deepstash

Beta

A growing number of people think their job is useless. Time to rethink the meaning of work

"Bad" Jobs

A growing number of workers are increasingly dissatisfied and underwhelmed with their seemingly fancy job profiles as bankers, tax-advisors, and all the garden variety managers, whose job is to add to the bottom line of a company.

These kinds of jobs don't add value to the world and serve no real purpose.

81 SAVES

80 READS

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Our culture of work

Our culture claims that work is unavoidable and natural. The idea that the world can be freed from work, wholly or in part, has been suppressed for as long as capitalism has existed.

Exploring the abolition of work
  • In 1885, socialist William Morris proposed that in the factories of the future, employees should work only four hours a day.
  • In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that advances in technology would lead to an age of leisure where people might work 15 hours a week.
  • Since the early 2010s, these ideas have been developed further, creating a growing critique of work as an ideology, and exploring alternatives to work.
  • Post-work offers enormous promises: In a life of much less work, life would be calmer, more equal, more communal, more pleasurable, more thoughtful, more politically engaged, more fulfilled.
Work ideology

The work ideology is not natural nor very old.

  • Before the modern era, all cultures thought of work as a means to an end, not an end in itself.
  • Once the modern work ethic was established, working patterns started to shift. Between 1800 and 1900, the average working week shrank from 80 hours to 60 hours, and in the 1970s to roughly 40 hours.
  • In 1979, Bernard Lefkowitz related in his book that people who had given up their jobs reported feelings of "wholeness." During the same period, because wages were high enough, it became possible for most people to work less.
  • During the 80s, work ideology was reimposed by aggressively pro-business governments who were motivated by a desire for social control.
  • By the early 21st century, the work culture seems inescapable.
    Problems with the Work Ethic
    • For centuries, the promise of America has been built on the work ethic, with everyone aspiring to have a job that pays them.
    • Work Ethic as it is has not provided any social, moral or s...
    The Unfulfilled Promise of Work

    What working a decent job means is slowing losing ground, as we are not deriving meaning from our work.

    Having a job means getting paid for our talents, but it may not be the case for many. Work ethic is supposed to provide us a good life, but in reality, the opposite is happening.

    Following The Orders

    Most workers rely on the whims and fancies of the so-called 'Job Creators', a class of people who own a business and can employ staff. Job creators hold power on the worker's time, behavior and conditions of employment.

    These employers also monitor and sanction what workers post on social media, what they eat or drink, how frequently and for how long are they going to the bathroom, and what are their political leanings.

    Meaning from work

    Since the 16th-century Protestant Reformation spawned the work ethic, many believe that the job gives meaning, purpose, and structure to their lives. More than 50 percent of American workers tod...

    Self-transcendence

    Meaning may be found in self-transcendence (or devoting one’s efforts and energies to something beyond oneself).

    Though there are many ways to become part of something bigger, two of the most powerful ways are pursuing mastery and performing acts of kindness.

    Pursue long-term progress

    Aristotle wrote that the fundamental part of a meaningful life is found in mastery, be it art, intellect, or athletics. Pursuing excellence is not always pleasant and requires exertion, not constant entertainment.

    A study found that people who continually developed themselves scored higher on assessments of life satisfaction and self-esteem than those who did not.