Top Tens

Yes yes, your monthly top ten. Ten things we have mostly been reading over the last week, all of which could improve our capacity to survive work.

1. We know unemployment is rising in the recession, but so is underemployment. This is where people would like to work more hours than they are being offered by their employers. Underemployment is particularly concentrated among young people, where 20% are unemployed, but an additional 30% say they’d like to work more.

2. When you are un- or under-employed does doing a bit of temping help? This report looked at whether this was a helpful way to get back into employment, and the evidence is mixed.

3. Could happily have ignored the whole Thatcher hoopla completely but loved this piece from Glenda Jackson’s son about her controversial speech in the House of Commons: “Mum did to Maggie what she did to Kermit”.

4. You might be a bit annoyed reading this next one, but I actually find it comforting. It makes me trust my judgement a bit more and not feel I’m failing that ‘we can all be happy if we just put our minds into it’ test: the more you earn the happier you are, money does indeed buy you happiness.

5. However helpfully this does away with that ‘all my friends are more popular than me’ concern, happily it’s not you, it’s the maths.

6. It’s easy in as complicated an organisation as the NHS to get focused on reforms when thinking about how to improve it. But NHS services users think that listening to those of us that use it more would be the main thing that would help.

7. The percentage of a family’s weekly income that goes on food continues to grow. These photos show families from around the world, what they eat in a week and what it costs them. In Sudan feeding four generations costs 79p whereas a German family spends £320 on their food

8. It is now the done thing for business leaders to seek to justify their outrageous salaries by reminding us about how hard they work. So they each claim to start their day earlier and earlier –  3.30am Power Pilates anyone? However research shows that it’s those at the other end of the salary scales that really get the least sleep.

9. Rituals and talismans feel particularly powerful in times of stress. And this piece says that one in three students wears lucky exam underwear. It seems though we should rely on them too much. As an ‘expert’ helpfully says “charms and rituals were no substitute for proper revision” and sadly we should probably apply that to other situations too.

10. Lastly, some problems in life are just so terribly . . . middle class

Now its your turn. Help us set up the first online Surviving Work Library by sending us your tips to @survivingwk, [email protected] or dropping us a comment

This will not make you thinner or richer but it will make you a lot more attractive to potentially the entire human race. Go on, its just a click man.

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