Back in the 1920s, the term “blue-collar” was coined to pertain to jobs that require manual physical labor such as being a plumber, carpenter, electrician, plant operator, and other similar job types.
Many of these jobs required highly-skilled individuals with a certain level of expertise in their trade.
However, as the years passed, most Americans had their eyes set on white-collar jobs that allowed them to work in a nice environment, behind a desk wearing well-pressed office wear, looking every bit the professional they should.
Things were going quite well for some time until in recent years, according to a 2014 Gallup poll, about half of Americans are not satisfied with their jobs and careers. What has brought about this dissatisfaction among America’s workforce?
Employee engagement has been found significantly low with the millennial generation as most of them did not end up in jobs they had hoped for when they got out of college. This demographic is the one that is most likely to say that they were not able to land jobs that allowed them to do what they do best.
In contrast, blue-collar workers offer certain perks that white-collar jobs don’t have. Kind of.
Provides enough body movement and exercise
It may be more exhausting compared to office work, but it is found that those who do manual labor with their hands often get higher satisfaction with their work and make them feel good about themselves.
Why wouldn’t they? They are able to still maintain an active lifestyle with the work they do. They build their muscles and increase their flexibility and most importantly, they keep obesity at bay.
Medical research also shows that those who work behind a desk are at greater risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases and other health problems.
Another advantage that blue-collar workers have is the quality of sleep they get after a hard day’s work. Their exhausting work during the day leads to a healthier sleep cycle.
Minimizes stress and anxiety
Other than the physical benefits that blue-collar jobs have, they also offer mental health benefits.
Sitting behind a desk in front of a computer the whole day doesn’t release enough endorphins that the body needs to function at an optimal level. More than acting as the body’s lubricant, endorphins allow our brains to think more clearly.
Once we have trouble thinking and processing things, stress and anxiety start to set in. A lot of white-collar employees are subject to a huge amount of stress — from meeting strict deadlines to managing projects and departments.
Blue-collar work somehow lets people bypass the typical stressful situation in the corporate world which leads to better mental health and a longer and happier life.
Ensures job and financial security
Finally, blue-collar jobs provide people with better job and financial security compared to white-collar work.
Technical jobs abound which put more and more people in front of a computer monitor only to find out that most of these technical jobs are being outsourced overseas.
On the flipside, manual work can never be replaced by an outsourced worker from another part of the world. Not one person has hired a plumber or electrician to virtually get the job done at their home. This is why warehouses and docks across America continue to provide steady jobs to those seeking employment. These are jobs that are irreplaceable even by machines.
Whether you admit it or not, the prospect of job security entails financial security that leads to a satisfied worker.
If you are at a crossroads right now, consider your options but do not cross out blue-collar jobs. You might find your happiness and satisfaction on the road less traveled.