I’ve been working since I was 16 years old. I would work every summer with the government youth program. I would work for 6 weeks and at the end be given a lump sum. This meant that I would work across a lot of industries. When I migrated to Canada, I worked in the telecommunications industry mainly, the beverage market, stadium/event operations, retail and online security. My ultimate goal is the healthcare field, but a few things are slowing that goal down. Throughout my last part-time job, a few things really came to fold with what a good job entails. The amount of young people working there did not know better. They were so happy for a paycheck, they definitely didn’t realize just how bad the company was to them. It had might as well been a ‘cash job’ but I believe it had to maintain an air of sophistication due to the industry. This in part was why our uniforms made us look like officials but without any real gratification to the role. The longer I worked there the more the place seemed like a bad joke to me because management did not even make an attempt to have values or respect anyone. I had a conversation with someone who used this role as a part-time job while maintaining a full-time job with a reputable company and we confirmed the facts that made it a night and day experience.
We also both agreed that the job that paid absolutely nothing for their workers demanded so much more. It was a literal gap in our realities that confirmed that companies can do so much more but don’t intentionally. So, what makes a company decent? The obvious answer is benefits. We often act as though companies need us and should pay to keep us but do you not need the job as well? I’ve been unemployed twice and neither times found me living my best life. In fact, one instance caused me to blow through my savings and ‘rainy day’ fund. In both instances though, I learned to live on a minimal budget and a somewhat mediocre life by society’s standards. The lesson for life was that people always spend unnecessarily and way too much instead of saving. A splurge here and there resets me honestly, but gone are my days of flashing cards in the mall and adding skewers of prime meats to meals I know I won’t even be able to finish! Oh youth! Anyway, back to the topic at hand. What makes a company worthwhile? When looking for employment, ask what companies pay for their employees. Also ask, what is the culture like, how they handle feedback and manage emergencies.
A decent company pays for vacation days by letting you bank the hours and not pay what you accrue on your bi-weekly pay check. This is a lack of understanding for human behavior because if anything, companies manage people’s weaknesses first. Plus, do you really put that $20 or so away every time? Most people don’t even check for it. Legal dogma if you will. As if you do take a vacation, knowing you won’t be getting a regular pay check, you worry your time away anyway.
They will also provide benefits if not immediately, but after a 3-month probationary period. Anything beyond that is corporate greed. It takes a lot to condition something as unpredictable as life to meet a set schedule every week, week after week. In addition, health changes and degrades as we get older. There are occupational hazards to certain jobs and working without support is very hard, not to mention when you have a family. Not to mention, a lot of insurance companies formulate benefits plans to meet company needs. You are literally able to choose what you would like covered and don’t want; essentially controlling the cost.