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Posted by on Apr 4, 2019 in business, Culture, Economy, Theology, Work, World | 0 comments

Dreading Monday (Comment Magazine)

Dreading Monday (Comment Magazine)

The spiritual crisis underneath our jobs. Reviewing:  Working The New Press, 2004. 640pp.  Bullshit Jobs: A Theory Simon & Schuster, 2018. 368pp. The Job: Work and Its Future in a Time of Radical Change Currency, 2018. 416pp. “I had no concept of the horrible dread I would feel getting up in the morning to spend all day sitting in an office trying to waste time.” Rachel grew up in a poor family yet graduated from a prestigious British university with a physics degree. Yet soon after graduation, student debt forced her to take a job as a “catastrophe risk analyst” at a big insurance company. Rachel recalls the day she hit an existential tipping point at her new job: The final straw came after months of complaining, when I met my friend Mindy for a drink after a week of peak bullshit. I had just been asked to color coordinate a mind map to show, “the nice-to-haves, must-haves, and would-like-to-have-in-the-futures.” (No, I have no ideas what that means, either.) She ranted at...

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Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Faith and Work Movement | 0 comments

Work, Profession, Job, Vocation, Occupation, Career or Calling?: Getting Clear on Language About Work

Work, Profession, Job, Vocation, Occupation, Career or Calling?: Getting Clear on Language About Work

  “I think I’m gonna quit. I just don’t feel called to this anymore.” “You don’t just have a job, you have a vocation!” Really? It feels more like I need a vacation.   “Some people have a calling,” my father said to me. “But most of us just have a job.” “Profession? Sounds like what rich people do. ‘Round here, we just work.” This is just plain confusing. Work, profession, job, vocation, occupation, career and calling. What exactly are we talking about here? Does vocation and work mean the same thing? When is a job a career, or just a job? Am I working if I’m not getting paid? Do I really have to be called to every task I do at work? Or is it ok to be called to something completely different than my 9-5? Why does it feel like the hardest work I do is at home, and I go to work to rest? The language we use around work – especially among Christians –...

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Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Work | 0 comments

Guest Column for the Boulder Daily Camera: “Moving west for meaningful work”

Guest Column for the Boulder Daily Camera: “Moving west for meaningful work”

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Boulder Daily Camera on January 27, 2016.  Erik Nelson, a former VP with a large financial service company, is on the hunt for meaningful work. He recently moved from Texas to Colorado to find a job in the nonprofit sector, hoping to discover a career with more than monetary benefits. But after a few months, his search became a maze. He recently asked me, “Honestly, can work be anything other than mundane, routine,  and pressure packed?” In other words, isn’t there more to life that working a 9-5—and then escaping to the mountains for the weekend? Like the 19th century gold rush, Erik is one of thousands of people are flocking to Colorado. As the economic center of the United States shiftswestward, cities like Boulder are brimming with new faces – especially millenials. We seem to be following Henry David Thoreau’s prophetic words, “Eastward I go only by force, but westward I go free. This is the prevailing tendency of my...

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