The Future of Work

I often speak to people about some things that they find startling. That’s my vision of the future of work. I’m going to share those ideas here. They are not popular, because they are not in sync with what is and what we have been taught to think about concepts like laziness, exertion, and effort. First I’ll go over some of the ideas that we currently have about work and why they are toxic and must be fazed out of our society. See also my blog post on my thoughts about how companies need us to have needs.

Working 40 hours a week.

Why 40 hours? Why not 36, or 42, or 20? Where did this number come from? It is absolutely arbitrary. Yet, it traverses the allotted work schedules of people across tremendously variant fields and positions. It is nonsensical to work for a specific amount of time each week. If you have worked on your own projects or in collaboration, you know that your work load varies week per week, even if you are performing the same tasks. What ends up happening for a lot of office workers that I have spoken to is that a lot of the time, we end up having to come up with creative ways to pretend to be working. That’s exhausting.

Beyond having to come up with ways to appear like we’re working, humans don’t have the stamina to work in sets of 8 hour intervals. Sure, we may take breaks. But when we are on the clock, we are supposed to be on. It’s not reasonable to expect humans to perform consistently for 8 hours 5 days a week. From my experience with the creative process and working as a freelancer, I enter waves of extreme concentration. This may last a couple of hours. Then I have to walk away from my desk and do a more tactical task like cleaning or walking outside. There’s also an unspoken rule in offices that you’re lazy or odd if you take breaks. Anyone working in an office has felt the icy judgment of management (and even coworkers) upon taking a short break to see the sunlight.

Further, there are many weeks where I work more than 40 hours because I don’t feel that there is enough mental stimulation at my work to keep me satisfied. So I engage in freelance gigs to work my brain more rigorously. The amount of hours of work we do per week has no bearing on satisfaction, only the work that we do. We should be free to work the hours that we need to “get the job done” and then focus on different activities that are self-enriching. Can you imagine a workplace that trusted employees to do their best, and work only the hours that they need in order to complete the tasks assigned?

Work-life balance.

Most people talking about work-life balance on LinkedIn are full of shit. For example, I read a post last week written by a manager. She said that her new employee was terrified that she would be mad at her for getting a flat tire and being late to work as a result. The boss said that she reassured the employee that there was a work-life balance at the new company, and that the employee should not be afraid. That’s not work-life balance. We are still very childish when it comes to understanding work-life balance. It’s not whether or not someone should be able to respond to life occurrences like a flat tire. That’s ridiculous.

Work-life balance still does not address the extent of humanness, which encompasses individuals dealing with mental health, their personal lives, illness, and more. Work places do not allow room for simple human needs like an extra hour on lunch on a difficult day for the employee to be able to go to a park and meditate. We don’t see humans as humans in the work place. Employees are still treated like they are producers. The rampant incline of mental health talk should be bringing about quicker change in this arena. But we are still stuck in Ford’s time. Efficiency at all costs. And we call work-life balance not being pissed when someone gets a flat tire. We call work-life balance letting someone go to the doctor. We call work-life balance allowing someone to go home when they are sick.

Hierarchical structure.

We need to do away with hierarchal structure in the workplace. When we treat people in the manner of a caste system, then they will reflect those roles back to us. For example, if I go into work each day and am treated as if I am an imbecile, I will act accordingly, because that is the manner in which I will be seen. There is no amount that I can “prove myself” to shift the views of people adamant about viewing me in a particular light. If, instead, we viewed people in their strengths and their light, we would see that they act much more in favor of the company.

After all, it’s called a company for a reason. We take company with a group of people and tackle a common goal. When we have implementations of a hierarchal structure, then we are no longer a company, but a caste system that operates out of fear and illusion. The illusion is that some people in this world hold more importance than others. We all hold importance in our own strengths (and weaknesses!). Society has conditioned us to see the world in roles. We are conditioned to aspire to these roles, and others are set as gatekeepers. There is no hierarchy in the natural world, only the wains of cycles. We can feign to hold caste systems in the workplace, but those are fabrications meant to stroke egos.

The future of work.

These are the projections that I have about the future of work. Those who say that they are unreasonable are the same that thrive on the hierarchy and lack of change. They may not recognize that there is a lot of work to do outside of a standard job. We are entering an era of increasing flux and change, especially with the speed at which technology and interpersonal relationships are driving us.

