Meaningless Jobs

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What happens when people start each day facing work they believe is meaningless, and in some cases actually makes the world a worse place?

They get frustrated, demoralised, angry, and even depressed.

And then there’s the BIG issue of productivity!

For many people, work appears to serve no purpose whatever. In his new book “Bullshit Jobs”, David Graeber (anthropologist at the London School of Economics) sites recent surveys showing 37% of British people think their jobs are meaningless, and in the Nethelands 40% believe their jobs had no reason to exist. (It would be surprising if Australia was much different.)

That’s one indicator of meaningless jobs. Another according to Graeber is to stop doing a “bullshit” job and see if anyone notices! If it makes no difference to anything then it is indeed a bullshit job and should be stopped permanently.

A sense of uselessness gnaws at everything that makes people human says Graeber. This observation leads him to define bullshit work as “a form of paid employment that is so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence.”

Finding meaningful career pathways

While inherently useless jobs do exist, another common issue occurs when there is a mismatch between the demands of a job and personal attributes of individuals. Significant mismatches often lead to disengagement, lack of motivation and feelings of uselessness.

Young people typically have strong needs to feel involved, and to engage with meaningful work. From the individual’s perspective, “meaningful” depends both on the nature of the work, and the individual’s attributes.

Finding suitable, realistic and meaningful career pathways requires knowledge of self, knowledge of the world of work, a proven decision-making model, and an action planning.

Well researched, proven career planning resources play a vital role in finding the most suitable career options.

Advisers: contact us to book a demo today

Career Seekers: contact us to start your career journey

Bob Bredemeyer