The modern understanding of a career in most knowledge work fields involves a non-trivial amount of sacrifice. You are expected to pay your dues, work your way up, and ride out the rough patches. Endurance is key. If you stick it out long enough, there’s something great on the other side — primarily security.
Even in jobs where management is less cynical and exploitative, the focus is always on the long term: It might suck now, but you’re building toward something. And that something — the resume at the end of your life — is a genuine measure of a person’s worth.
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The current brand of career skepticism is different, more absolute. It’s not a rejection of how somebody navigates the game, it’s a rejection of the game itself.
When you talk to people who reject the modern notion of a career, many of them say the same thing: They ...
The career is a device that businesses and managers can use as a motivation to get the deference and feigned enthusiasm that they want from employees. It’s a great tool, in part because career arcs are real. Perceptions and reputations matter and offices have promotional structur...
Their guiding questions are simple. What if work didn’t make you feel awful? What would life be like if we didn’t live to work? What do workers and employers actually owe each other? What if we structured our work lives around a different idea of success?
It’s not a full-scale re...
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