  1. We will work towards the achievement of tasks and goals, regardless of hours spent.
  2. We will accommodate for mental health and real life outside of traditional work.
  3. We will work as collaborators, not in a caste system.

I see these changes happening in the realm of self-employment especially. We have tremendously talented and forward-thinking individuals who are taking their futures into their own hands. They are turning their backs on cubicles, office gossip, and inflated egos. They are buckling down and creating themselves. They are pushing the boundaries that we put on ourselves through society’s teachings. There is no more room for us to make ourselves crazy working in a very specific and very toxic way. We must expand consciousness to allow for humanness to enter work.

Habits of Empowerment

You don’t have to be in a position of power to feel empowerment. Often, it will be in those states of feeling like your time is not your own (or that you have no control over what you put out into the world) that you have the awesome opportunity to develop habits that make you feel empowered. My generation is made up of complete trailblazers who don’t stand to be limited because of their circumstances, their net worth, and their experience. Even if we don’t have much materially speaking, we are a group that will voice our needs and work to make a life that works better for our personalities, temperaments, and creative aspirations.

I often come to an end-of-the-week slump where I feel completely immobilized by tethering to my current workplace. It is a feeling that I am not using all of my skills, and that there is so much more I could be pulling out of myself and displaying. There could be a number of variables at play, which I will not go into in detail. But the takeaway is that I end the week feeling out of my power. I spend the weekend reclaim my identity, just to go back into the workweek and feel my power fluttering away again.

Even when we are not in optimal positions that suit us, we can develop habits of empowerment. These habits can keep us from feeling like our future is not completely in the hands of others. The following are the things that I do to reclaim my power and charge up for the upcoming workweek.

I acknowledge that I have room for my work at home.

I look at the space that I have cultivated in my apartment and in my personal life to play with other work that I do like writing for this blog, freelancing, and taking a ceramics class. I thank myself for giving myself the room to grow and I repeat to myself that the things I do at home will also help me to feel more satisfied at work.

I seek alternative opinions and work on my mind.

Every time I feel claustrophobic in my own life, I head to the bookstore. These tremendous places of knowledge open me back up and it’s inevitable that I walk out with a couple books and a smile on my face. Work is not the end of your mental stimulation. If you are like me, you absolutely crave learning new things and you’re always looking for new avenues of thought. I feel incredibly empowered when I learning new things, and even more so when I discover a new topic of interest.

I learn more about myself and dig into my feelings.

When I feel as though the outside world is not offering the attention, praise, or other egoic things I’d like, I dig deeper into myself. I do this by journaling and thinking. I ask myself why I put importance of specific segments of my life. I look at societal conditioning. I think about learned patterns. I dig into perception. I find comfort in understanding my own thought process and empowerment in my ability to be malleable.

Empowerment, like all things, comes from the self. The ego will convince you that you need something outside of yourself to acknowledge your worth. The ego will trick you into measuring yourself up to anyone other than yourself. Empowerment will set your ego down and explain to it very rationally that it doesn’t stand a chance. And when your ego tries to fight back with a booming voice and tears of rage, your inner power will soothe the wounded parts of yourself and set the ego back in its place.

Perfection Neurosis

I started a ceramics class two weeks ago. In our first class, we went over the supplies we would need. But in the second class, we made a pebble bowl. A pebble bowl is created by taking an already made bowl and lining it with plastic. After that, you take a clump of clay and rip it into small pieces. Then, you place the pieces down on the plastic lining side by side. Now this is just the first step.

But as soon the instructor gave us these instructions, there was a murmur. Myself and the six other women in my class leaned towards the teacher. The comments and questions rolled in steadily and strongly. Trepidation.

“Am I doing this right?”

“What shape should the pieces be?”

“Are these pieces too big?”

“There are gaps! Will I be able to eat cereal out of this bowl?” (That was me.)

I had a quick realization that these women were mirroring my own insecurities. We are programmed to want (and feel like we have to) do things perfectly, even the first time we try them. This is even if it’s for a hobby and there is nothing major at stake.

This neurosis (and it did really sound like neurosis after it went on for a solid hour), heavily impedes our magical and innate ability to create art. Later on in the class, I heard from a couple women that there were strong mother figures in their lives who created amazing art.

But the neurosis does not stem from being around artists during our childhoods. The neurosis comes from strange ideas that society would have us believe about ourselves. These include the fear of being a beginner and the pressure to perform even outside of a high-stakes settings. No wonder so many of us subject ourselves to menial work that does not feel fulfilling.

