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Joy

Clever comic perfectly illustrates what makes a work environment a healthy one

If it’s not just for the money, what do we look for in a job?

why people are quitting their jobs
All images via thewokesalaryman

Millions of Americans are quitting their jobs in search of something better

Blame it on the pandemic, the Great Resignation or simply the ever-changing times, but the way we view work is quite different now than it used to be. Employees are striving for more work-life balance, four-day work weeks, union protection… In short, it’s no longer just about the daily hustle and grind. People are starting to redefine what work means to them beyond the paycheck.

But if it’s not just for the money, what do we look for in a job?

A comic strip titled “Why people leave even the most high paying jobs” by Woke Salaryman does a great job of answering that question.

The illustrations begin with two co-workers talking. One of them is packing up his things after taking on a new job that would involve a paycut. The other is in disbelief. Sure, the workplace is toxic, but at least it pays well.

things to look for in a job besides money A paycut? What madness is this?!All images from wokesalaryman.com

It’s here that the enlightened exiting co-worker states, “Money is not the ONLY thing that matters in a job.” Here are other things to consider:


1. Culture

work life balance

Looks for work cultures that are collaborative and transparent, rather than competitive and secretive.

Even in the work-from-home age, culture is a major factor for workplace fulfillment. How your boss interacts with you, whether or not you receive credit or support and who you get to learn from all make an impact. Woke Salaryman suggests to look for these two types of healthy company cultures:

Collaborative, where there’s an even exchange of trust, accountability, credit and responsibility. No more micromanagement, gossip or working in silos. Of course, you can work independently and still be collaborative, but I don’t believe the author was trying to dissuade anyone from that. The point is, a collaborative culture instills a sense of safety, rather than fear.

Transparent, where information is freely and honestly exchanged between colleagues and departments. An example of this could look like a visible salary description on a job post or being able to express feedback to the company without fear of retribution.

2. Meaning

what to look for in a job besides money

Some people are passion oriented, others are purpose oriented. Both are valid.

As the comic points out, most of us will spend the majority of our waking lives working. So it helps a lot if what we do feels meaningful. Some are more driven by inner passion, others might be motivated by a sense of purpose to better the world. Neither are necessarily better or worse than the other. But it does help to know your own motivations in order to shape a life (and job) that reflects them.

However, though meaning is important, it’s not necessarily required—or even possible at times—to get that from work. Having a job purely for the sake of income is OK too. Some people have no problem compartmentalizing themselves in a healthy way, deriving meaning from their family, their hobbies or other activities outside of work (to these people I humbly ask … please show me your ways). Hopefully the job at least provides support and space to pursue those interests.

3. Opportunities for growth

woke salaryman comic, why people leave high paying jobs woke salaryman

Networking and perspective, two often overlooked growth opportunities.

Woke Salaryman suggests that people usually define growth as either acquiring new skills or responsibilities, which overlooks network and perspective.

Networking at a good company offers the chance to find quality mentors, clients and partners, all of which can lead to future opportunities.

Perspective is equally vital as the world becomes more connected. The open-mindedness gained through being exposed to new perspectives can help someone become more empathetic, collaborative and versatile … rather than simply tech savvy.

4. Money isn't everything

healthy work culture

Money is a valuable resource, but not the only one.

Of course, the caveat to all this privilege: Though these choices are certainly aspirational, they are not exactly accessible to everyone. Furthermore, money might not be the only reason to choose a job, but it does play a major role in our lives. What the comic is really preaching is to ask ourselves, “What will help me achieve a life well lived?” When we ask ourselves this simple question, money no longer becomes the ultimate or only resource.

If you would like to take a look at the full comic strip, you can check out Woke Salaryman’s website here.

Brandon Conway sounds remarkably like Michael Jackson when he sings.

When Michael Jackson died 13 years ago, the pop music world lost a legend. However markedly mysterious and controversial his personal life was, his contributions to music will go down in history as some of the most influential of all time.

Part of what made him such a beloved singer was the uniqueness of his voice. From the time he was a young child singing lead for The Jackson 5, his high-pitched vocals stood out. Hearing him sing live was impressive, his pitch-perfect performances always entertaining.

No one could ever really be compared to MJ, or so we thought. Out of the blue, a guy showed up on TikTok recently with a casual performance that sounds so much like the King of Pop it's blowing people away.

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Bobby McFerrin demonstrated the power of the pentatonic scale without saying a word.

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The Kennedy Center describes him: “With a four-octave range and a vast array of vocal techniques, Bobby McFerrin is no mere singer; he is music's last true Renaissance man, a vocal explorer who has combined jazz, folk and a multitude of world music influences - choral, a cappella, and classical music - with his own ingredients.”

McFerrin is also a music educator, and one of his most memorable lessons is a simple, three-minute interactive demonstration in which he doesn’t say a single word.

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1989 video brings back strong memories for Gen Xers who came of age in the '80s.

It was the year we saw violence in Tiananmen Square and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. The year we got Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" and Michael Keaton in Tim Burton's "Batman." The year "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" debuted on TV, with no clue as to how successful they would become. The year that gave us New Kids on the Block and Paula Abdul while Madonna and Janet Jackson were enjoying their heyday.

The jeans were pegged, the shoulders were padded and the hair was feathered and huge. It was 1989—the peak of Gen X youth coming of age.

A viral video of a group of high school students sitting at their desks in 1989—undoubtedly filmed by some geeky kid in the AV club who probably went on to found an internet startup—has gone viral across social media, tapping straight into Gen X's memory banks. For those of us who were in high school at the time, it's like hopping into a time machine.

The show "Stranger Things" has given young folks of today a pretty good glimpse of that era, but if you want to see exactly what the late '80s looked like for real, here it is:

Oh so many mullets. And the Skid Row soundtrack is just the icing on this nostalgia cake. (Hair band power ballads were ubiquitous, kids.)

I swear I went to high school with every person in this video. Like, I couldn't have scripted a more perfect representation of my classmates (which is funny considering that this video came from Paramus High School in New Jersey and I went to high school on the opposite side of the country).

Comments have poured in on Reddit from both Gen Xers who lived through this era and those who have questions.

First, the confirmations:

"Can confirm. I was a freshman that year, and not only did everyone look exactly like this (Metallica shirt included), I also looked like this. 😱😅"

"I graduated in ‘89, and while I didn’t go to this school, I know every person in this room."

"It's like I can virtually smell the AquaNet and WhiteRain hairspray from here...."

"I remember every time you went to the bathroom you were hit with a wall of hairspray and when the wind blew you looked like you had wings."

Then the observations about how differently we responded to cameras back then.

"Also look how uncomfortable our generation was in front of the camera! I mean I still am! To see kids now immediately pose as soon as a phone is pointed at them is insanity to me 🤣"

"Born in 84 and growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, it’s hard to explain to younger people that video cameras weren’t everywhere and you didn’t count on seeing yourself in what was being filmed. You just smiled and went on with your life."

Which, of course, led to some inevitable "ah the good old days" laments:

"Life was better before the Internet. There, I said it."

"Not a single cell phone to be seen. Oh the freedom."

"It's so nice to be reminded what life was like before cell phones absorbed and isolated social gatherings."

But perhaps the most common response was how old those teens looked.

"Why do they all look like they're in their 30's?"

"Everyone in this video is simultaneously 17 and 49 years old."

"Now we know why they always use 30 y/o actors in high school movies."

As some people pointed out, there is an explanation for why they look old to us. It has more to do with how we interpret the fashion than how old they actually look.

Ah, what a fun little trip down memory lane for those of us who lived it. (Let's just all agree to never bring back those hairstyles, though, k?)