Future of Work

Maybe you spent Labor Day (Sept. 2) relaxing, or maybe you spent it working—perhaps in exchange for overtime pay?—but either way, the Weekly examined evolving ideas about work in our Aug. 29 cover story.

We looked at millennials, the most highly educated generation in the current workforce, despite what you might've heard about young workers; we also checked in with the 65-and-older age group and some of their challenges re-entering the workforce. 

We looked at ways in which robots might replace humans' jobs, and also the ways in which local institutions are investing in the future of humans continuing to be part of the workforce. 

We also looked at some experimental ideas about how to fundamentally change the way the things operate, including a universal basic income.

We looked back at the history of unions in the region—and by the time we'd gone to print, the present for unions had also made news, after Monterey County workers authorized a strike, then reached an agreement with county negotiators

And we invited our readers to complete an online survey about their own relationship to work. (You can still complete the survey here.)

Here are some of the responses: 

What motivates you most at work?

"Making a client's day."

"The pay is good, the work is noble, the people are great, and we get to create processes to make our work even better."

"Making sure DLI students get the tech they need to succeed."

"Learning new methodologies that enable students to want to intrinsically learn."

"I'm self-employed and work from home. Doesn't get much better than that!"

"Not dying of starvation or homelessness is a pretty good motivator."

Are you fearful your job will be replaced by a machine?

"No."

"Yes."

"Some parts, possibly; but the entire job? Not at all."

"No, because there will be a revolt if the upper class puts too many people out of work. They'll stone Jeff Bezos to death before those unemployment numbers hit 30 percent."

Do you believe limiting immigration will help protect your job? 

"No."

"Yes."

"No. That's stupid."

"Not at all. Unfortunately, immigration has actually led to job security for me (my profession)." 

If you could do it again, would you choose the work you’re in? If not, what profession would you choose?

"Just picture me cackling for, like, an almost inappropriate amount of time. Nobody would choose retail. I would choose social work, which is the field I'm now studying."

"Yes! I'm a nonprofit consultant and I love it."

"Yes, with caveats. I’d get two credentials that would enable me to be a studio teacher for young students in the movie industry and opt for teaching internationally."

"No. Music!"

"Maybe not. I wanted to work for the American Battle Monuments Commission in Europe as a war cemetery superintendent. I'm also interested in investing."

"Yes! I really do enjoy what I do!"

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Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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