I love the title of a recent article by MSNBC. The title is “Americans’ job satisfaction falls to record low” and even better the subtitle “Economists warn discontent could stifle innovation, hurt U.S. productivity” Why do I love this depressing news? Because it says so much about what our society thinks about earning a living. Fact is, when you say”I hate my job” more is said about you than is about the employer.
Here is the logic of the article…
- We hate our jobs – therefore
- We are less productive – therefore
- We are less innovative – therefore
- Other countries start to beat us (the us here is the United States) in the marketplace.
Here are some things I think the MSNBC authors and economists are missing:
- Other countries are suffering from the same dissatisfaction of the workforce. The desire to have meaning in life and work and have some control over our lives is not only for those of us who live in the United States – it is true of all people. It always has been.
- Some people will not stay in a miserable situation. While many will, others will decide to take their career and their job satisfaction into their own hands. They will go make something happen – and therefore be MORE productive. A few of these entrepreneurs can offset the lack of productivity in hundreds.
The disturbing thing about this article is that the assumption is that the only way to be productive is to work for someone else. Do these brilliant academics really think all workers in corporate America are productive? Have they ever lived a day in the life of someone suffering cubicle insanity – going to meaningless meetings, spending more time justifying they are working then actually working because the company demands reports of productivity, and then when something productive happens – it gets lost in the middle of some middle management power struggle.
In other words, do they think Dilbert is fiction?
The fact is, the United States (as well as other productive countries) have a history of productivity that comes from innovation – and innovation rarely comes from large companies.
We must remember – people innovate – not companies. Very often the companies have a tendency to stifle innovation instead of promoting it. Very often people get fed up with their jobs at companies and become entrepreneurs and go and make things happen for real.
Even the large companies who succeed know that. How many small companies have the giants like Microsoft and Google bought in the last few years? They know it is easier to buy innovation then to innovate internally.
Perhaps the best thing we can do if we love our country is to follow the advice of the likes of Pamela Slim, Johnathan Fields, Dan Miller and many others who tell us to get out and make something happen.
Question: What do you think? You can leave a comment by clicking here.