A Stable Job?

Raise your hand if you thought a purpose of school was to get a stable job.

Keep it raised if you thought that was the purpose of school.

Now look around: how many stable jobs do you see? How many of them would you actually want to do?

We’re going through some enormous shifts in school, life, and work, and the stories we’re telling ourselves still tend to be years (decades?) out of date.

A stable job was a reasonable goal for the industrial economy, but we’re leaving all that in the dust. These days, the interesting jobs aren’t stable, and the stable ones are getting automated away.

First we’ve got to reset our cultural expectations about school and work.

And then we’re going to have to embrace the big (read: political) paradox — most people need a certain amount of stability in their lives and work, especially if they’re going to do interesting, generous, creative work that matters.

If we can’t tie our expectation of and desire for stability to the big industrialists anymore (not even for white-collar work), where will we anchor them instead?