Members of the JD Class of 2018 hired in by law firm Milbank and the other laws firms which followed that $190k bump initiative may feel they have been blessed.
But, London School of Economics professor David Graeber warns: That well-paying prestigious position may really be nothing but another "bullshit job." What if most of the lawyers simply disappeared? Would the world be worse off? The probability is that it might be better off.
In his new book by the title Graeber explains how from the top of the pecking order to the doorman sticking an umbrella over the heads of the brass, more current jobs lack meaning. They contribute nothing to society.
When I had been a contract blogger on careers and jobs for a brandname tech company, I knew one thing: All that mattered was the tally on page views, comments, and shares.
Those numbers were calculated in real time and posted collectively for all team members where we keyed in content. When readers contacted me and claimed I had helped them through my posts I soon enough began to blow that off. To keep my contract I got it that I better keep up my numbers.
"Bullshit Jobs" has touched a nerve. It ranks 1,178 on Amazon. Here you can order it.
The euphoria of landing a high-paying job or assignment that carries status could have a short shelf life. It's not long before that moment of clarity or the ah-ha experience occurs.
Once the employee recognizes the work lacks meaning that reality can trigger the beginning or the acceleration of the journey into clinical depression, illegal behavior such as embezzling, substance abuse, and even suicide. Did the dozen or so middle aged trial lawyers in Kentucky who offed themselves question the meaning of their life's work?
One career path that isn't clogged with bullshit is my coaching those over-50. They are focused on getting, holding, and moving onto better jobs. I have a hunch I have saved lives by helping professionals become successful again in the workforce.
Are some of the types of jobs they land or are promoted to "bullshit" ones? Not for them. Their meaning comes from being able to continue to support their families. Their values are micro. Not the macro kind Graeber has in mind. But, many have told me, after they are back at work that they "plan to be 'out'" as soon as their offspring finish college. Then the sense of meaning goes poof.
So what differentiates a job which makes a contribution from a "bullshit" one? That is up to the worker. The point is that once a worker concludes the work is "bullshit" then the despair can be set in play. That might be one factor in the 30% increase in suicides since 1996. So much of work has lost meaning.
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