Aug 6 · 5 min read

People like to talk about never settle for less in life and relationship. But when it comes to WORK, we don’t talk about it much. In our head, it belongs to the realm of reality, earn-a-living, and survival.

Some of us even hit ourselves for being such a dreamer to think impractical thoughts. It sounds too spoiled, too naive, too unrealistic to the ears. Plus if we feel guilty, there must be some sort of truth hidden underneath, right?

After all, we are mature adults who know the world enough to teach our kids. We are experienced professionals who evaluate risks to make good enough decision.

We have “a job” — lucky us.

As humans, we are natural makers of self-fulfilling prophecies — we tell ourselves every day “WORK is hard and meaningless” by attending to a job that is “hard and meaningless”. Indeed, we know exactly how to be practical and realistic yet unchallenged. So we settled for less to keep the matrix running while leaving our passion and what matters to us as a weekend side hustle when we are not too tired.

And of course, after a while, we get fed up by our own repetitive complaint on how our work sucks. Worst still, we start to blame our own common sense and the emptiness that we experience first-hand as just a first-world problem. Indeed, how lucky are we to have a decent job that pays the bills, we tell ourselves.


Don Draper: It’s your job. I give you money, you give me ideas.
Peggy Olson: And you never say thank you.
Don Draper: That’s what the money is for!
(Madman — Series 4, Episode 7)


Job dissatisfaction IS a “first world problem” but more.

I admire people who live under the virtue of duty. But there is a difference between being dutiful and being responsible. Responsibility requires interactivity. It implies freedom to respond while duty implies a binding or obligatory force.

4th industrial revolution

Indeed, running into the 4th industrial revolution of rapid changes that blurs the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres, we are at the tipping point where we have to question everything in order to survive — and that includes our work. More so than before, we need to be mindful and conscious of what we are responding to…

For most of us, a career, a job is what sustains our livelihood, making our life comfortable enough to enjoy the joie de vivre. But it is not new knowledge anymore that most existing jobs we take part in are pointless and all they do are feeding a failing system…

Think about it. The school system from the last century, along with our happy parents who benefited from the teleological progress has been the underlying motif of modern culture. They moulded us to put our faith in our education, innovation, economic development, and most of our consumerism.

But unfortunately, the price such as climate change is a direct result of the increasing amounts of CO2 byproduct that gets expelled in the production of plastic consumer items, and this production increases exponentially year after year.

Creating Responsible Jobs

Collaborator Marco, the co-founder of GreenBuzz Berlin recently launched an initiative that really aligns to our mission at Co-Happening.

He named his project rspnsbl. His purpose is to pull in other like-minded developers to create future technology that takes care of the planet with organisations & businesses. This is how he defines being responsible:

Being responsible literally means response-able or being able to respond and thus making a choice, the choice to respond to what life brings and requires of you. To be responsible is to own your life, to own your happiness, your sadness, your mistakes, your greatness; it means to take charge of solving problems, to ask for help, and to take care of everything around you.

I think we need more initiatives like this across industries to call out self-starters and organisation who are set to create/choose missions and jobs that matter.

Complaining is a good start.

Assuming the first-world problem refers toa minor or trivial problem by people in relatively affluent or privileged circumstances”, I would argue for the very first time that this seemingly first world problem: our work sucks is a worthy complaint.

By complaining, at least we start to open our eyes and recognise that the existing roles and jobs are not enough. As self-starters, we can be more proactive in making sure “our work doesn’t suck anymore”. We can take back control to be responsible for what we do every day at work!

To make a change? Yes, it’s gonna hurt, big time. But it’s only necessary. You can’t stay in one place and expect a different result the next day.

As a collective in this world on this planet, to get to somewhere new or to somewhere better, we’ll have to abandon our comfort zone. Sometimes we need to cut our capable arm to save our life. And that is survival; that is the reality.

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Carrie spent most of her life navigating possibilities & her relationship with the world between cities and continents. She surfed waves of uncertainty that spurred both her failures and successes in both start-ups and corporate environments.

She founded the CO-Happening community in Paris in 2017. It started off as a call out for like-minded collaborators to explore the alternatives of what is “invisible to the eyes”. Since then, over 1.200 people joined and ran over 30 events in cities such as Paris, Berlin & Hong Kong.

CoHap Lab emerged out of the community in September 2018 based on the demands to innovate tools & training that enable members to effectively cultivate their ideas, missions & passions to make things happen!

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the education system


Written by

Founder of Co-Happening Community & CoHap Lab

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the education system

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