World, Writing, Wealth discussion

78 views
All Things Writing & Publishing > You don't like your job? Write a book

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments That's a fact that most people don't like or even hate their job. Many polls show that the percentage of dissatisfied employees may go as high as 90%. Here are some examples worldwide and from the UK:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadam...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jo...
I think one of the reasons for indie revolution, which corresponds with what many authors say here on GR, is the above dissatisfaction. Just like reading is an escape for some from boring reality, likewise is writing, which gives people an opportunity to do something more exciting and many hope is capable at some stage to render their day job unnecessary (well, not likely).
Do you think the above motivation is a major factor for indie revolution?


message 2: by Mike (new)

Mike Robbins (mikerobbins) | 264 comments Interesting links. It would be good to know why so many people hate their work, but I suppose that is another topic!

Yes, I think you are right. For so many people who feel unfulfilled at work, writing is an outlet for their creativity. In fact several fellow-writers have told me that they are bored with, or actively dislike, what they do for a living.


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments Hi Mike and welcome to the group!
Hope you'll enjoy and I'm sure that with your diverse, global and unique experience you'll contribute a lot.
'Why' is a question that preoccupies many: from HR managers to sociologists and economists. This is an interesting issue per se and I think I'll open a thread for it and share my own vision as to the possible answer(s). However, if you or anyone, feels like touching it here, it's also fine..


message 4: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2145 comments My background is retail and it has struck me over the years that mid-level management as a whole has grown weaker and weaker. Department managers are the ones driving the company and it has gotten so difficult to even find competent people to fills those jobs that companies refuse to promote competent people. Incompetent store managers do less damage than incompetent department heads, so since it has become next to impossible to fire incompetent employees these days, it's easier to promote the incompetence.

I worked for one small chain some years ago where even the owner thought our store manager was a total idiot, and I'm left wondering how that guy had a job, never mind why was he running a store.

Another chain I worked for, the district manager was willing to lose all his best people from one store over an idiot manager who even the customers complained about. But it went right down the chain...the manager himself drove his best people away and preferred to surround himself with weak department heads. An assistant manager thought the weakest department head on his staff was his "star employee."

It's not just that you have growing idiocy in the workplace, but these supervisors end up pushing out those who perform, in a sense because it makes them look bad when their own numbers don't measure up. the subconscious feeling tends to be to surround yourself with people who are weaker so you have a ready scapegoat when your numbers are called into question.


message 5: by Mike (new)

Mike Robbins (mikerobbins) | 264 comments That is an interesting insight into the psychology of management.

I don't work in retail but I know that it is a fast-moving business where, if things go wrong, they go wrong quickly. Two or three major retail chains have collapsed in Britain lately because they haven't adapted to changing customer needs, and to do that needs good leadership.


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments J.J. wrote: "the subconscious feeling tends to be to surround yourself with people who are weaker so you have a ready scapegoat when your numbers are called into question....."

That rings true...
In an organization that has a clear vertical management, the quality of mid-level may be not that detrimental, as the big boss decides on every vital issue, but in corporations with a more horizontal structure, where senior/mid-level has a great deal of independence, their inadequacy can be disastrous ...


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments Mike wrote: "Two or three major retail chains have collapsed in Britain lately because they haven't adapted to changing customer needs, and to do that needs good leadership. ."

Not only in Britain. Happens often to retails chains. Rising e-commerce and 'defensive' customers' behavior may pose quite a challenge to this industry


message 8: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2145 comments Mike wrote: "That is an interesting insight into the psychology of management.

I don't work in retail but I know that it is a fast-moving business where, if things go wrong, they go wrong quickly. Two or three..."


And if you listen to or read the press releases these companies usually put out, often they blame external factors. Target made a disastrous push into Canada, but they blame wasn't placed on the man responsible for leading Target Canada. Companies that have gone under over the years often blame competition or a shifting environment, but that is just an excuse for management that can't adapt to the every-shifting environment. Too many people are too comfortable, and most of these managers don't try to go after customers, they simply expect the company's brand to bring the customer to them.

