The Workin’ Life: A Special Report

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


“So, what do you do?” It’s the party question guaranteed to stir up a cocktail of anxieties. In the ancien régime, Miss Manners tells us, the question would have been impertinent, at least among aristocrats, whose badge of honor was that they didn’t do anything. Today, to a dangerous degree, we are what we do. No wonder, then, that downsizing, while all the rage on Wall Street in the late ’80s, terrified even the toughest yuppie. A different kind of rage could be detected among the employees left behind, such that even shareholders noticed the effect on morale and performance. One result: a new corporate enthusiasm for “soul” in the workplace. Milton Moskowitz takes measure of this movement and lists 20 companies he believes embody it. Ann Monroe and Marci Baker interview several New Yorkers who have found soul-satisfying work. And Daniel Yankelovich warns that winning companies must rebuild employee trust to compete in the global economy. Will they? Even as the economy has soared, secure and fulfilling jobs remain elusive for most. Josh Clark interviews experts who argue those jobs are gone forever, a prediction that leaves a vexing question for the entire nation: “So, what do you do?”

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate