28 April, 2017

Is your job useless?

A recent articles titled ‘A growing number of people think their job is useless. Time to rethink the meaning of work’ caught my eye. In my careers and employability work with graduate employers and students we often look at what the world of work will look like in the future, what skills will be in demand and how can we prepare students for the uncertain, challenging times ahead. We would advocate that doing a job you enjoy, working in an environment that connects with your values, understanding the impact of your organisation on society is important. I hope our future graduates will not feel their jobs are useless. I know my work gives me a sense of meaning, a chance to make a difference and challenges me to deliver solutions. That doesn’t mean I don’t have days when it’s tough, there are complexities or times when you wonder whether all the effort is worth it. However, so far my work is not being done by a robot, I am not displaced and I still feel my work has meaning and significance. How long can this continue? The author of that article, Rutger Bregman, argues “I believe in a future where the value of your work is not determined by the size of your paycheck, but by the amount of happiness you spread and the amount of meaning you give. I believe in a future where the point of education is not to prepare you for another useless job, but for a life well lived.”. He is a proponent of the Universal Basic Income. UBI is gaining support as we move towards more automation and perhaps it will assist with job satisfaction.

If you want to read more articles on Emerging Technology, Values and Work take a look at the World Economic Forum site.

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