Also consider Sears Holdings. Despite having some strong brands under their umbrella, the company has been on deathwatch for a some years now. Customers constantly tell them their stores are old, dirty, stuck in the 1980s, but their corporate management has their heads buried in the sand and think the solution is to close stores and streamline the operation. Now they're looking to sell the Craftsman and Kenmore brands. Their strategy is not one used by companies that last, but by those that go extinct. At the same time, what are the individual store managers doing to help? Maybe they can't push their bosses into a remodel, but they can put someone out in the store with a broom, a mop, a vacuum cleaner. They can at least wipe down shelves. For years, it's been those store managers allowing the conditions within their stores to deteriorate. I know you can't expect the staff within the stores to care if Corporate doesn't care, but similarly, Corporate isn't going to invest money in a manager's domain if that manager doesn't care to maintain their store once they're handed a brand new store.


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) (t_k_elliott) I'm lucky enough to be in a job that I love (at the moment). Office. Computer. Kettle. Manager provides cookies and doughnuts because I've got him convinced that if these are not forthcoming, my work rate will suffer. (Mwahahahahaaa!!!!)

I think you might have something, though. There's the idea of the author as someone with the best job in the world: get up when you want, work in your pyjamas if you want, and get paid for making stuff up. A great life! So, if you hate your job, maybe you could have a new career as a writer? With the bonus that you can kill your awful boss without even getting arrested. Better yet, you can kill him multiple times, in different ways, if you write a series.

As for incompetent managers, yep, worked for those. One place I worked was run by women, all of whom had children, and worked part time. The one guy on the management team was completely frozen out - and he was the only one who actually cared about running the place properly. And, of course, no way would you get promotion unless you were in the mothers' club. It was one of the last straws for me when we were told "People without children will be expected to volunteer to stay late so that those with children can go on time or early."

When people talk about the "Old Boys' Club", they need to remember that the "in-crowd" can take many forms, not limited to one gender or by school attendance...

I took great pleasure in leaving just at the most difficult time of the year.

And, of course, we can look at the opposite end of the spectrum: Amazon. Amazon's business model is to give the customer what they want, when they want it, at a good price. Unsurprisingly, they've been very successful in most things, but have been willing to back off from initiatives that didn't go so well.

Apple is another success story: they rely on providing an excellent luxury product with features that are actually useful. I don't think it's an accident that the iPhone didn't get NFC until Apple was able to launch Apple Pay, or that Apple was late to the smartwatch party. They know that it's a waste of time and money to put a product on the market before the technology or the support is there to make it a good product. So Apple Pay coincides with a massive uptick in contactless payment, and the Apple Watch becomes the first smartwatch that really hits the mainstream.

You might not like Apple or Amazon, but you have to agree that they are brilliant at what they do, because they keep their eye on the goal: providing what the customer wants (or needs), not what they think the customer ought to buy.


message 10: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments J.J. wrote: "and most of these managers don't try to go after customers, they simply expect the company's brand to bring the customer to them....."

I, for myself, try to avoid buying at the stores, where I don't get a 'customer-wanted' vibe. And there are a few stores that I don't go to, because of the managers who lack any sense of customer care


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments T. K. Elliott wrote: "You might not like Apple or Amazon, but you have to agree that they are brilliant at what they do, because they keep their eye on the goal: providing what the customer wants (or needs), not what they think the customer ought to buy. "

I think a lot of their success is attributable directly to Jobs and Bezos personally. Both corporations are notoriously known for 'hands-on' management by the above. Don't know about Cook's style though...


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) (t_k_elliott) Absolutely. Neither of them sat back and just watched the money roll in. I haven't read much about Jobs, but from what I've gathered, he was a genius when it came to development - but not necessarily that easy to work with, or for. Still, whatever his personal qualities, he turned Apple around.

Bezos, I read about an interview with him quite recently. The interviewer asked him about Amazon's venture into film-making, and Bezos was clear that no, Amazon was not about to become another Netflix. The films were more like an inducement for people to buy more shoes etc. Get them into the store... His philosophy was also to stick to the main goal, but not sweat the details. He would, apparently, only give up when the last important opinion-holder folded and agreed the idea was a failure.

