The Ethos of Work

The pandemic has accelerated something that began a long while ago, something that could be called the ethos of work. Back in the 50’s and 60’s one  did what the employer wanted. Award winning movies of that era like The Man in The Grey Flannel Suit or The Apartment depict the personal sacrifices an employee had to make in order to climb the corporate ladder or even in some instances keep their job. Slowly the balance has shifted and  selling out to the corporation or company that employs you in some circles has become a taboo. People want a job that fits within their ethical views, a job that has meaning. The pandemic contributed to a change in the 9 to 5 model being outdated, but it also accelerated the meaning of work. People are earning more and they are demanding more, they want better work conditions, but also they want all this within a job that fits their values and sometimes personalities. Instead of fitting themselves to the demands of the job, they expect the job to fit withing their demands and expectations. This is particularly  so of  millennials and  the younger generation Z. There are no studies as yet that document this, yet researchers are noticing the shift. What I think is relevant is that whereas work was something one had to do and which was usually outside the main of one’s life, work now has to be more a part of oneself, has to reflect who  one is. The word passion is used a lot by those describing the change, people want to feel passionate about the job they have. There are exceptions of course, compromises one willingly makes, or perhaps even people who have to accept the work there is whether or not they are passionate about it, but it does not change the trend, the movement forward that equality between employee and employer is gaining momentum.