TED Talk: What makes us feel good about our work?

I really like this talk; particularly the idea of Sisyphian work and his last comment about Smith vs Marx ideologies. First of all, Sisyphian work defines what we’ve come to expect of 9-5 work. It doesn’t have any real meaning to us, and you’re doing the same thing everyday without any real sense of improvement or change. An example would be working in retail. Everyday, you’re selling a product to costumers, and despite your possible enjoyment in talking to different people, every day looks much the same. Even if you’re an excellent associate, on a non-commission based job, you won’t ever see the results of your sales.

The Smith vs Marxian point brings up an anecdote I heard. At financial institutions, many jobs are parceled out unnecessarily so that 3 people can work on what should be a 1 person job. This may both reduce efficiency and motivation, as pointed out in the TED talk.


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