Some Labor Day music: Aesop Rock’s “9-5er’s Anthem” from his 2001 album, Labor Days. Craving work with purpose is not a new problem. Here, Aesop laments the struggle between not hating work itself but hating jobs that don’t include any of one’s own causes.
The modern conversation is still stuck on the same issue. We know work gives life meaning, but figuring out how each individual employee can bring their whole self to work is in itself a lot of work. The owners already figured out (in most cases) how to make a profit, can’t they just keep this money machine working without all of the human stuff?
It’s not an easy problem to fix. People can easily sense the difference between corporate propaganda and authentic care and concern. No matter the size of an organization team, we all have human resources problems. Labor is a resource, humans just happen to provide it. Yes, we still have to figure out a path to profitability, but beyond the money problems lie the reality of working with people. A job can’t end with a paycheck.
We the American working population
Hate the fact that eight hours a day
Is wasted on chasing the dream of someone that isn’t us
And we may not hate our jobs
But we hate jobs in general
That don’t have to do with fighting our own causes
Work doesn’t have to suck. The path towards “better” starts with creating a personal sense of purpose. There are no easy answers or shortcuts, we just have to start exploring, asking the questions, and making changes. No matter where we are in an organization, we can think about how to add more humanity to our Human Resources.
More posts about work here.