What’s profound about the career rejectionists is that their guiding questions are simple. What if work didn’t make you feel awful? What would life be like if we didn’t live to work? What do workers and employers actually owe each other? What if we structured our work lives around a different idea of success? It’s not a full-scale rejection of capitalism (though it can be that) or a call to burn down the system altogether. Those questioning their careers are simply daring to imagine what a better, more equitable future of work might look like. — What if people don’t want a career?
Changing jobs right before the pandemic has made me think a lot about the work I was doing before. And how pointless and dead-end it was. How I would lie to myself that it meant something or it would lead to anything.
I was a cog. In a government contracting machine. A head to count. A line on a spreadsheet. Nothing more.
I spent an hour commuting each day to these jobs. Sometimes more. Always more when I factor in how waking up at 7am to be at work by 8:30 or 9:00 was still part of the job.
I wasn’t being paid for it. But it surely felt like time I was giving to the company.