Author Topic: Bullshit Jobs  (Read 11674 times)

Marathon_runner

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Bullshit Jobs
« on: October 09, 2018, 03:53:22 PM »
by David Graeber

https://www.amazon.com/Bullshit-Jobs-Theory-David-Graeber/dp/150114331X

From bestselling writer David Graeber, a powerful argument against the rise of meaningless, unfulfilling jobs, and their consequences.

Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world? In the spring of 2013, David Graeber asked this question in a playful, provocative essay titled “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.” It went viral. After a million online views in seventeen different languages, people all over the world are still debating the answer.

There are millions of people—HR consultants, communication coordinators, telemarketing researchers, corporate lawyers—whose jobs are useless, and, tragically, they know it. These people are caught in bullshit jobs.

Graeber explores one of society’s most vexing and deeply felt concerns, indicting among other villains a particular strain of finance capitalism that betrays ideals shared by thinkers ranging from Keynes to Lincoln. Bullshit Jobs gives individuals, corporations, and societies permission to undergo a shift in values, placing creative and caring work at the center of our culture. This book is for everyone who wants to turn their vocation back into an avocation.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1358
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 06:00:19 PM »
I want to read it

timus8522

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 05:28:46 AM »
A great read!highly recommend

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk


smalllife

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 981
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 05:31:45 PM »
Just finished it - highly recommended.  He's an anthropology professor and a bit long winded (as do most topics drawn out into a book), but some good theories and put some things into words better than I have been able to do.

adventurestache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Location: St. Paul, MN
    • Frugal Adventure Field Guide
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 05:58:54 PM »
Sounds really interesting! Sometimes books like these hit a bit too close to home though, since I still work an office job ;)

diapasoun

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3637
  • Location: California
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 06:18:21 PM »
I liked this one quite a bit. It is absolutely a depressing read, though, especially if you've ever thought my job is bullshit.

FIPurpose

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1334
  • Location: WA
    • FI With Purpose
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2018, 11:46:15 AM »
Just finished the first chapter after a month on the wait list at the library. So far it's fantastic. I'm hoping my new job coming up will be minimal BS, or I can at least manage it better since it will be 100% work from home.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6614
  • Location: Norway
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2019, 02:03:15 AM »
I am currently reading the book in pdf format on a kindle, which means that with my reading glasses on, I can just read the small text. I have come a little over halfway.

The book is quite entertaining, and sadly it is so true. Many jobs indeed have a high level of bullshit in them. Mine maybe 50%.

cerat0n1a

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1704
  • Location: England
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2019, 05:07:02 AM »
Really enjoyed this book - entertaining as well as thought-provoking.

Fresh Bread

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2032
  • Location: Australia
  • Insert dough/bread/crust joke
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2019, 03:40:52 AM »
I loved this book! It went quite deep into the topic, lost me a bit with the historical stuff but got me back again with the big finish.

LennStar

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1753
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2019, 09:24:45 AM »
A real must read. But unfortunately very depressive between all the laughts since it's so truthful.

The 5000 years debt one was even better though. (At least if you enjoy reading from before your birth). 

diapasoun

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3637
  • Location: California
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2019, 09:58:36 AM »
The 5000 years debt one was even better though. (At least if you enjoy reading from before your birth).

I LOVED Debt. Still political, but not quite as polemical, and it had a ton of good information.

MrRobinBobin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2020, 03:08:58 PM »
I need to read it!

Staunch Aim

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2020, 08:41:25 PM »
Thanks for sharing!  Just added it to my list.  Wondering if it will help me identify bullshit at my job that I've glossed over thus far.

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Location: California
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2020, 12:47:53 PM »
I'm about half way through and wondering what % of people are seeking FIRE primarily because of this phenomenon?

My life would have been drastically different if I read this book at age 22. I got my dream job and couldn't reconcile the fact that it was bullshit and the people doing it seemed to be really bought into the bullshit. My expectations were too high and I didn't know bullshitization had impacted most high-earning fields.

Now on my third career, it's comforting to just embrace the fact that salary and bullshit are correlated. I've always had this nagging feeling that there's a non-bullshit career out there that I'd like (and that would pay well), but this drives home that there's probably not. It kind of bursts the bubble/myth of finding one's passion in work. That leaves me feeling relieved more than anything because it accurately relates to my feelings and allows me to process my disappointment with the white collar world.

utaca

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2020, 12:32:13 PM »
I'm about half way through and wondering what % of people are seeking FIRE primarily because of this phenomenon?

My job isn't quite a "bullshit" job as defined by Graeber but has similar problems (administrative hurdles, lots of running in place doing nothing, lack of fulfillment, etc). However, I worked my first job at 14 and have been employed consistently since then in a whole variety of bullshit jobs. Lack of fulfillment through work is definitely a reason I'm seeking FIRE. 

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Location: California
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2020, 06:08:14 PM »
My job isn't quite a "bullshit" job as defined by Graeber but has similar problems (administrative hurdles, lots of running in place doing nothing, lack of fulfillment, etc). However, I worked my first job at 14 and have been employed consistently since then in a whole variety of bullshit jobs. Lack of fulfillment through work is definitely a reason I'm seeking FIRE. 

I feel like if one is satisfied with their career, the RE part has no appeal, so a lack of satisfaction has to be the root for most people here.

