800,000 missing more than their paychecks

Written by Tim Waldo, UT CIS Workforce Development Consultant
Originally posted on https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/800000-missing-more-than-paychecks-tim-w…

Jobs matter. If you’ve ever been without one, you know the inescapable truth of this. The necessity of making a living obviously includes earning money, but being without a paycheck is only one aspect of the difficulties caused by being out of work.

Workforce development is among the many services my team at the University of Tennessee Center For Industrial Services offers manufacturers across our state. We do this not just for economic reasons, but because we are part of the Institute for Public Service. We know how important jobs are to individuals, to families and communities and to the prosperity and well being of our state. As the ongoing government shutdown unfolds, perhaps it is a good time to reconsider and appreciate all that comes wrapped up in our day-to-day routines involved with going to work.

Even if your job is not your calling in life, going to work every day provides a level of stability, and even a temporary disruption of that stability can potentially cause more than just a little aggravation. You know the plan. You’re sure of what your week is going to be like so there’s less stress. Knowing the pervasive effects of stress, less is a good thing.   

Many times, we have friends at work and these colleagues are often a great source of encouragement and support for life inside and outside of work. The power of relationships is generally ranked as one of the top 10 reasons employees give if they feel engaged at work. The interruption of those relationships, even for a short duration, could potentially cause unwelcomed issues.

How disruptive it is to be unexpectedly put on hold? Having a project that is suddenly suspended or some important work that cannot be finished because they are unable to get back to work can cause frustration for many.

Jobs do matter. The implications of being out of work, even if it is temporary, can affect people in a number of ways. I believe that we are created to work. It gives us an opportunity to use the gifts and talents we’ve been given to make a difference. We get fulfillment from accomplishing something. By building things, helping others, protecting people and all the other ways we live out our vocation, we get a sense of satisfaction, a sense that we have contributed. Some people actually can get anxious and experience depression if they don’t feel they’ve achieved these things.

A paid vacation is a great thing…an unplanned, unpaid and unwelcomed vacation is difficult for a variety of reasons. It has been encouraging to see food pantries, various charities and many others reaching out to these families as the shutdown drags on. But keep in mind that every day another 800,000 of our friends and neighbors could be grappling with additional stress, with separation from important relationships and with levels of frustration that can surely compound the issues that are caused by a missed paycheck. 

Tags Workforce Development