I keep on being surprised that one topic during this COVID-19 is not being addressed. What are the jobs that we need at this moment and which jobs will lead us to the future? What is work and what is a job in the transition twenties of the 21st century?
We keep on investing in the jobs that we think are relevant for because they already existed, but we don’t use this time to have a closer look at the so called ‘bull-shit’ jobs. A term introduced in 2013 by David Graeber and more relevant than ever. Estimates show that only 25% of the current jobs are focussing on creating products or delivering services that we really need. Like in education, healthcare, police, public transports, journalists, cleaning and so on. COVID-19 showed us in only one year time what the real important jobs are for our society. The other 75% consists of jobs where even 20% of the employees themselves say that they have a bull-shit job. A lot of this is in management, financial services, marketing, administration etc. But still we put all our effort and public treasury to keep these jobs and the employees with these jobs at work.
If we want to redesign the labour market, now is the time. Why paying for jobs that are not relevant anymore for our (future) society? Can we start a dialogue together on what we define as real work? The basis should be ‘added value’. We can look at that for 3 levels: work that adds value to society. Work that adds value to your organization. The added value that you want to bring as human being. Measuring added value asks for other views but also other metrics. So, we can start by ourselves. What value do you want to add in your work, organization or society? What skills, competences and talents do you want to contribute? And can technology take over some of your more repetitive tasks so that you can focus on your real value? #studio21st