A Well-Paid Job - The Best Method of Self-Improvement  

Marlyn Glen

9 April 2014

Self-help books are a large money-spinning industry.

They offer the prospect that simple changes in life style will motivate the stressed, the anxious and the depressed to become confident enough to turn their lives round for the better in a new world of everlasting opportunities.

Some may carry a proviso of self-protection that failure to achieve the happy goals that self-help offers could be a personal failing on the part of readers such as, “Are you holding yourself back?”

Last month brought unwelcome news for those who believe that “positive thinking” and “will power” are the main keys to self-improvement and higher self-esteem.

European studies have found that office workers in Britain top the league for stress in Europe .

Only 13 per cent of them in Britain say that they are not affected by stress or workload.

The majority of these office workers are women

This compares poorly with an average for Europe of 42 per cent, with over 60 per cent of French and  Danish workers reporting no stress at work and coping well with workload. 

Individual women have had no control over the economic forces of austerity that have brought about job cuts in the public sector and a steep decline in living standards that have seen stress levels soar.

The things that are holding women back include not being able to find a suitable job, needing more hours of work, the worrying cost of childcare.

 The absurdity of the cost of childcare being so high as to make it prohibitive for many mothers to work has made it a major political issue for women and for the economy.

None of these situations that are holding back individual women can be overcome by collective “positive thinking” and “will power” .

Similarly if 100 people apply for one job, the unsuccessful 99 should not blame themselves for a lack of “determination” or “belief in oneself”.

They should blame government and its policy that has seen countless thousands of jobs vanish.

The best self-help is the job that pays well and is supported by affordable childcare.


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