If society embraced beginnings and hobbies (without attachment to money-making and performance), we would not be afraid to strike out on our own and create the life we sit and whisper about when we’re alone. 

Perfection is encouraged in our society because it controls us. It’s not even institutions that control us so much as our own learned behaviors. In fact, we are not born with these types of neuroses. Instead, we are socially conditioned to be sick.

In order to be a functioning member of society, we are required to learn how to be neurotic. 

Our day-to-day revolves around neurotic action. We are propelled into a wakened state by a loud alarm set for an arbitrary time designated by our employer (of course, we are the ones accommodating for the day’s preparation, so we can decide the exact waking time to some extent). Our morning routine is timed. We must make ourselves look how our employer wants us to look. We must be on-time after sitting in traffic. Our day must be a certain period of time in duration, regardless of how long our work actually takes to do.

We are made to be neurotic because it helps society to control us. In order for society to run, it requires us to have needs. Those needs are told to us to be material. However, we are often lacking in real needs like a sense of belonging to a community, self-esteem, and a feeling of care and love towards ourselves. Instead, we are often lonely and self-critical (just peek at social media).

Most of our true needs are poorly met by society because they are not allotted for. There is little place in the bustle to sit quietly with ourselves. In fact, it feels at this point to me that the only way that I will be able to gain peace to meet my internal and community needs are to become self-employed. I have come to these strong ideas about the neuroticism of society through observation of the stream of actions that looks to play out in the lives of office workers. To me, the dictated path is off-putting.

The neurosis lives strongly there, where our employers need for us to have needs, in order for us to need them. And the neurosis does not stop once we get off work. We begin senseless toil at home too, weaving in complexities that are unnecessary and time-consuming. We feel the weight of imperfection. We crave the open air and some time to sit in a dark room and quiet our minds. Our souls thrash under the coils we have tangled ourselves in. This is the neurosis of societal belonging. 

Curb Your Incompetence

Judgments of incompetence are a dying remnant of hierarchical interpersonal systems that place weight on manipulation and fostered sub-ordinance. Rather than working harmoniously in a cooperative style, incompetence labels encourage viewing individuals based on assumed capability. These judgments forgo admittance of capability to learn, grow, and work in a work, home, team, or other setting. Many people are capable of placing their opinions on the same track as fact. This burden of misattributed source of information makes for complex convergence of misjudgment and outright mishandling of capabilities attribution. In this, it is best to stray from being accountable to our misjudgments, and fail to relay our opinions about those we perceive as incompetent. There is simply no place in interpersonal dealings for clotting opinion of capabilities, especially when there is a task at hand.

When you are asked to curb your incompetence, in this case in a classroom setting, you start to ask yourself some odd questions. What am I doing to indicate that I am incapable of completing a task? On what basis are my classmates judging my capability to learn this material? Or further, what right do my classmates or even teachers have to tell me that a task is too difficult for me to accomplish? The core of learning is in cooperation and not in judging the capabilitiesof the people around you. It is not in diminishing your fellow learners, classmates, and teachers. It is in fostering their ideas and methods, so as to encourage their growth. We cannot underestimate the impact of individuals who set out to learn a completely new skill. Neither can we sink when we receive continuous negative feedback and pushback from someone who we are meant to work in cooperation with.

mountains photo by Seth kane

Dictating someone’s level of incompetence is not a weapon that people should use against another. Nobody has all of the information available so as to be able to come to that conclusion, especially in a classroom setting. Trivializing someone’s ability to contribute can only point out the ego of those diminishing it. Individuals should not have to fight to contribute. They should not have to make themselves lesser in order to appease someone who is all too ready to define them. Incompetence is not the incapabilities of a particular person. It’s the surrounding feedback that an individual receives to make themselves believe in their incapabilities. Whether we receive direct feedback claiming our incompetence or we receive no indication that we are working towards our goals, we can feel defeated and hollowed by the process.

On whatever goal we work on, it is not the duty of others to tell us that we are not good enough and that we are not capable of moving forward. We must remember that those who claim our incompetences reveal much more about themselves than they reveal about us. If someone undervalues or diminishes your capabilities, it is not your job to prove them wrong. Nor is it your job to make them proud of you, show them your abilities so as to convince them differently,  or really begin to question your place.

