The Atlantic Daily: A Profession Is Not a Personality

By Caroline Mimbs Nyce
The Atlantic

Here’s a six-word story for this economic moment: Job opening, just posted. Please apply.

Americans are quitting their gigs at a record-setting rate: 4.3 million people said bye to their boss in August, according to new data from the Department of Labor. That’s up from the previous all-time peak, logged this past April. Open positions are likewise trending high.

As we’ve written, this “great resignation” may actually be a sign of economic optimism: With so many openings, workers feel empowered to say no to bad gigs in hopes that they’ll find a better one.

It’s a job seeker’s market, and employers may find themselves under pressure to make work life a good life, or face a pile of resignation letters.

  • Is your job giving you the blues? Here’s how to pick a new one that’ll make you happy. “Decades of studies have shown that the people most satisfied with their work are those who find a fundamental match between their employer’s values and their own,” our happiness columnist, Arthur C. Brooks, writes.

  • But remember: A profession is not a personality. “Too many people who work hard and strive for success self-objectify as excellent work machines and tools of performance,” Arthur explains.

  • Slack has upended the workplace. Employees love it; bosses, not so much, our Special Projects editor Ellen Cushing writes in our magazine’s technology issue. The software is changing how a generation works—and complains.

  • Employers have been offering the wrong office perks. Forget the beanbag chairs and the foosball table. Give your staff clean air instead, Joseph Allen, a Harvard professor, advises.

The rest of the news in three sentences:

(1) Most people should no longer start a low-dose aspirin regimen to prevent a heart attack, an independent panel of experts warned. (2) The Brooklyn Nets say Kyrie Irving “will not play or practice with the team” amid a fight over his vaccination status. (3) Kim Kardashian joined Saturday Night Live and remained on brand.

Today’s Atlantic-approved activity:

Knock out those chores. Here’s how gender researchers divvy up all that sweeping and dishwashing and taking out the trash.

A break from the news:

Some flatworms reproduce by having sex. Others just tear themselves in half.


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