Unpaid opportunities

How work has changed for a generation

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  • Published 20170502
  • ISBN: 9781925498356
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I HAVE THIS social dread when meeting new people. A nervousness that keeps me on edge during the early introductions and the vocal sparring that takes place after shaking hands and saying each other’s names. It’s not an aversion to interacting with strangers; I’m just on the lookout for someone to ask me the question that inevitably comes up. As new acquaintances seek to elicit information, the first question that comes to mind is ‘What do you do?’

It’s a reasonable enough way to find out a lot about somebody quickly. After all, people take a lot of pride in their work and some genuinely enjoy it. But what if you feel you’re totally over-educated for your current position? Maybe it’s just something you’re doing for money and you have no attachment to it? Maybe you’re in the job because you need as many shifts as you can get, and all the jobs you apply for that you really want don’t even acknowledge your application? You also know that if you mention you’ve worked in, say, manual labour, a whole series of prejudices and assumptions are going to begin barrelling through the mind of the person talking to you.

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About the author

Michael Newton

Michael Newton received his Masters in Political Economy from the University of Sydney. He has led a peripatetic career, primarily in the media, arts...

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