Implicit Conduct Codes

Implicit conduct codes are often modes of behavior that are deducible through context. They make for smoother interactions and help in determining individual instances of appropriateness. These codes help people entering an unfamiliar situation gain some information about how to act. For example, it is generally understood that libraries are meant to be a place in which people act quietly. Explicitly, visitors can be given this information. However, with minimal effort, it can also be deduced that quietness is the norm by entering the physical space. Humans are capable of making situationally appropriate decisions that will keep them in-line with the environment’s implicit conduct codes. But there are more convoluted instances, and particularly these stem from individuals creating their own implicit conduct codes within interpersonal contexts.

When talking to some individuals, it seems there is a particular manner in which they expect to be spoken to. There is an underlying conduct codes that they want you to pick up on. In his book, Them: Adventures with Extremists, Jon Ronson says during one of his encounters with a religious leader, “I realized that people who were in proximity to Dr. Paisley were required to adhere to a protocol that I had no knowledge nor understanding of.” This confusing attachment of unknown yet implied ruling is seen in social contexts and especially appears in workplaces. These fabrications can only really be expected to be found out by testing the relationship, whether purposefully or not. Their existence can emerge instantaneously and provoke reexamining of the situation.

mountains and water photo by Michael Dam

In an advice-driven article by Liz Ryan called “Ten Ways It Hurts You To Do Your Job Too Well”, an individual relates that he began a new job. It was going well at first, and his manager Angie seemed to approve of his work. Several months into the job, his manager asked him for an inventory report during a meeting. Glenn said “I automated most of that report, so I can get you an updated version every day if you want one.” At once, the manager’s attitude changed and “Angie glared at me like I said something horrible.” Regarding the situation, Liz Ryan says that “It’s a sad fact of life that the corporate and institutional worlds were not made for standout employees.” The outstanding employee threatens the baseline of performance and shakes the confidence of the self-conscious manager. But this principle applies on a larger scale. Those who internalize implicit codes of conduct that others are meant to pick up on miss the tonality of human interaction, regardless of the context.

Tempered, implicit conduct codes are reasonable given that there is enough contextual information to detail the expected behaviors of a participant in an interaction. They are also reasonable when they meet certain threshold of cooperation. For example, you cannot have a reasonable set of implicit conduct codes that require subservience of one participant. Holding onto these codes in itself may well signify that one person views themselves with more importance. That’s in the particular scenario and perhaps beyond. It is not sound to demand, especially without explicit saying it, that some people with which you interact must make themselves smaller in your presence. No amount of power or authority makes it reasonable to formulate these deeply internalized codes. Further, when such people who do formulate these codes are met with an unexpected response, it is not reasonable to measure their appropriateness within the situation. This is because appropriateness can only be measured against explicit and contextually-apparent codes of conduct.

The Ethics of Ghostwriting

Ghostwriting is the act of creating written material that will appear attributed to someone other than the actual author. This method of creating content places value of name over mastery of penmanship. It is inauthentic and misleading. Writing is a deeply personal act. It requires simultaneous orchestration of two persistent thoughts – what to put in and what to leave out. It’s a play of social maneuvering at its most sophisticated. And that may just be part of the reason that people choose to hire ghostwriters instead of do the work themselves.

Writing is highly revelatory of the author. Deeply-ingrained beliefs and insecurities inevitably leak out onto the page. The author may not even be able to perceive the very things he is revealing to his readers. The study of intentions and underlying psychological potency in writing is the dual-speak. In a written selection, there is both the text itself and all of the thoughts of the reader as he perceives the text. Those seeking ghostwriters may seek to mask conveyance of aspects of themselves that they want to hide, much like Dr. Jekyll kept up the appearance of being morally pristine, while relegating his unsightly traits to Mr. Hyde.

mountain photo by Jake Sloop

Ghostwriting is not ethical because the individual receiving the attribution provides an alternative version of himself that does not come from him. Yet he claims the words as his own. Additionally, readers cannot properly determine whether or not the text was indeed ghostwritten. And thus far, it is not a requirement to disclose this. With the amount of ghostwriting jobs available in the freelance community, it’s easy to see that ghostwriting has become a norm. It is not frowned upon, and often the excuse for seeking a ghostwriter is that the individual does not have enough time, or they do not have the natural ability for writing. I have spoken previously about the invalidity of the time argument. As for the propensity of some towards writing better than others, I think this is a fallacy that we wrangle en-masse.

