Nothing will bring your life down more than a bad relationship or a bad job. The worst part about a bad job is that it never has to be that that way. It is the people in charge that makes a job terrible. I could spend 40+ hours a week analyzing paint drying if the bosses and supervisors were cool. The problem is that people get power hungry and think their job is torment and humiliate their employees.
A second thing is that society needs to stop defining a person’s worth based on their job. People use a person’s employment to decide a person’s status and how much respect they do or do not deserve. It’s the easiest way to decide if you are better than someone or not. Rod and Karen, I can’t image how people react when you tell them that you are professional podcasters. They don’t know how to judge you based on that information. They can’t eyeball your pockets or quickly gauge your level of success.
Here's how I see this: I was out of work for years. I went to trade school out of high school, worked several jobs until the economic downturn, went back to school to get an Associates in Business, and now working retail. When Karen says that employers are asking their staff to do "more with less", that is descriptive of how retail operations work today, years after they cut back on hiring, benefits, and staffing hours.
When you walk in a store and wonder why there's a long line at the front and nobody out in the aisles to help you find product--even as the particular companies are obsessed with shrink (that's loss of inventory due to theft, damage, etc.) and customer service--you can thank that particular strategy for that. Meanwhile, the stock price which they post everywhere is soaring, and the CEOs are making millions; you, on the other hand, can't get but a dime's raise every year (if they feel like it), you don't get promoted or trained unless they want you to; some employees don't put in the effort that others do, and they schedule you all over the place--close one night, open the next, and maybe 5 hours sleep in between. But you're supposed to be thankful that you have that job, though.
We've been trained by so many people--most especially our parents--that it's better to have a job than no job. There's elements of truth to that cliche, but given my own experiences: it's better to have a job that values what you bring to them and allows you to grow and appreciate it, than to have a job that sees you as an easily replaceable cog, wherein you stagnate; that you should feel "honored" to have to work for because people are out in these streets looking for work. Surely, there ain't no love for folks who aren't working in America, but also? There isn't that much more for many who are working, because companies don't value them, and most consumers don't, either. The companies want profits, the consumers want low prices, and the workers who are in between the two get pinched for every possible dollar as a result.
Having seen loved ones in both situations, I would chose unemployment. I know the labor stats in the US says that workers that apply for jobs while still employed have a better chance of getting the job, but I don't it's worth suffering through an often unstable and hostile work environment for a potential new job, especially given how competitive the labor market still is for good jobs.
I also chose unemployment because I believe that you shouldn't feel shame for taking that money if it provides you peace of mind and gives you improve and look for better work. Given how automated our work force is becoming, we're going to see more people without work, and it may even come down to us having living wages allocated by governments.
If so, why make people feel ashamed of it? Why not just have empathy and compassion and realize work doesn't have to define people and we should all strive to find happiness inside and outside of our jobs.
I guess for me that I would rather have a bad job while working on a plan to get a better job or move up to a more satisfying position. I'm kind of in that situation now. I like my current job and position OK enough, it pays decent, I'm in a stable position, and I like my co-workers and my bosses, it's not all that stressful or hard work. However my biggest issue is that I don't feel all that motivated to do any more than I'm currently doing and I'm no longer fulfilled by the work. Even though I'm now 36 I'm really considering making a drastic change in my life and career path and going back to school to pursue medicine. It may sound crazy but it's not impossible and many people in my peer group have done it. I'm sure it will be difficult but I don't want to be 40+ in a cubicle and think I wish I could have done it differently.
Being on both sides of the fence long ago. It helped my attitude having a bad job with pebbles of dough coming in than waking up hoping for a call/email from any job.
Living in america, there is NO love for someone not working even if your looking. Caused you cant do anything when your broke.