Tips for Business Start Ups: What is a job? New ideas about your workforce

In this existential process of rethinking identity and role in the world, the very nature of what a job is comes under the spotlight. It’s not just a 35 hr / week, 38 weeks a year homogenous thing with no variation or complexity to it but a series of layered activities, tasks, roles, which requiring various levels of expertise, skill, knowledge and do-ability. These layers are not all equally constituted through out a jobs life time either, but vary in thickness with time – some times you spend all the time doing the accounts, others, doing the thinking, others driving around to get there. Some work is clearly mindless –and bodiless.

There’s also a range of peripheral activities to getting the job done – driving somewhere, drinking coffee, conversing with people who may or may not have much to do with the said job but are about developing relationships to get the job done. Sometimes the job is the relationships.

Sometimes you can find yourself doing three jobs at one event. At another event, no job gets done but the event might be full of peripheral activity and mindless stuff which gets in the way of getting the job done.

The job is like a geological slice land at different times, with differing functions, subject to different pressures and producing unpredictable and surprising outcomes: and the notion of ‘work’ becomes the combination of different jobs or different geological strata combining to bring about some kind of change, production or outcome.

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