There can be a perception in society that "white collar" employment, primarily managerial and professional positions, is generally preferable to "blue collar" employment, characterized as hands-on manufacturing or service industry positions. The truth is that a blue collar worker can experience as much if not more overall job satisfaction as a white collar worker, even if there are often marked differences in salaries or training. There are a number of benefits of working a blue collar job, including steady work hours, a clear division between work and personal life, and a strong sense of accomplishment.
A blue collar worker often works an assigned shift, which means he or she can structure his or her personal time around a regular work schedule. For a first shift worker, the work day starts at 7am and will most likely end at 3:30pm, or some other 8 hour block of time. A second shift worker may not have to report to work until the afternoon, then work until midnight. These regular hours allow blue collar workers to schedule important personal appointments and other matters outside of the job. Many white collar workers in supervisory or managerial positions may be asked to work irregular hours or devote more overtime to their employers.
Many blue collar workers also benefit from the ability to leave work at work and enjoy a satisfying personal life. Once the shift is over, his or her loyalty can shift from his employer to his family. A white collar worker in a supervisory or managerial position may be asked to sacrifice a personal life in exchange for company loyalty. While blue collar workers may be asked or compelled to work overtime hours, these sacrifices are generally voluntary and well-compensated. A person laid off from a blue collar job who has a defined skill can generally find employment elsewhere, but a laid-off white collar worker often has to learn an entirely new set of skills with a new company.
There is also a personal sense of accomplishment with many blue collar jobs. A construction worker can pass by a new building and know he or she played a role in its completion. A factory worker may see the end result of his or her handiwork on a store shelf, or even on the road. Being a service worker can also bring a sense of satisfaction, knowing that a number of people will benefit from his or her efforts. Many blue collar workers find tremendous personal satisfaction knowing that they've earned their livelihoods through hard work and skill.