But I think the major point with both of them is that they know exactly what they're doing, and they've got their priorities very clear (and correct). Bezos is not going to be distracted by film-making, because Amazon's major strength is as a retailer. Film-making is in service to retail, not the other way around.

What do you think?


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments T. K. Elliott wrote: "But I think the major point with both of them is that they know exactly what they're doing, and they've got their priorities very clear (and correct)...."

Well, last time I checked Jeff owed me around 40 bucks, some pounds, a little bit of Euros and some Australian dollars, so I might not be 100% objective -:) Seriously, it's just this threshold thing, that I need to pass 100 in each currency and in each market to get my royalties, drives me crazy. I sold 1 book a year in the Netherlands. What are my chances to sell another 40-50 books there to achieve the threshold?
There are people that their deeds have a clear impact on the mankind. One of them was Jobs, who could tell to the bunch of his managers, consultants, etc, that we are concentrating on Iphone. Wikipedia mentions it rather matter-of-factly: "In April 2003 at the "All Things Digital" executive conference, Jobs expressed his belief that tablet PCs and traditional PDAs were not good choices as high-demand markets for Apple to enter, despite many requests made to him that Apple create another PDA. He did believe that cell phones were going to become important devices for portable information access, and that what mobile phones needed to have was excellent synchronization software." But this Jobs's belief had brought hundreds of billions of dollars to Apple.and further from WP "... On June 11, 2007 announced at the Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference that iPhone would support third-party applications using the Safari engine on the device."
Maybe Elon Musk is made of the same mold.....
As of perspective, the cell, tablet and similar industries are so volatile that it'll need a lot of effort, talent and genius to stay on top, more so when Korean, Chinese and Japanese manufactures put up a tough competition. And less than 1 billion payable by Sumsung to Apple for patent infringements doesn't sound like adequate, especially when you compare to 140 mil. awarded to Hulk Hogan v. Gawker. So not only you need to be a genius, you need also to be prepared that competitors would follow suit immediately by hook and by crook.
Who remembers now that Nokia was top of the world a decade or so ago? And where is it now? One, two wrong decisions and Apple may feel a little less comfortable, especially since they and their shareholders are 'hooked' now on very 'heavy' billion streams of income.
Re Amazon: I'm also not sure. I do believe e-commerce is wiping out malls and trad stores, but here I think Jeff might have a few weaknesses. I order myself a lot of stuff through internet, lately using almost solely AliExpress and much less Amazon and Ebay. The reason? Free delivery. I don't want to pay 100$ to become 'Amazon Prime' and enjoy free deliveries. That's a good hook, because, whoever paid it would likely make the most of these 100 bucks, trying to buy as much as possible on Amazon, but that's a 'membership' business, more than retail. As of ebooks, I don't think the big players have turned their attention to this niche and, if and when, they do, Amazon's glory might become a little less shining. But Jeff, as opposed to Steve, is alive, smart and ready, and may well be able to steer his ship into the right direction.
Don't know Netflix, so unfortunately ... no comments


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) (t_k_elliott) Of course, it's not just the ability to make the right decision every time that is important - it's the ability to recognise when you've made the wrong one, and fix it.

That's another thing that sets Jeff Bezos apart - the Amazon Fire phone tanked, and you didn't see him flogging a dead phone. Amazon has moved on. I don't think they'll ever achieve 100% market dominance, and that's a good thing. Competition keeps people on their toes, and a wise businessperson pays attention to what the competition does - and if it's a good idea, copies it ASAP.

While it's a good thing for a business to recognise failure (Amazon Fire phone, Google Glass) and walk away, it's also good to recognise where the market is going (Nokia...) and follow it.

Yes, Amazon's position in the ebook world might well change if other big players get involved. But from what I'm seeing, that's just not happening - in fact, the reverse is. Here in the UK, Waterstones (our only big book shop chain now) has sold off their ebook store to Kobo. B&N has sold their UK ebook store to Sainsbury's (which is a supermarket. Go figure).

