A Raw Deal

[I saw] a TikToker venting about how the idealized career is — when you think about it — a raw deal. It went something like this: You devote the bulk of every day for 30-40 years in the prime of your life to various companies to make them and their shareholders money and then you get ten years near the end of your life to do what you please. Sounds like a bad arrangement.

This comes from a newsletter about the future of work. The article is about anti-work attitudes among younger working-age people, pulling choice cuts from their social media channels as evidence.

There’s some interesting stuff in there. It seems that the age of the “career” is quietly drawing to a close and that people are increasingly willing to talk candidly about the true nature of jobs as, at best, a necessary evil.

Perhaps my favorite articulation came from [a] YouTuber [called] Katherout and the title of her May 2021 video: “I no longer aspire to have a career.” Aspire is the key word here. It’s not that she rejects all labor — she rejects how central it is to our sense of self and worth.

For an ahead-of-the-curve take on all this, try the re-released version of my 2016 book or my newer 2020 book, The Good Life for Wage Slaves.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at www.wringham.co.uk/about.

Leave a Reply

Latest issues and offers


Issues One to Seven

A bundle of our first seven issues. Featuring minimalism, Houdini, Leo Babauta, Bohemianism, Alain de Botton, Sartre, and Tom Hodgkinson. 567 pages. £35.


Issues Eight to Thirteen

A bundle of our last six issues. Featuring Luke Rhinehart, Flaubert, Mr Money Mustache, part-time work, Will Self, home life, Richard Herring, and E. F. Schumacher. 593 pages. £30.

Issue Thirteen

Our final issue. Featuring an interview with celebrity mortician Caitlin Doughty; Matt Caulfield on zen fool Ryokan; and Reggie C. King on David Bowie and Sun Ra. 122 pages. £7.

Escape Everything!

A hardback guide to scarpering. Essential reading for wage slaves and slugabeds alike. Published by Unbound and Penguin. 230 pages. £12.