Australians Don’t Want A Four-Day Working Week

Read Global News Sydney

With Greens leader Richard Di Natale spearheading the recent proposal of shifting to a four-day working week or a six-hour working day, many Australians were thrilled by the future prospect.

However, is this future idea just a very luring distraction from the fact that maybe many of us just hate our jobs, and that it has nothing to do with the amount of time that we are working?

According to SEEK Learning’s 2016 survey, more than half of Australians are unhappy with their jobs. This suggests that it’s not necessarily the number of hours comprised in a working week that we should be questioning, but rather the need to put our attention into building sustainable career pathways, that nurture Australians both mentally and financially.

An individual’s work and career should be about fostering their happiness and livelihood, it shouldn’t just be viewed as the requirement for financial survival.

So perhaps we need to turn away from the rigid and cautious approach of chasing a paycheck or a career that has a lot of job opportunities, and let individuals take back control and steer their career towards their passions.

If you do what you love, why would you even talk about work-life balance? Monday should be your favourite day.

I meet people on a daily basis who are in a certain field because it’s “what their parents want them to do” or “it’s what society expected of me” but are these people happy? Most likely, these are the individuals whose ears pricked up with the mention of a four-day work week.

If you do what you love, why would you even talk about work-life balance?

Too often, people find themselves trapped in a job that doesn’t fulfil them. But if you enjoy doing something, you don’t view it as work. Ever wondered why business owners and entrepreneurs work around the clock, sometimes over 60 hours a week? They probably couldn’t think of anything worse than a shorter working day, because they’re passionate about what they do on a day-to-day basis.

Recently I met a man who was pursuing an economics and finance degree at university, but when I asked him what he was passionate about, he answered “gaming and marketing”.

When asked why he was studying the opposite, his rationale was that he would be able to manage his money more effectively later in life, when perhaps he’s got a lot of it. Why use a good part of one’s life accruing future debt on a university degree that’s only intended to get you by for a fleeting stint in the industry?

It seems backwards that many Australian’s are adopting the mindset that they’ll steer towards a career that they love and want to do later on in life.

Ever wondered why business owners and entrepreneurs work around the clock, sometimes over 60 hours a week? They probably couldn’t think of anything worse than a shorter working day, because they’re passionate about what they do on a day-to-day basis.

With the responsibilities of mortgage repayments, raising families and covering increasing expenses, the problem is whether Australian’s can afford to have this attitude.

There is a high risk that Australian’s may never find a ‘right’ or ‘good’ time for a career change, and may lose the option to chase work that’s meaningful to them altogether.

According to Seek, 38 percent of Australians intend to change jobs within the next 12 months, but only 23 percent are expected to actually make the change.

If you still don’t know what makes you happy, perhaps consider taking a self-awareness course or spend some time self-evaluating, but don’t get carried away with the prospect of fewer work hours in a day or a shorter week.

Figure out what you really want out of your work and what will make you happy; then simply go for it. If you wait for the ‘right’ time, you’ll be waiting for a long time.

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Domenic Saporito is the Co-Founder of Outcome.Life, which specialises in empowering international students through independent advice and help, planning for life after study.