Arts & Humanities: Don't Leave College Without Them

Perhaps this is why the most fulfilling and desired jobs appear to be the ones which most resemble the early “economy” paradigm—both facilitating collab- oration with other humans and fostering opportuni- ties to make a tangible impact on them. Teachers and nurses, for instance, consistently rank as both highly fulfilling and popularly sought-out professions, re - portedly because they minimize isolation, maximize human impact and continually facilitate community collaboration (Ferguson). These desires are particularly strong for Millennials who crave tangible human impact like no other gen- eration that’s preceded them. As Mark Zuckerberg noted of Millennials in his 2017 Harvard Commence- ment Speech: “[They] are already one of the most charitable generations in history. In one year, three out of four US millennials made a donation, and sev- en out of ten raised money for charity.” In fact, in the majority of cases, this reward of tan- gible impact and workplace engagement outweighs the traditional reward of monetary compensation; according to a 2013 Intelligence Group Study, 64% of the Millennials surveyed claimed they would “rather make $40,000/year at a job they love than $100,000/year at a job they think is boring” (“Mil- lennial Generation”). To address this shortcoming of loneliness, boredom and disengagement from humanity, many corpora- tions are attempting to highlight human contact through a variety of solutions. A Harvard Business Review article entitled “Workspaces That Move Peo- ple”, showcases how companies such as Facebook,

traordinarily damaging effects on our mental and physical health. In explaining our fundamental human need for social connection down to the mi- cro-level, Cacioppo demonstrates how loneliness correlates with increased blood pressure, dulled cognition, a deteriorated immune system, accel- erated aging and an increased presence of stress hormones (qtd. in Hawkley and Thisted). Such con- sequences are only exacerbated in the workplace, according to Hakan Ozcelik and Sigal Barsade, whose study on work loneliness and employee performance indicates an inverse relationship between the two; not does “feeling lonely and disconnected.... make [an employee’s] work expe- rience less psychological rewarding”, but it also decreases the employee’s “affective commitment” or emotional attachment to and involvement with his or her organization. This, in turn, weakens his or her performance. Conversely, employees with greater emotional at- tachment to, identification with, and involvement in their organization have both a more rewarding work experience and a better work performance. A separate Stanford University study from Priyanka B. Carr and Gregory M. Walton reaffirms this rela - tionship between connectedness and work perfor- mance, explaining how feelings of belongingness to a group or a connected team can bolster motiva- tion: Our research found that social cues which con- veyed simply that other people treat you as though you are working together on a task—rather than that you are just working on the same task but separately—could have striking effects on motiva - tion. (qtd in Parker)

Today, consistent with the size and demands of the global population, such forces of technology, indus- try and capitalism are at an all time high, especially within typical millennial career circles. For the most part, decreasing are the local economy’s carpenters and increasing are the global economy’s construction site analysts; decreasing are the individual shoemak- ers and increasing are the corporate fashion retail sell- ers; decreasing are the jobs designed to directly serve the community and increasing are the jobs designed to serve the people who serve the people who serve the global economy, which, only transitively, serve the local community.

"Decreasing are the jobs designed to directly serve the community."

Countless studies have shown the ramifications of severing this natural, long withstanding tie be- tween the individual workers and the community for which they work. For starters, as explained by Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo, feelings of loneliness or isolation from a group can have ex-


Arts & Humanities

Don’t Leave College Without Them


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