"I am outta here" - The Great Resignation
There is a lot to unpack here. Blog and books about work and The Great Resignation.
Melina Cordero joined the ranks of The Great Resignation in 2021. In her own words she was “… overworked, unfulfilled, and following rules that did not align with my values.”
She had spent years rising up the ladder in the male dominated corporate world. Now she devotes her time to living an authentic life while working to change the way we work, for everyone, for the humans in the boardroom to the humans who work on the front line. Companies can, and do, change because people are saying "enough."
Remember, Howard Beale? The anchorman in the 1976 movie, Network. "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore." (It's a blast from the past and well worth watching.)
Cordero writes about work and her experience. She calls them blog posts, I call them articles. /they are well thought out and backed up by research.
I tried to pick just one article (l=blog post) to share with you, but I couldn't. They are ALL a great read. So here are a three, the title, speak for themselves.
The Case Against Inbox Zero. Just the title makes me cringe. I had heard of zero Inbox but it never made sense to me. This post gives us good reasons why to stop the practice, or never start.
Goals Gone Good and Goals Gone Wild. I just completed my own requirement at work to “set goals.” I made a list of goals that suit them (the company) and not me, ticked the box that said I completed it, and went on with my other work.
Melina’s book recommendations:
Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber
Uncanny Valley by Anna Weiner
Mastering the Art of Quitting by Streep & Bernstein
Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber. Graeber has written several popular books pointing out the very obvious flaws of systems and "rules" that we tend to blindly accept as "normal." In this book, he is arguing that a very high percentage of jobs in the modern economy are "bullshit". He breaks "bullshit jobs" down into several categories that have different characteristics and root causes, but he essentially defines bullshit jobs as those that serve no real purpose to humanity/society and, in some cases, negatively impact the world. Some examples (which he explores with lots of personal stories and anecdotes) include a guy whose whole job involved digitally airbrushing actors' faces and another whose job was to manually correct the errors of a broken computer program designed to automate a process so humans weren't needed. He shares his theory and explanation as to WHY there are so many bullshit jobs in the economy today, but he also dives into how psychologically challenging it is for those of us who DO bullshit jobs. He talks about how draining and stressful it is to feel your job is pointless, and he calls for a better labor market and organization of work, in which people can feel their jobs are doing something and, more importantly, doing good. This book is really great validation for anyone who feels their job is a little...bullshitty.
Uncanny Valley by Anna Weiner. - This is the memoir of a 20-something woman who wanted to work in writing and publishing but ended up in the start-up tech world of silicon valley (lured by high salaries and unlimited office snacks). Though it is her personal story, it's much more an account of the wild and very bro-ey, misogynistic world of tech start-ups. She observes the ridiculousness of the start-up culture, from corporate retreats to grind-or-die attitudes to the inflated self-importance of 20-something dudes who fall into way too much money. It is a book that anyone who has worked in or near technology or start-ups can relate to. (Many of my friends, male and female, have read it and everyone agrees it was one of the best books we read last year). Like Bullshit Jobs above, Anna does a great job of pointing out the absurdity and contradictions in what many view as "normal" in the workplace.
Mastering the Art of Quitting by Streep & Bernstein. - A VERY useful and inspiring book for anyone who has ever quit anything (or is thinking about it). The authors are social workers / psychologists who offer a really unique and different approach to the concept of quitting. Quitting is so heavily stigmatized in our society, and they explore why we have such negative associations with it (failure, giving up, weakness, etc.). But they explain why quitting can actually be an EMPOWERING action, and explain how knowing when to quit a bad situation is actually very critical to success. The most successful people, they show with their research, are those who know when to persist AND when to quit. They also explore how humans are psychologically hardwired to persist on tasks and in situations that actually don't serve us; they argue that it's important that we develop our quitting "muscles" in order to ensure that our energy and time are going towards things, people, and situations that SERVE us, rather than drain us. Really, really impactful reading. The book also offers very practical advice and tools to help people in the act of quitting.