All work isn’t the same

Jobs jobs jobs. Politicians love talking about jobs. But they might consider singing a slightly varied tune as 2021 has been the year of take-this-job-and-shove-it.

The Harvard Business Review reported:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. Resignations peaked in April and have remained abnormally high for the last several months, with a record-breaking 10.9 million open jobs at the end of July.

The great resignation should be some sort of indication to politicians that people are rethinking JOBS. The jobs where you are hooked to an employer and you have to do what they say and then you get a deposit into your checking account every two weeks. That kind of job. The kind of job that is referenced in the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The greatest percentage of resignations come from mid-career professionals, people who probably have a lot on their plate. They are probably juggling kids and aging parents. And yet they are chosing to quit their jobs.

I think it would be worth the effort to figure out what other work they will be doing instead of the work-for-money job they just quit. Wouldn’t that be good to know? If a voluntary workforce was being formed to address delivery of health care, wouldn’t it be useful to track these efforts and the results that follow?

Or maybe it isn’t the joint goal of better health but instead the shared goal of furthering early education. I think is would be valuable to understand how many presently unaccounted hours support young children’s advancement in learning. Then in a decade we could all understand the results. Or maybe people are leaving their jobs to be present in the neighborhood and be vigilant in the deterrence of low level crime. Counting the number of working hours devoted to this cause, and the ensuing results, could draw some conclusions as to the capacity of an area to improve public safety.

You see I don’t believe people, in the prime of their lives, are quitting jobs to sit around on an overstuffed sofa and nibble on snacks. I believe they feel they have something more valuable to do with their time and efforts and expertise. Wouldn’t we all be better served if the government helped with a structure to channel those aspirations and in turn track the outcomes?

The old structure of government taking money from one side, arguing for two years before handing it off to the other side is getting boring. Why don’t they think with a little more dynamism. Jobs don’t have to pay rolled. They can be mission based. Think of what could be accomplished with a little structure and an energized population wishing to do good.