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Arts Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Tech

Brian Eno: ‘Try not to get a job’

What would the world look like if everyone was guaranteed a basic income?

For musician Brian Eno, that society would put a lot more emphasis on time well spent.

“Try not to get a job. Try to leave yourself in a position where you do the things you want to do with your time and where you take maximum advantage of wherever your possibilities are.”

Brian Eno

Write your way to the life you want. ✍️


Of course, not everyone can afford to remain jobless; the harsh reality is that work pays the bills and keeps us alive. But as more jobs get outsourced to robots and artificial intelligence, humans will need new ways to think about their responsibility.

What will we do when there’s no work to be done?

Work defines who we are. It forms the nucleus of our identity. However, a jobless world may encourage more innovative thinking about ourselves and our role in a secular, globalized world.  Perhaps it’ll compel some people to pursue more passionate work, the type of vocations that choose them instead of the other way around.

In such a world, we’ll be makers instead of cogs, thinkers instead of algorithmic lemmings. Writes Oliver Burkeman in The Antidote: “There is a positive correlation between the fear of death and the sense of unlived life.”

To work on something we actually enjoy is to live.

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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Corrupted by careerism

goaheadgirl-147491

Everybody is saying the same thing about finding their passion. They’re just using different words to express it.

“The best philosophers were not academics, but had another job, so their philosophy was not corrupted by careerism.” – Nassim Taleb

“Be regular and orderly in your life like a Bourgeois so that you may be violent and original in your work.” – Gustave Flaubert

”The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the assignment covers both bases, but not often.” – Hugh MacLeod

In short, there are two types of work:

  • Work that you do for fun
  • Work that pays the bills

You rarely get both.

PS. There’s more on finding your passion in this week’s Philosophy/Productivity section of my newsletter.

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Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

Mike Rowe, Dirty Jobs
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My dad had one job his whole life, I’ll have seven, and my kids will have seven jobs at the same time.

Henry Mason
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Marketing Yourself

No one is going to know about you unless you promote yourself. Unfortunately, that’s just something you have to realize if you want to be an artist, or get a job.

You can’t get known and certainly not famous living in a rabbit hole; you have to show people your work, your face and exceed their expectations. You have to be consistent and top of mind.

Since no one pays attention to silence it’s your duty to stand up, pick yourself, and make some noise. Confidence is impossible to ignore. Just make sure you can back it up.

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Job Applications Suck

(This is an old piece written in July of 2011).  

Let’s face it, applying for a new jobs sucks.

It sucks because every company has its own application, which typically requires that you set up a username and password as a new user.  Where’s a common job app like I used to use in applying to multiple colleges at once?

It sucks because you have to write a cover letter for each application, reevaluating your skills and making them relevant to the job requirements.

It sucks because you have to go through a recruiter first to get to the person you’ll be working for.  Even worse when the recruiter says that the screening will be recorded.  ”Screening” and recorded screenings are futile.

It sucks because companies take weeks to get back to you, delay intentionally, and take days to set up the next phone interview.

It sucks because shot gun blasting your resume to 100 companies, gives you a 5% return rate.  When you get a response, you forget that you even applied for the job.  It’s usually the job you’re less passionate about.

I’m starting to get the feeling that some companies post jobs that don’t exist, just to spread the word that the company is hiring and is in healthy, profitable form.  What a mirage!

Fact:  any type of application sucks, especially job applications.