When I was young my parents cajoled me into working hard at school by saying “If you don’t work hard, you’ll end up in a dead end job.” Looking back now in later life where my last five jobs have been dead end jobs I’m not sure I share their horror of what they tried to save me from. I say that because there are worse things in life than dead end jobs. A dead end job makes few demands of you; you have little if any responsibility and if things go wrong, generally speaking someone else has to sort it out. And if you don’t like the job you can always exchange it for another dead end job. On the down side the pay is always poor and the hours can be unsocial.
I think it is different for young people though. To be starting your working life in a dead end job is never a good thing. With years of working life ahead of you, you need something to aspire for and aim for even if it is only acquiring skills and experience that can help you towards a job that does have prospects and possibilities.
The nature of employment has changed considerably. A job for life barely exists now. People change jobs regularly. Contracts – if you are lucky enough to have one – are weighted heavily in favour of the employer. A scandalous thing called a zero hours contract is becoming widely used. And this week we heard how a university graduate was made to dance at a job interview for a sales assistant post with an electronics superstore. Has the world gone crazy? I worked in retail for almost 20 years and trust me I never danced once in all those years!