I’ve recently run into an issue where my morals and ethics are being challenged by the work-system which I’m in. I love to work, I enjoy being busy, interacting with lots of people and extending my abilities by working across a variety of tasks (thanks for reading my CV, please do feel free to hire me). However, what happens when a work environment or routine challenges your morals and ethics? And how in all heck does this have anything to do with being queer? (Gosh, us queer people really do make everything about our sexuality~)
I think that the issue of having a stubborn, passion-fuelled set of morals and values arises from years of being invalidated and of having to fight for my rights. For me, this hasn’t been merely a struggle to be validated as a queer person but also as a person with a severe mental health disability from a working class background. Anyone from a minority group or from a tough background will understand what it is to have to battle every day in order to simply exist. After a lifetime of fighting for my rights I struggle to let go of anything which is important to me or which defines my identity in some way.
Allow me to explain a little about my present situation, the way in which it’s interfering with my morals and values and the impact this is having on my mental health.
It’s important to note that I have previously worked very low-paid, part-time positions which suit my need to dedicate substantial portions of my time to charity work, therapy and recreational things (reading, playing music, writing songs, hanging out with friends). I have always known that I didn’t want a 9-5 job (and I have to admit, I’m feeling so overwhelmed currently that I’m not sure why I took one on). My current work means that I have no time to set aside for my volunteer position with a local charity, it also means that I’m staying up way too late to type these blog posts. Without going into too much detail, my job involves elements of large-scale marketing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe in small-scale marketing and think that it’s absolutely necessary in order to drive this economy which society is so dependent upon. However, when it comes to sales for the sake of competition, without pausing to think about the ethical impact, I struggle to find any moment of my waking life where I agree with that.
In my everyday experiences my morals and values are also being tested, not directly by work but by the nature of my work schedule. The biggest change I’ve had to make is my day-to-day interaction(s) with people. I usually stop and speak to local homeless people in the cities I mostly because I know what it’s like to not have a home or anyone to talk to. Currently I have to run from the train to my job either end of the day and I have no extra time to be able to do the things which make me feel like a valuable human being. I’ve also found myself having no time for friends or family and aside from these posts, no time for myself.
Before I close out this blog post I’d like to add that I appreciate the privilege I have in having a job (even a temp job), however, in my former minimum-wage position I was happier, healthier and had more time to focus my attention on the things which are important to me.
I’d like to know what you think about this- how far are you willing to push your morals and ethics in order to maintain a job? Have you found a work/life balance which suits you?- AB