Ghostwriting wrangles with authenticity, souring the landscape of authorship.

The words of some of those we look up to are not their own. Ghostwriting allows that the name of the author is more important and relevant than the material itself. Sticking a specific name on the writing of another shows that we value name over content, when it comes down to it. The underlying networks of publication ensure that names are well represented and that they appear often enough in print so as not to become irrelevant. Ghostwriters are people like me, who have no weight to their names yet are capable of writing in a particular preferred manner. The ethics of ghostwriting point to a clear portion in our culture – authorship is not equivalent to text. This means that associating material with the individual attributed as author rests shaky ground. We simply cannot be sure of the true wordsmith.

The implication of questioning the ethics of ghostwriting are vast, but are not likely to be addressed on a larger scale for quite some years. We currently live in a media age that prefers quantity to quality, as I have previously pointed out. So it will continue to be important to those developing personal branding around their names to use ghostwriters for some or all of their content needs. Their commitment to creating a quota of content has placed them into perhaps a seemingly unavoidable situation that requires them to seek beyond themselves for help with producing at such volume. We gain from this quota, consistency, and branding a shell of an individual. Authorship is not directly representative.

mountains photo by Colton Brown

Authorship has not always existed as it does now. At times in history, it was used in assigning accountability to the content disbursed to the people. Authorship was connoted with taking responsibility  and pride in the workings of language, art, and ideas. It starts now on more disbursed grounds, with people more readily publicly excusing themselves for past text. Highly-branded individuals release overly-formulated and sanitized statements. These hardly convey personality, and rarely appear untouched by ghostwriting. Language has hit a state of normalization, and part of the issue with it is in ghostwriting. Inauthenticity as a prime argument against ghostwriting stands with the belief that a person’s words hold importance.

We need to look past the levity of names attributed as author and assign more weight to the authentic representation of content as it relates to true authorship. This industry of ghostwriting may well have been born out of the new age of personal brand. And this is ironic in itself, because the purpose of personal branding is to represent individuality. However, readers may be more concerned with material that is approved by the branded individual and less concerned with whether or not the individual sat to write down his or her own thoughts.

The New Work Order

The new work order is coming as technology advances and brick-and-mortar shops wriggle out as our means of obtaining essential and nonessential products and services expand. Customer service experiences that overly cater to customer requests, no matter how indulgent, are on the decline. In the old rigid world of retail, the motto remains that “the customer is always right.” Retail is going away, and hopefully at an exponentially quicker pace than it’s currently leaving. The industry festers and teems with permissive attitudes that spoil the very experience of obtaining material goods. Where purchasing directly from a shop was once a personal transaction between salesperson and customer, the process has become so sales-driven that it has lost authenticity. The customer is skeptical – what are they selling me? Free samples come with a catch. Behind the scenes, the customers are ridiculed for making informed decisions about their purchases. Preferred customers are those with no regard of price comparison, automated “yes” impulses, and pay the most quickly.

We see some online sales taking similar approaches to retail practice – multiple pop-ups, invasive chat windows, and prompts to add-on items. Last year, TurboTax went so far as to add an item to carts without the consent of customers. If customers did not catch and remove the item, they would unwillingly make the non-refundable purchase. The ethics of customer service need to change. They have at points overprotecting the customers (eg. 100% guarantees) and at other times give companies the upper hand (eg. manipulative price points to give the appearance of higher savings). In this, aware individuals are beginning to seek out those businesses that operate ethically. It’s often difficult to tell, with so many companies also speaking highly of their ethical policies where their actions do not reflect stated intent.

hill photo by Dan Gold

Part of the problem of immoral business practice rests in consistent displacement of guilt and blame onto the idea of the corporation. The life of the organization is not only preferred and sustained over the livelihoods and just treatment of employees (without which the organization would not exist), but now we hear common phrases in the workplace about an etherial “corporate”  that “made us to do it” or “isn’t giving us what we need.” When all of the employees in a company blame a mystical other, there is nobody actually accountable for a choice, action, and statement. Through this, there is also nobody who is accountable for creating a change.

Additionally, when suggestions are proposed on an individual level, they are automatically disregarded. There is an unclear path to which suggestions go. And many times when suggestions are made, they enter an ether never to be requited. The immoral business practices continue to live on because there never quite seems to be someone taking direct responsibility. Decisions are made behind a mask, or an overhead name – the company’s name. Choices are faceless and nameless unless they result in astonishingly positive results. These results are chalked up to a face because they are thought to increase morale among employees.

