Work on something that matters

Let's all work together for a better world tomorrowReading through some recent articles, it certainly sounds like I've got the grumpy old man routine down preee-ttty well. If you can believe it, I've been trying to lay the foundation for this article.

While it's arguable how aware most people are of the problems we face in Puerto Rico, I do think most people at different times recognize or are affected by those problems. So in this sense, we are just like any other place in the world, we've got some great things about our home, and some not so great things. Our challenge is to leverage those unfortunate times when our problems are obvious, clear, and present. Like for example when we lose power, or water, or wait in a line too long, or damage our car in a major pothole. We need to route our anger towards projects and companies that are trying to make a difference.

One of my personal heroes is Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media. Recently he has been pitching to his audiences all over the world, that we've got to break out of the mold which has us slaving away at jobs that merely aim to generate profits. Sure profits are great, they enable all sorts of good byproducts, as well as generate a lot of greed, but that's another post for Mr Grumpy.

The point he's trying to make and one which I fully concur, is we need more businesses (more people) working on the tough issues which plague our society. So it's not about working for a successful company or not. It's about choosing to work on projects, or at companies that are trying to solve the big problems of our society, for example, energy independence, starvation, climate change, extreme weather, water shortage, to name just a few.

Not sure you're working at someplace that will make a difference? Consider the following litmus test. If your job isn't directly related to solving, improving, or eliminating the big issues which threaten our way of life, then I'm afraid to say it this way, but your job doesn't really matter. Which is cool, someone's got to do them. The problem we have is that everyone sort of thinks that someone else will work on and solve these problems, but very few do. We need more concerned citizens who are willing to invest their blood, sweat, and tears on the jobs that make a difference. How about you? Are you ready to make a change?

Flickr Creative Commons Contributor: woodleywonderworks



21 de octubre de 2008, 14:00
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Interesting timing on this post. I work in publishing. I recently lost my job at an ad agency which, while advertising is certainly not known for fixing the world's problems, was trying to do its share by working only with clients that we felt made a difference. That company has, for all intents and purposes, folded. After the layoff, I applied to a number of companies that do things I care about. None called back. I just found a new job: it's a good job, pays well, but it's at a company that publishes what I consider to be pointless content. Someone needs it, I'm sure, but it's not meaningfully important, in the commonly understood sense. So, what do I do? My particular skill set (I produce print material) is not particularly great at solving the worlds problems, or at least not obviously so. I'm not in a position to start my own magazine or anything so adventurous, so I have to, to some degree, take what I can get (to feed my family, if nothing else). For me, this is the hard part: finding a meaningful job I can a.) do and b.) get.