Your job is pointless.
Have you ever had such a thought? Or maybe you are wondering every day at your job what you are still doing there. You think to yourself that it’s supposed to be interesting, you are supposed to grow, but more often, you find most of the activities unnecessary and even boring or absurd. Maybe you feel that what you are doing is actually below your competence? Or that nobody pays attention to what you are doing and you feel quite lost in your company?
You are not alone.
In 2013, American anthropologist and anarchist activist David Graeber wrote an article for Strike magazine with the perverse title “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.” He described his observations on the labour market, putting forward the thesis that many people feel great nonsense about their work and that a lot of their activities do not make sense. Such activities are examples of so-called bullshit jobs. The response was phenomenal. The number of visits on the publisher’s site (about a million!) caused the server to fail, and the article itself was translated into 12 languages.
The letters and messages that the author received in response to this publication allowed him to collect material for an entire book on the same subject. The interest surprised even the journalist himself, who did not realize how universal the problem was and how much people needed to break out of this feeling of redundancy. A book called “Bullshit Jobs: A Theory” was published in 2018, and at the end of the same year, it was translated into several languages.
In Western countries, 30-40% of people think that their work is unnecessary.
When asked, “Does your job make sense to the world?” 37% of Britons and 40% of Dutch people say that there is no argument for their occupation to exist.
Considering your work as meaningless has a significant impact on the human psyche, self-esteem, health, and satisfaction with life. How can you feel the meaning of existence if you spend 8 hours a day on activities that constantly remind you how insignificant influence you have on the course of events? Or worse, how much do you waste your precious time, knowing it is lost forever?
According to statistics, the average European spends 36.2 years at work.
An impressive number, but combined with a sense of meaninglessness, it takes on a ghastly character. Work that makes no sense to us negatively affects our sense of agency. And this plays an important role in the development of the brain and relationships from infancy. Taking away the sense of agency and effectiveness of one’s actions leads to a vicious circle in which a person ceases to notice that he influences his life and surroundings. Constant stress arousals can even lead to depression.
The sensations evoked by such a pattern can even lead to brain degradation. In this situation, there is no possibility that dissatisfaction with the work performed does not affect life outside of it, especially if there are strong associations with health effects. By accepting such a situation, you continue to develop habits that lead to a passive attitude in life. Whether you want it or not, your unwanted job affects your personal life as well.
Does it matter to you what you do at work?
Now take a deep breath and think for a moment about what you think about your work. Where are you in your life right now? Do you have a sense of agency in your work? Does it matter? Are you doing it out of passion, duty, or because of a lack of alternatives? Maybe you only work for money? Are you satisfied with your salary?
And what if the answer to the question “do you feel efficient and satisfied with your profession?” is: “No”?
Many people are stuck in this deadlock because they can no longer see the way back. That doesn’t make sense if you’ve been at work for years; it’s not necessarily because you didn’t handle your life well. The most likely situation is that you are, as they say, a “boiled frog”. This metaphor means that you may not be aware of threats that arise gradually, and you calmly agree to the situation until you feel completely dead inside.
Probably you have a permanent job with a fairly low risk of losing it, a tolerable salary, and already some “adult” obligations (maybe a loan? Or maybe just a comfortable life?). And so, you are stuck in a feeling of apathy. Months and years go by, and nothing changes.
After all, a career change means difficult challenges with no guarantee of success. Extramural studies and the need to complete an internship are not necessarily paths for a person who is, in some way, established in the labour market. Not to mention that starting from the beginning means finding a salary offer much lower than the current one. Upon longer reflection, the situation looks like falling out of the frying pan into the fire. The risk of failure and even greater frustration in such realities is very high.
Is an IT job a realistic pursuit of career happiness?
The career path related to working in the IT industry comes with some help. You do not need to go to a university to become a programmer. Specialized courses have an innovative and thoughtful design that allows you to enter the labour market right after graduation. During the course, you prepare a portfolio of programming projects that really represent your acquired skills.
