The Joy of Competence

A recent survey showed that more than half of Americans hate their jobs. Probably another 30% feel pretty neutral about them. r/antiwork is one of the largest communities in Reddit and growing. So many people are looking to retire early (or FIRE).

The common complaints against work are the lack of a decent pay and benefits, potential for growth, work-life balance, meaning, respect, etc. Many people also justifiably think they can’t have a good life like their parents did despite working a job. There’s a pent up negativity against evil and heartless corporates and middle managers that treat workers as expendable resources. 

Maybe work was always seen as a necessary evil, but it seems like the relationship has become more negative in the last few decades. It feels like the capitalistic machinery has taken a wrong turn. Perhaps attitudes have also changed to want more leisure and comfort for less work, thanks to the unrealistic lifestyles popularized on the internet and the Cambrian explosion of entertainment options. 

Regardless of the cause, people hating how they spend half their waking life is one of the most dire problems facing humanity. Because the alternative is loving what you do. There is tremendous joy and pride in being competent, serving others, camaraderie of a good team, doing something meaningful, and being appreciated.