On February 2, 2015 ‘Workthoughts’ joined the blogosphere with a question, Why work?
“As children we are open to any work possibility. We haven’t learned the value society places on work and workers. Our exploration of the world of work begins with the folks who keep us safe. We imagine ourselves as those fictional superheroes, donning capes and masks, scaling buildings to save the city or the planet from threat.
Throughout our years of formal education we gain additional information about work and workplace options. By the time we are in high school, our academic performance and test scores have segmented the class into college bound and not.
As we progress through education we acquire the biases of our community and culture, strongly influencing our choice of work.
We begin our careers as interns; apprentices excited about an opportunity to finally realize a long held dream. Along the way we translate that experience into a full time job and begin our careers acquiring skills and learning the culture of the organizations we join.
We become engaged in our communities, raise families and continue our education.
At some point the momentum of our career trajectory outruns our initial dreams and values, and it’s important to ask, why work?”
Other questions emerged over the past three years, but all seemed subsets of the original. This one, posed by writer Meghan Daum, captured the uncertainty of our current workplace moment: “How do we measure fulfillment in work and where do we find it when the traditional channels have given way to a round-the-clock hustle?”
This may be the defining ‘future of work’ career question.
To respond, we need new definitions of success, more inclusive portraits of achievement; focus on the work itself, not the consequences. There are new constructs, locations, timelines and contracts. Relationships and expectations @work are more fluid. Everything is changing.
“We get surprised in real life because we can’t know everything there is to know. For one thing, we’re stuck in our own heads, in a single point of view.” Jincy Willett
As we begin year four, @workthoughts will continue to share the surprises and examine life@work through the lens of current reporting, research, poetry and ‘The Saturday Read’.