Have you ever done work that you now know was, on balance, mostly harmful?
Let’s say you did payday loans at ridiculously high interest rates, worked in a slaughterhouse where the animals clearly suffered, worked for a company that made land mines or something similar.
Here’s what I’d like to know: Did you think at the time that your job was harmful or did you ignore it or rationalize it somehow? How did it affect you and your coworkers? Did the company address it in any way or was it ignored inside the workplace?
3 thoughts on “Have you ever done harmful work?”
I did some social media marketing job (still do, but now I’m a freelancer and select better my projects.)
A boss made me do some spammy work. It consisted of feeding an automatic tool that generated similar but different enough texts to be published in ghost-blogs (some black-hat “gaming the search engine” thing). I fought my boss about it, couldn’t change his mind, hated the job, procrastinated, but most of all, I really hated myself.
I started to search for another job next day and quit the following month. I never regreted that. Most of my coworkers also left within an year.
I once worked in a factory that has lots of heavy and dangerous machines and the employer didnt care, so I quit.
I think you’re asking a really interesting question! I think because of a person’s ability to rationalize through the confirmation bias, it’s often very difficult to make high-stress decisions being completely ourselves. That said, I’ve always tried to read blog posts (like yours!) or ask a friend for feedback if it pops up!