But I need to figure out how to just accept this with neutral emotion. I'm working for 10.5 more years with a high-BS-quotient job, technically a great job. How can I stop ruminating how unreasonable all the BS is? It's such an emotional waste.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4924
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2020, 05:45:14 AM »
You can like your job without liking it more than literally everything else you could be doing on this earth.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6614
  • Location: Norway
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2020, 09:23:47 AM »
My job isn't quite a "bullshit" job as defined by Graeber but has similar problems (administrative hurdles, lots of running in place doing nothing, lack of fulfillment, etc). However, I worked my first job at 14 and have been employed consistently since then in a whole variety of bullshit jobs. Lack of fulfillment through work is definitely a reason I'm seeking FIRE. 

I feel like if one is satisfied with their career, the RE part has no appeal, so a lack of satisfaction has to be the root for most people here.

But I need to figure out how to just accept this with neutral emotion. I'm working for 10.5 more years with a high-BS-quotient job, technically a great job. How can I stop ruminating how unreasonable all the BS is? It's such an emotional waste.

Some employers have a lot more BS than others. So shop around. And also consider the personal consultant way, selling yourself. From a former coworker who was a programmer, I understood that being a consultant in your own company is so much less BS than having a job.

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Location: California
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2020, 09:57:30 AM »
My job isn't quite a "bullshit" job as defined by Graeber but has similar problems (administrative hurdles, lots of running in place doing nothing, lack of fulfillment, etc). However, I worked my first job at 14 and have been employed consistently since then in a whole variety of bullshit jobs. Lack of fulfillment through work is definitely a reason I'm seeking FIRE. 

I feel like if one is satisfied with their career, the RE part has no appeal, so a lack of satisfaction has to be the root for most people here.

But I need to figure out how to just accept this with neutral emotion. I'm working for 10.5 more years with a high-BS-quotient job, technically a great job. How can I stop ruminating how unreasonable all the BS is? It's such an emotional waste.

Some employers have a lot more BS than others. So shop around. And also consider the personal consultant way, selling yourself. From a former coworker who was a programmer, I understood that being a consultant in your own company is so much less BS than having a job.

That's one thing on this forum people commonly say that I have difficulty with -- go find something you like better, life's too short! -- but Graeber's theory undermines that recommendation. Salary and BS are inversely proportional, so I'd have to step down from a high salary to reduce the BS element. I've taken substantial salary cuts twice already and, thankfully, recovered each time. But why would I do that a third time to try again?

Don't get my wrong, I have plans to do something completely different after FI, but is it really rational for someone who has tried three different careers to try a fourth? Walk away from $250K/yr to become a barista or sailing instructor for $15/hr?

At this point I'm just trying to come to accept that BS is ubiquitous in professional services jobs and waste less mental energy being pissed off at the job.

I hope this doesn't come off as too argumentative, because I really appreciate the response and I'm honestly trying to figure this out.

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Location: California
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2020, 10:01:23 AM »
You can like your job without liking it more than literally everything else you could be doing on this earth.

Eloquent. I for sure love my job way more than being waterboarded in Pyongyang or being laid up from sepsis in the Sahel.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4924
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2020, 10:20:19 AM »
I like my job a lot. But I am not certain that I love it more than spending more time on the hobbies I already like or on full-time pursuit of things I idly wonder about doing but can't do due to time constraints. And even if I did like it as much as those things, 15 years is enough time to spend on one activity in life.

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Location: California
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2020, 10:44:41 AM »
I like my job a lot. But I am not certain that I love it more than spending more time on the hobbies I already like or on full-time pursuit of things I idly wonder about doing but can't do due to time constraints. And even if I did like it as much as those things, 15 years is enough time to spend on one activity in life.

You sound far more balanced than I am.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4924
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2020, 11:52:05 AM »
On the internet, nobody know's you're a dog mentally unbalanced.

utaca

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: Bullshit Jobs
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2020, 11:57:06 AM »
My job isn't quite a "bullshit" job as defined by Graeber but has similar problems (administrative hurdles, lots of running in place doing nothing, lack of fulfillment, etc). However, I worked my first job at 14 and have been employed consistently since then in a whole variety of bullshit jobs. Lack of fulfillment through work is definitely a reason I'm seeking FIRE. 

I feel like if one is satisfied with their career, the RE part has no appeal, so a lack of satisfaction has to be the root for most people here.

But I need to figure out how to just accept this with neutral emotion. I'm working for 10.5 more years with a high-BS-quotient job, technically a great job. How can I stop ruminating how unreasonable all the BS is? It's such an emotional waste.

Some employers have a lot more BS than others. So shop around. And also consider the personal consultant way, selling yourself. From a former coworker who was a programmer, I understood that being a consultant in your own company is so much less BS than having a job.

That's one thing on this forum people commonly say that I have difficulty with -- go find something you like better, life's too short! -- but Graeber's theory undermines that recommendation. Salary and BS are inversely proportional, so I'd have to step down from a high salary to reduce the BS element. I've taken substantial salary cuts twice already and, thankfully, recovered each time. But why would I do that a third time to try again?

Don't get my wrong, I have plans to do something completely different after FI, but is it really rational for someone who has tried three different careers to try a fourth? Walk away from $250K/yr to become a barista or sailing instructor for $15/hr?

At this point I'm just trying to come to accept that BS is ubiquitous in professional services jobs and waste less mental energy being pissed off at the job.

I hope this doesn't come off as too argumentative, because I really appreciate the response and I'm honestly trying to figure this out.

You've hit the nail on the head!

The solution, in my mind, is to accept the BS, save your money and buy your freedom. The problem that is obvious to so many in this community is that most people instead spend their money treating their lack of career fulfillment with consumption.