I just finished reading Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber, which is a thoroughly excellent book about the modern world of work. According to Graeber, many of us are stuck working in jobs that provide little productive value or personal meaning.
I sat with these ideas for a long time, and while I think his thesis around late capitalism is insightful, I'm not sure you or I can do much to overthrow the regime. However, in the spirit of the Great ReEvaluation, I do think we have control over how we choose to live within that system.
“Hell is a collection of individuals who are spending the bulk of their time working on a task they don’t like and are not especially good at.” - DAVID GRAEBER
Humans are wired for meaning and contribution. There's no universal answer for how to achieve that, but there is plenty of scope for considering what your unique version of that might be.
In true strategist style, once I finished the book I got busy jotting down what my version of that looks like. I looked at what I care about, what I can do, and what I like doing, and used that as the bones for a Personal Strategy.
My drivers are are values-driven: freedom (of choice, and from obligation), independence (of voice, and from constraint), safety (of income, relationships and family), and social contribution (to the big picture.)
When I mapped those against my skills and preferences (thinking, reading, writing, communicating) I was left with a great set of personal criteria to start making choices about how I spend my time and energy at home and work.
You can do this too - and what it reveals might surprise you. Take the time to think about what matters to you, what you like, and what you're good at, and see how it matches up to the activities and work you're currently involved in. Here's a neat template you might find useful.
Til next week.
PS - We tackle strategy and decision criteria in Week 3 of Not An MBA, as we develop our own personal policies. Enrolments are currently open for the June intake, which starts on Tuesday 28 June 2022. We're currently offering all interested students the opportunity to check out the full curriculum for 24 hours for just $1 before they sign up. If this sounds like you, grab the offer here.