By some estimates we work 80,000 hours during our careers. But it’s not just time. Work signals to other people our importance. It tells them approximately how much we make and how much we are worth. The concept of work has changed in the past, and it seems to be changing now. As the pandemic has disrupted the lives of frontline workers — who are disproportionately poorer and browner — many are beginning to question what work means to them.
You were working for what the job got you — the things you could buy, the lifestyle you could maintain.” —Sarah Jaffe, author of “Work Won’t Love You Back”
Listen: How more Americans are reevaluating what work means to them.
Sarah Jaffe is a Type Media Center reporting fellow, a co-host of the podcast “Belabored” and the author of “Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted and Alone.” Jaffe says many solid, middle-class industrial jobs in America are not available anymore, creating a less stable job market. “You were working for what the job got you — the things you could buy, the lifestyle you could maintain,” she says of that bygone era.