The new work order has a face and a name.

The dissociation between indulgent customer service and etherial choices made by a corporate head make for a rather unaccountable staff as well. They exchange time for money, and each individual values his or her time on his own meter. These attributions are often arbitrary and cause internal resentment. The mode by which corporations, especially those retail-based, operate does not leave much room for individual contributions beyond those strictly assigned by in-store and corporate managers. The lot of this type of work is mechanical, uncreative, and substantially detrimental to the human spirit.

The new work order is technology-based and requires personal educational investment.

The future of jobs is in highly-specialized positions and remote work. Through this shift, retail will fall off the wayside. As environmental, ethical, and consumerism concerns begin to loom more potently, malls and shopping centers will become ruins of a past littered with spontaneous purchases, mounting credit card debt, “self-treating”, and a general unawareness of waste and excess. Digital waste will become the new consumerist problem. Technology will drive people to learn new skills and challenge themselves. Ethics and authentic interactions will coagulate in the business sphere and workers will see their personal needs come closer to matching the needs of a greater “company.”

The new work order is cooperative and creative.

When we look at the word “company”, we see that it implies cooperative and accompanied work. Cooperative structures are far more in line with this principle. When workers have a real-life stake in a company, they feel pride and ownership in the work that they do. In such, work is not a paycheck, it’s an impassioned act of cooperatively working towards a shared goal. Non cooperative companies attempt to emulate the same pride in work without the benefits of ownership. In this, they often fail to placate those exact people who could push them forward. They placate those who have no means to think creatively of an alternative to working for an etherial other.

Organizational Distraction

Organization distraction is one of the most prominent forms of distraction in the professional arena. Available at every turn, these systems help us know how and when to act in settings, so that we may become legitimized and gain from doing so. Through systemization of advancement and reward qualifiers, distraction has met the ultimate method of compromise with our psyches. At jobs, this type of distraction takes form of formal training, performance reviews, abstracted organizational principles and goals, suggestive interactions, and much more. Oftentimes, the individual could not even be aware of those driving forms distracting him from other possibly pre-meditated goals and aspirations. Herein lies the distraction; the individual becomes enraptured in the propositions and potentials of an organization.

Organizational distraction may be especially felt when an individual has a clear goal outside of an organization.

He proceeds to enter the organization, and becomes distracted in the verbalized or implied advancement and reward potentials. In doing so, he forget or excuses advancements for his outside goal. You may see this with people who obtain a position with a new organization, sometimes that they know little about. They may quickly get sidetracked from their personal attempts to better themselves and their lives for the sake of a more immediate societal reward. Some will relinquish their goals, temporarily or permanently, to obtain the organization’s notice. In doing so, compromising for a period of time an ultimate goal.

Others without a personal goal that rests outside of an establishment can easily become entangled in the fruits promised of their loyalty and submission. In so, they relinquish a path constructed by themselves, and follow a path that has already been preset by an organization. They are often also a lesser burden on that system, because they are less inclined to question it and attempt to change it in their favor. Similarly, they will not suffer the same pains of an unfulfilled goal  outside of the organization. Being within it already and having little or no outside ties to another goal, they need just command their behaviors in accommodation of that which is already outlined.

photo by Alan Hurt Jr.

Organization distraction is potent. It provides a clearer path of conduct than often the individual’s personal goal does. It is far easier to know and follow the qualifying steps of an organizational structure towards a merit than it is to fulfill a goal without a clear path or (nearly) guaranteed reward. So most people will opt to remain distracted by the windings of an organization. The end of the route of organizational distraction is status fulfillment, whether that looks like a name on an email signature or a number on a paycheck.

Regardless of the path of sole goal fulfillment or taking part in organizational distraction, most people resoundingly seek the acknowledgement of an achievement from an entity outside of the self. The path of procuring this acknowledgment depends on more individualized factors. While some pride themselves on the restraint of following organizational regimentation, others cannot fathom their fates being determined by an organization that they do not fully endorse. Organizational distraction is powerful, and can position the individual neatly within a controlled environment. Being a cog is rewarded, socially elevated, and resoundingly abstracted. But ff we fail to question the processes and rewards of the organizations that set our paths out for us, we fail to measure these organizations against our personal ethical ideals and their compatibility with our goals.