duncan told CBC News in an exclusive interview.

“I will not stand idly by while there are athletes, children and young people hurting in this country. And I do not accept the status quo. And if I do not push for an inquiry, it means accepting the status quo. And I will not be complicit.”

On Thursday, Duncan announced she’s taking medical leave effective immediately on the advice of doctors to deal with a physical health challenge.

Duncan was not re-appointed to cabinet by Trudeau after the 2019 election. She was instead appointed deputy House leader for the government.

Trudeau dropped the position of sport minister from cabinet at the time and folded Duncan’s responsibilities into the portfolio of the heritage minister, Steven Guilbeault.

Guilbeault’s ministerial mandate letter — which outlined his key policy objectives — charged him with fostering a culture of safe sport.

‘Other priorities’

In response to questions from CBC about the progress Guilbeault made on that mandate, his office pointed to a Sport Canada timeline of safe sport initiatives in the country.

The department launched a call for proposals to implement a new independent safe sport mechanism in 2020. In July 2021, Guilbeault announced that the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) would receive up to $2.1 million to set up a new mechanism to oversee implementation of a new universal code of conduct in sport.

Then-minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault responds to a question in the House of Commons on Nov. 3, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

A senior government source with knowledge of Guilbeault’s portfolio concedes “other priorities required more attention” when he was heritage minister. Guilbeault’s legislative priorities at the time including confronting online abuse, digital streaming regulation and copyright reform.

The source, who spoke to CBC News on the condition of confidentiality, said the department’s priorities shifted when the pandemic hit in March 2020, just four months after Guilbeault was appointed minister. The source said they “totally understand” Duncan’s claim that more could have been done on safe sport.

“Since 2016, our government has worked with the sport community to advance a respectful sport culture and respond to calls for action,” Guilbeault’s office wrote in an email to CBC News.

 

Former sports minister says leaders ‘want to do better on preventing abuse in sport

 

Former sport minister and Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan says leaders in sports ‘welcome scrutiny.”

Duncan said she felt her safe sport initiatives were not given the attention they deserved after she left the office.

“There was nothing in place. There was literally nothing. There didn’t even seem to be policies. Some had policies, some didn’t,” she said. “Where was the oversight? Where was the accountability?

“I think what we’ve seen over the last four years, and we’ve certainly seen this summer, is that there remains a hugely disappointing resistance to change.”

Current Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge was asked about Duncan’s claim that the government isn’t doing enough to protect athletes in the country.

“I can tell you that we’re taking it extremely seriously,” she told CBC News.

“That’s why we’ve invested $16 million in the last budget just to create the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner, because we felt it was so important to have that independent mechanism. I’m also making it mandatory for all nationally funded organizations to sign up with those before the next funding cycle.

“So any organization that hasn’t protected their athletes by signing up with OSIC will no longer receive the whole funding. That’s the strongest tool that I have. So yes, we are taking this extremely, extremely seriously.”

 

Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge says government taking safe sport file ‘extremely seriously’

 

Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge says her office made it mandatory for nationally funded organizations to sign up with the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner in order to receive government funding.

Just weeks after Duncan was named sport minister in January 2018, an investigation by CBC News revealed that at least 222 coaches involved in amateur sports over 20 years had been convicted of sex offences involving over 600 victims under age 18.

Duncan — a former gymnast who said she experienced emotional and psychological abuse herself as an athlete — said she was shaken by that report.

She introduced a number of measures — “broad strokes,” she calls them now — such as a third-party investigation unit and a national toll-free confidential helpline for victims and witnesses of abuse in sport. She also brought territorial and provincial sport ministers together in February 2019 to sign a declaration aimed at tackling and preventing harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport.

“I knew I had to address the grassroots. That’s where most athletes will spend their life,” Duncan said.

“Safe sport needs to be on every federal, provincial, territorial meeting year after year after year, with real goals and deliverables. I talked a lot about numbers. How can we address a problem if we don’t know what that problem looks like?”

Reluctance in government

In the 2019 federal budget, the government committed $30 million over five years “to enable Canadian sports organizations to promote accessible, ethical, equitable and safe sports.”

But Duncan says there was a climate of resistance to policies she was introducing, both within and outside the government.

“I don’t think people understood the problem. There wasn’t a lot of interest in Parliament. I asked what we were doing and I was told that we had to stop this safe sport stuff and get back to what sport was really about,” she said, referring to celebrating sporting achievements.

“My answer was, ‘So not protecting children?'”

CBC News reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office but they declined to comment.

‘Resistance in the system’: Duncan said Hockey Canada resisted attempt to investigate allegations of abuse

 

Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan says there shouldn’t be any “pushback” from organizations over investigating claims of abuse from athletes.

Duncan said a three-page letter sent by Hockey Canada to one of her senior policy advisers reflects the tone of the opposition she faced.

The letter, first reported by the Canadian Press, was written by Glen McCurdie, then Hockey Canada’s vice-president of insurance and risk management. In it, McCurdie expressed concern about some of the policies Duncan was pursuing, including the third-party investigation unit.

Glen McCurdie, Hockey Canada’s former vice-president of insurance and risk management, appears as a witness at the standing committee on Canadian Heritage in Ottawa on July 27, 2022. The committee was looking into how Hockey Canada handled allegations of sexual assault and a subsequent lawsuit. (The Canadian Press)

Duncan said she never saw the letter four years ago and only read it for the first time this past summer, when the Hockey Canada controversy was playing out.

“Hockey Canada does not wish to be encumbered by a system or process that ties our hands and does not allow us to manage a situation as we deem necessary. We are simply asking that you keep this in mind as you continue to lead us in a collective Safe Sport strategy,” McCurdie wrote in the letter, which was also obtained by CBC News.

Duncan said she was frustrated in 2019 by Hockey Canada’s reluctance and remains just as frustrated today.

“Hockey Canada pushed back against a third party investigator and a safe sport helpline. Who would do that?” she said. “Who wouldn’t want a child to be able to pick up a phone and say, ‘I’ve had a problem’?

“I think people want to sweep this under the rug. I think people want to move on. And we can’t.”

In an email to CBC, Hockey Canada said the 2019 letter does not reflect the organization’s current thinking or direction.

“Hockey Canada recognizes that we need to do more to foster a safe and positive environment for all participants on and off the ice,” the organization wrote.

Hockey Canada said the organization participated in the government’s safe sport helpline and hired third-party investigators to look into the claims it received. Hockey Canada became a full signatory in October 2022 to the Office of the Sport Integrity Commission, which is now responsible for overseeing and investigating allegations of abuse in sport.

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