I think everyone is experiencing a bit of work-related stress because of the current state of the U.S. economy. I work for the government, so we’re not as prone to layoffs, which is nice, but we do have a number of people in temporary positions, and as people move on to other jobs, we aren’t hiring new people, which translates to an increase in work without an increase in pay. I am taking on all the job responsibilities of one former coworker and half of the responsibilities of another. In addition to my normal work. But at least I still get paid.
I know a number of people who have been laid off, and I know a number of people who have managed to survive layoffs. I’ve noticed an interesting trend with those who still have their jobs. They are, of course, very thankful to have made the cut (though worried they might not make the next round of cuts), but they’re also stressed about their new work environment. Many people have lost valued coworkers and have had friends laid off, and they realize that they’re lucky to still have a job. But at the same time, they’re dealing with the added stress of doing the work of two or three people. And they don’t feel like they have the right to complain, because at least they still have a job, right?
It definitely has to be a tough situation to be in. Yes, it’s a wonderful thing to keep your job. But having to take on a lot of additional work and stress and also try to keep up with your friends who have lost their jobs can be very taxing, both physically and emotionally. And in my opinion, people in these situations have a right to vent. True, at least they have jobs. But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t get the chance to voice their frustrations at their new situation.
It’s a strange situation to be in. But I think that maybe we need to cut the survivors a bit of slack.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.