We live in a society in which we feel we must “work” hard, check enough boxes and accomplish a certain amount of activity before we can consider ourselves satisfied. Moving from a place of productivity based on piece on physical production to work based on intellect and strategy from my observation lead to mental health issues.
The factory worker and the CEO hold vastly different measurements of production. Producing a certain number of accurate parts verses a job based on delegation and decision are night and day. That said; I believe most humans with average brain functioning can most likely attain and succeed in any occupation. The difference is the type of work and social programming that has taken place throughout the person’s life.
Someone who went to college, maybe on to grad school may never work in an environment in which manual labor is required. This individual is programmed to only understand that he or she was hired for their knowledge of a certain field and not to work as those who are laborers and technicians. For the white collar worker it would seem a waist of their ability to contribute to the work of operating a machine, fixing a car or building something. Of course the white collar worker is capable of such work it would become mentally awkward. The blue collar worker also could perform the functions of their white collar counterparts if placed in such a role yet just as the white collar would find it awkward so would the blue collar worker who is now performing the duties of a corporate director.
The problem lies in the social engineering that has taken place. A CEO who gets fired probably will not go apply as a construction worker even if the job gave him or her living wage. Also the blue collar worker probably would not apply for the dismissed CEO’s positon as they may feel inadequate. Are they inadequate? I doubt it, what I do believe is two types of programming which has shaped their life and contribution to society. who
There may be a real correlation between depression and persons who have placed themselves outside of their definition of work. Some say that happiness is the end of all things. A person may find themselves in a higher paying job or a job that does not meet their intellectual needs and find discouragement. Both persons will never be able to perform enough “work” to be satisfied as both look at completion differently. The blue collar worker working a white collar job may spend every waking moment of their lives in their new position trying to produce without slowing down. Of course not everything can be accomplished in a day or a week. Working in white collar fields involves working with humans who are all bringing a variety of complex issues. This inability to feel accomplished could create severe depression. The same with the white collar worker who is now in a factory; this worker is continually frustrated with the way the operation is conducted without the authority to change the operation. The lack of operational freedom may bring about frustration leading to a lack of fulfillment.
Most people are in awe of why so many very successful people commit suicide especially among the entertainment industry. These individuals do not answer to supervisors and many have come from a blue collar background. They believe work involves production of something tangible. They may never be able to create enough music, movies, art etc. Drugs and alcohol are common as even though their bank accounts are filled, their hearts are empty.
Moving up and down the ladder between the blue collar and white can create a psychological shift which causes more harm than the money is worth. That said transition is possible and through proper self-care and realization that both types of work are important to the contribution to society.
Companies could do more to train those being promoted into a different dynamic. Those who find themselves in instant success should in my opinion see a therapist to work through the major life change that follows. The same should be said of those who have been dismissed from white collar positions and are now working in the manual fields.