One wonders about the thinking behind this. I'm tempted to conclude that the latest figures - that trad-published ebook sales are down, and print is up, have let publishers and trad bookstores to conclude that ebooks have had their day. All I can say is: wishful thinking. Print is up by about the amount of adult colouring books sold (and this is a craze like loom bands - can anyone remember loom bands?). The figures saying ebook sales are down don't take into account the indie market - which is increasing.

Trad publishers are also maintaining unrealistically high prices on ebooks (especially new authors) - all this, to me, adds up to a desire on the part of the traditional publishing and bookselling industry to try to starve the ebook market and hopefully kill it. Unfortunately for them, while Amazon and Kobo (in the US and UK, at least) are in the game, that's just not going to happen. It's real cutting-off-nose-to-spite-face conduct: the only people who are going to get hurt are the publishers and bricks-and-mortar booksellers.

What publishers are failing to realise is that since they no longer control the book marketplace, acting as if they do is not going to go well. When your customers and suppliers have no other place to go, you can act as unpleasantly as you like, and they just have to put up with it. Once they have alternatives, they tend to decide you're far too much trouble, and take themselves off elsewhere...

Consequently, we're now in a time where an author can turn his dream of giving up the crappy day job into reality - provided he goes indie. :-)


message 15: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments T. K. Elliott wrote: "Consequently, we're now in a time where an author can turn his dream of giving up the crappy day job into reality - provided he goes indie. :-)..."

The first hurdle is to actually write a book. Every 2-nd or 3-d person thinks he/she has an idea for a book, but only a small percent would take the trouble of giving it a shot, especially if the crappy or wonderful job bites into so much of our time -:)


message 16: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments Is writing a book a good solution? -:)


message 17: by Xanleah (new)

Xanleah (xanxan) | 2 comments How do you write a book that would not only let you escape the realities of life but also make some money about of it?
How to write it - I think is the biggest hurdle one has to face especially if the person hasn't written a book yet...


message 18: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments Xanleah wrote: "How do you write a book that would not only let you escape the realities of life but also make some money about of it? ..."

That's the million dollar question -:) Some know how to reverse engineer a success, however only very few are able to see it through in advance


message 19: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Nik wrote: "That's a fact that most people don't like or even hate their job. Many polls show that the percentage of dissatisfied employees may go as high as 90%. Here are some examples worldwide and from the ..."

Boredom at the job is the main reason not liking their employment. Secondly, a bad environment. Being a partner in business, we been through all this.

To break the syndrome of boredom, this was back in my early days ('70s). The routine of work caused the lack enthusiasm to the point of wanting a new environment--to leave the job. Many of our employees did. That's bad for being in business. What we did was create a creative think-tank to explore ideas outside of work--this was after work hours. Each member of the group (12) would start a conceptual idea: wind, time, tactile, etc. We chose the most executable idea, and produced it. It was done to stimulate and encourage new ideas and direct during working hours. It worked, and it improved work performance. Our company became a very profitable company.

What stopped it, was the economic collapse of the 1980s, and my partner had a stroke.

At my last job, DoDs, I was the oldest by 24 years--the average age was 35; I was 59. They made it so uncomfortable for me, because they wanted somebody young (preferably a young chick who was well endowed). Because of non-discrimination laws within the US Military, I was the most experience and the reason I got the job. That's the army for you. They don't care what your qualifications are, only what tickles their fancy. When I retired, they got their wanted chick, but they wanted me to train her.

I stayed on until I was 71, because the stories were there. Tons of stories. Every person I met had a story.

So, don't worry about a bad job; think about the many stories behind each person. It's a gold mine.


message 20: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments GR wrote: "What we did was create a creative think-tank to explore ideas outside of work--this was after work hours. Each member of the group (12) would start a conceptual idea: wind, time, tactile, etc. We chose the most executable idea, and produced it...."

Cool, creative approach!


message 21: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) I didn't have a job and one of my goals was to write a book so rather than get turned down for employment(which I still get despite having a part time job now) I decided to write a book. Now I write books for a living and feel any job I get will be just an added bonus.


message 22: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Congrats! I wish I could make money with my books. You're lucky.


message 23: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) I don't make money off my books, still need a job. Haven't hit it big in sales yet.


message 24: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13485 comments Is writing, like sometimes - reading, an escape too?


back to top