Why IT can be an answer
The IT industry is developing at a rapid pace. The demand for programmers increases every year. The global deficit of programmers has already reached one million. It is estimated that in the next 25 years, as much as half of the occupations will disappear, and the number of hours spent in work requiring programming skills will increase by 55%. You can be sure that you will find a job in this industry after completing the appropriate course. It is an investment that will pay off for sure. And it will bring profits.
Is the money you earn similar to what you can earn as a software developer?
This is another important question you should ask yourself. It is not a myth that programmers’ salaries exceed the national average. As an example, the average salary in the UK is 37,000 euros, whereas the average salary for developers in 2020 reached 66,000 euros a year.
Of course, you should not expect the highest salary right away, but the wage growth curve along with the experience gained looks extremely attractive compared to other industries. As a junior developer, you can expect around 39,000. After 2 years, this amount can rise to 52,000 euros.
You only need 5 years of work experience in the profession to become an employee for whom companies will fight. Such a career leap is only possible in the IT industry. The high demand for programmers gives you a unique opportunity to enter a prominent profession at the perfect moment.
“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” is a frequently asked question, which unfortunately makes some people aware of the complete lack of a plan and the possibility to change. This time you may have a perfect answer.
Time flies. Will your current job allow you to develop in the same way?
Read the following questions. Maybe your answers will motivate you to make further changes.
Are you happy at your job?
Do you think what you do 8 hours a day, 5 times a week, makes sense?
Do you feel needed?
Can you grow?
Do you experience everyday monotony at work, and are you tired of it?
Do you see yourself in your current job for the next 5-10 years?
What exactly (apart from money) does your job give you?
What are your dreams when it comes to your career?
What were your financial dreams?
What would you like to buy in your life, but know that you will put it off for a long time with your current earnings?
How long have you felt in doubt about your career?
Do you have the same opportunities for promotion and earnings growth while staying in your job as working in IT?
True story – Asia and Kuba, Coders Lab graduates
The story of Asia and Kuba is the best example that it is not too late for changes and that working in IT can be the haven we have been looking for all our lives. Asia worked as a teacher and Kuba as a marketer.
Their lives were basically in order. Unfortunately, they felt too much stress at work and growing dissatisfaction with what they were doing. They were disappointed with the lack of development opportunities and their professions’ limitations.
Asia: “I wanted to change my profession because I worked as a teacher, and the job was quite inflexible, quite mundane and caused a lot of stress, which I didn’t actually have any control over.”
Kuba: “As a marketing specialist, I achieved a lot, but on the other hand, it made me feel that I learn less and less and I stopped growing, that’s why I decided to change something.”
“It was very hard in the beginning, but suddenly everything started to click.”
Instead of opting for a course in his native language, Kuba decided to try an English-language course. His decision was conscious; he wanted to learn how to use the best sources of knowledge, most of which are in English.
Kuba and Asia decided to take another difficult step – they decided to leave and start a new life abroad. This only confirms that working in IT can provide many different development opportunities.
Kuba: “What I like best in programming is that I get to create something out of nothing. That we face a problem that has 50 potential solutions.”
Asia: “Continuous learning is interesting in coding because designing itself, well it was one of the motivations that made us choose programming – to feel the outcome of what you do daily, not only just come to the desk, sit around for 8 hours and leave, without noticing what you have created.”
What’s your decision?
If you see your work’s nonsense or feel that it’s time to change, it is worth considering a completely new path that the IT business offers you. It’s never too late. The opportunities offered by the IT industry are a great opportunity not to regret the actions taken and to start a fantastic new adventure in your professional career.
About Coders Lab
Coders Lab is the largest IT school in Poland and the biggest coding boot camp in the CEE region. Since its establishment in 2013, it has educated almost 8,000 junior programmers, testers and Digital UX specialists. More than 80% of Coders Lab graduates found their first job in IT within the first three months after completing the course. The brand is present in Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Austria, Spain and Indonesia and offers franchise licenses for running a coding school.
Prepared by Suzanna Hayek
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