‘Bullshit jobs’: 35% of Brits think their job is pointless, survey finds

© Shannon Stapleton
More than 35 percent of workers in the UK think their job does not make any meaningful contribution to the world, but are not currently seeking more fulfilling employment, a new survey has revealed.

The research, carried out by YouGov, found that 50 percent of workers believe their job is in some way meaningful, while 13 percent are not sure.

On the whole, men (42 percent) are more likely than women (32 percent) to say their job has no meaning.

The majority of respondents (53 percent) say although their job is devoid meaning they are not seeking to change their line of work. Some 35 percent said they are thinking about moving jobs.

The survey also asked workers whether they find their job personally fulfilling.

It showed a similar proportion (33 percent) to those who find their job meaningless also fail to find personal fulfilment. Some 63 percent find their job fulfilling, while 18 percent find it very fulfilling.

At 42 percent, workers in London are the most likely to find their job unfulfilling, while people in the Midlands and Wales are the most likely to find their jobs highly fulfilling (both 67 percent fulfilled and 27 percent unfulfilled).

YouGov asked respondents how proud they are of their job. Nearly half of Brits said they would be proud to tell someone about their work when meeting for the first time.

Only 8 percent said they are ashamed of their line of work and 41 percent said they are neither proud nor embarrassed.

The pollsters conducted the research after an anonymous group planted posters on the London underground network with quotes about the meaninglessness of employment.

“It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs for the sake of keeping us all working,” one read.

Huge swathes [sic] of people spend their days performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed,” another read.

The quotes came from an article in STRIKE! magazine from 2013.

Author of the piece David Graeber called the phenomenon “bullshit jobs” and explains in the article that, rather than using technological advances to create shorter working days, whole industries have been created which are not socially useful.

These industries require volumes of workers to administer and support them, resulting in thousands of “bullshit jobs,” he wrote.