Sunday, 4 December 2011

Thought for the Day: Increasing Control

I wholeheartedly commend my colleagues who caused that emperor of sensitivity, Jeremy Clarkson, to get himself in a pickle,  and were moved by their personal beliefs to take action during Wednesday's industrial action.  However, after a great deal of thought which involved weighing so many factors in the balance, I chose not to strike myself.  The deciding factor was that I'm uncomfortable, as  someone providing frontline services in the NHS, about withdrawing my labour and potentially affecting people in crisis.

It's true that public sector jobs often confer benefits that seem rather favourable to a lot of employees in the private sector.  My sick pay this year has been generous and what came as a shock to me when I arrived in the NHS was that I'm allowed to claim my annual leave back if I'm certified sick during the time it's booked.  It means that I'll be working a four day week for the rest of the year which is doing wonders for my convalescence.

Along with a lot of people in graduate entry jobs though, I don't have a lot of power to affect my earnings by the fruits of my labour.  There's no share options or bonuses to mark achievement.  Once I'm employed at a certain grade I can just bimble along doing the bare minimum required, or as I hope I do, provide a service that is way over and above what is expected of me.  The relatively generous benefits package makes up for lack of immediate financial gratification.  But as the current  pension reform plans show, the right to these perks are not set in stone.  Many public sector employees, especially those who have worked long term in this environment, have been hit hard by this realisation and, because of their lack of experience in dealing with things from a commercial perspective, feel powerless to take action that will counter the effects of unpleasant change.

I'm not feeling optimistic that strike action or anything else that we, in the public sector, do can preserve the status quo.  So what I am doing is looking at ways in which I can increase my own control over my economic destiny.  Taking back responsibility for how I invest my hard earned cash rather than relinquishing that responsibility to fund managers is one approach I'm taking.  I'm also honing my commercial skills  through the medium of my teeny tiny business.  Turnover in November, my first month of trading, a shade over £200.  Not a fortune but from tiny acorns oak trees grow!

1 comment:

  1. I shall make no comment about the strike action since it did not affect me in any way other than to say that I applaud your action.

    As to your tiny business, £200 turnover is not too bad a figure, I just wish that it was that much profit for you.