Do you love your job? Like, really love it? Are you one of the rare unicorns that actually enjoys doing what they do and how they do it every day? If, like the majority of people, you are not 100% over the moon about your current employment (or your lack of finding decent employment) there’s a simple question you should ask yourself:
What would you do if you didn’t have to do that job?
You know the one: boring, tedious, possibly dangerous, always precarious. Maybe it’s an at-will job, where the bosses can fire you any time, for any reason, or no reason at all, leaving you terrified to ever step wrong. Maybe it’s a part-time job that schedules you by computer in such a random way that you can’t work another job without losing this one. Maybe it’s a job where you do roughly three days work a week, but you desperately stretch it to 40 hours because you need the health insurance?
Any way you slice it, you’re looking at a manure sandwich. But that’s just the way it is, right? You just have to suffer through it, right? That’s the way it has always been, right?
The idea of a regular “job” is only a couple hundred years old. The 40-hour week and eight-hour day are compromises from 100 years ago. And as far as health insurance goes, I think we can all agree that’s one big old crock that needs to be busted open and the contents shared with everyone. It’s 2019 for crying out loud, why are people dying because they can’t afford insulin, something we have been producing for over 90 years? But that’s another story.
The long and short of it is: you’re probably working too hard, for too long and for way too little pay, at a job you don’t like. Why? Well, this might surprise you, but the people who run companies and offices and startups can make a lot more money if they pay you less, work you more, and tell you you have to work this crappy job or have the “freedom” to starve in the street.
But come on. It is 2019; we can spend money and manpower to make your face look like a puppy on Instagram but you’re saying we can’t make jobs more efficient than they were in the 1920s? We can have a setup where not only do a few people have more money than they could ever spend over their lifetimes, with yachts so large they can park another yacht inside of it, but we can’t give everyone healthcare and let them work 20 hours a week instead? We can make golden pizzas for the penthouse crowd, but we can’t pay their workers more than a starvation wage?
Imagine not having to work 40 hours. Imagine having more time to do that side project you keep putting off: crafts, music, gardening, maybe something like painting or writing or some other activity we have decided is only for the rich children of rich people who went to rich colleges and eat golden pizzas. The truth of the matter is that we make enough to take care of everyone, but not at the Bezos level. We could have a world with significantly less suffering if we just decided it was bananas to let someone have more money than an entire country and instead let people work less and enjoy life more. A better future really is possible, but not if we spend our time fighting each other to see who can work themselves into the grave first. We don’t have to keep living like this, and all it would take is to look around and say, “My neighbor and I deserve to be happy, even if it means some billionaire becomes a multi-millionaire instead.”
Somehow, I’m sure they will be able to handle it, maybe after a good, long cry on their favorite pile of $100 bills.