December 16, 2021

Bullshit Jobs

This week, I’ve mostly been re-reading this book by David Graeber, published what seems like a lifetime ago in 2018.

In 2015, YouGov published a poll, showing that when asked whether their job “makes a meaningful contribution to the world?” 37% of respondents said ‘no’, and 13% of people said they didn’t know.  That’s a terrible waste of human potential.

Until recently many of those 37% or 13% will have been furloughed, while many of the other 50% weren’t – their jobs (care workers, nurses, shop workers, bus-drivers etc) were simply too ‘key’ to allow that, or they were self-employed.

I wonder whether furlough gave some of the 37% time to re-think what they wanted from work?   Is that what’s behind ‘The Great Resignation”?

What seems to be fairly clear from my re-reading of this book, is where most of those ‘bullshit jobs’ are.   They’re in corporates, or privatised government agencies.

Where they aren’t is in small businesses.

One more reason why I believe bigger small businesses are the future.