Bullshit jobs – Chances for misfits

One of the things about the internet and the advent of social media is the creation of what some people would call bullshit jobs. For someone like me, a misfit who screwed up a traditional career, the creation of bullshit jobs was a godsend of sorts. We, the world’s misfits, suddenly had an avenue to express ourselves, build a personal brand and in some cases make a few pennies (the more successful ones have made a lot of money)

I started blogging back in 2006. I started the blog with no particular vision in mind and back when PR work was plentiful, blogging it didn’t occur to me that blogging could be anything more than a place to store my rants or at least the rants that the mainstream would not publish (this being in the days when the mainstream offered stringers a few dollars for their rants.)

For me, I only looked at blogging as a potential source of income much later. It was at a stage when I noticed that I had a follower or two and the numbers started going up. While my adsense account is currently suspended, I did notice that my income could go from a few cents a month if at all to about a dollar or two on monthly basis. I’m not making enough to give up anything else but I figured that getting a few pennies here and there for something I’m going to do anyway is better than not getting anything at all. I’ve also reached the stage where I ask for the odd donation from readers, though I’ve not been terribly successful at this.

Despite not earning enough, blogging has helped get my name about and its always good to have a place where people might find you. One day, I hope blogging might help finance an old age pension when the body is no longer able to wait tables and nobody in corporate wants an old dude.
While I was a gradual convert to blogging and volgging as a job late in life, I’ve been following guys who have been very successful at it. Watching this makes me wonder how things could have turned out if I took the plunge and set my mind earlier on.

One of the guys that I follow from time to time is a guy called Sam Chui, who reviews first class seats on airplanes. He’s living the life that most can only dream of. I, for example, can only look at internet pictures of first-class cabins and indulge in fantasies. At this stage in life, I wouldn’t fly in Etihad’s residences because even if I had US$20,000 to spare, I’d be thinking of things like paying down debts like the mortgage. However, it’s nice to see one’s dreams in action and I wonder what life would be like if I could actually get paid to live the high life. A sample of Sam’s videos can be found at: [LINK]

Another fellow that I’ve grown very fond of is a little Jewish boy called Drew Binsky, who decided early in life that he wanted to travel to every country in the world. He’s managed to do it by making travel videos.

While Sam Chui lives the life of luxury, Drew Binsky does things at the ground level and I like the fact that he likes to portray the optimistic side of the places he’s been to. In a way, he’s doing important work by showing us that we’re probably more similar in our wants and needs than in our differences. One of the videos that I remember is the one on why this American Jewish boy loves Muslim majority nations. Amongst his favourite places are Iran and Syria, not exactly the place where you’d expect an American Jewish boy would be welcomed. Here and here.

Mr. Binsky’s videos are a god send in a world dedicated to stressing the differences between cultures and stressing the need for conflict. Mr. Binsky is doing us a service by showing us people at a ground level: [LINK]

The other things that I give Mr. Binsky is the fact that he tries to get a picture of what the cost of living is like so that his Western audience can understand costs of living elsewhere. One of his main themes is what US$10 can get you in various places. Take a look at the following videos:

Madurai, India – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugwDTDwb6Vc ;
Lagos, Nigeria – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrRLCoKmLLA; and
Karachi, Pakistan – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrRLCoKmLLA

There’s something appealing about people having the ability to do what they love and being able to earn a living from it. The age of so called “Bullshit” jobs has shown us that the standard nine to five or nine to six in an office is not the only way that one has to live.

However, while the idea of getting paid to live your dreams is appealing, it’s also a lot of hard work and quite often you have to find your earnings elsewhere. I remember Alex Au telling me to not think about monetizing my blog for the very reason that I’d be beholden to my paymasters, thus not being able to be truly independent. However, I’m in the “social commentary” business, which is notoriously unrewarding in the financial sense. There are other spaces where people have made a decent living. It is, however tough work as Mr. Binsky explains: [LINK] [LINK]

The key to success in a “bullshit” job of being a blogger or vlogger is content and traffic. The higher the traffic, the more you can get out of the people who pay. However, this takes time and effort to develop.

The creation of bullshit jobs has helped the world. It has created an avenue for those who didn’t fit into the standard corporate world. It has created happiness, which is something we should all celebrate.

 

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

 

 

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9 Responses to “Bullshit jobs – Chances for misfits”

  • Debbie Harry: I Screwed Up:

    The bullshit is in the details. Sometimes the job description may not actually reveal what the job is really about.

    Anyway part of one’s career success is determined by bosses. Most will not promote someone to save costs. They can always hire cheaper new grads or foreign white collar.

    I always wonder what’s the author’s agenda. Is he tryng to say something without really saying it? Or maybe puss* foot?

    So how Li? You want regular salary must grovel. Be a blogger and maybe you are happier?

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  • Say No To Ass Sniffing:

    Better to be a happy misfit than to be a miserable conformist.

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  • The title:

    Debbie Harry: I Screwed Up:
    The bullshit is in the details. Sometimes the job description may not actually reveal what the job is really about.

    Anyway part of one’s career success is determined by bosses. Most will not promote someone to save costs. They can always hire cheaper new grads or foreign white collar.

    I always wonder what’s the author’s agenda. Is he tryng to say something without really saying it? Or maybe puss* foot?

    So how Li? You want regular salary must grovel. Be a blogger and maybe you are happier?

    Tangli’s title is about “bullshit” and the content reflects it.

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  • Say No To Hostile Bosses:

    I had the privilege of working for people who made sure that I was comfortable in the office environment. And they tweaked the job to suit my abilities. And normally the jobs worked out. In return I was willing to give my best.

    I also had employers who cretaed hostile work environments, did things to make people uncomforatable. Some even demanded that you bend over backwards to suit them. Some asked :”How are you going yo fit in?” These employers are a poor fit. Steer clear.

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  • trublu:

    Tangli,if you are qualified,a new citizen,maybe,i recommend you tryyour luck next GE.
    With your lingo skills,probably you can stand a chance whacking JO FUMBLE QUEEN as she oso *BIRD TALKS* alot like you?

    PS: stand against her as her popularity rating is low?

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  • Bullshit & Flying Fantasies:

    If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done…. Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory… Real living is living for others.

    - Bruce Lee

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  • Sovereign Bullshit:

    So you are saying more ‘bullshit’ more money? I agree.
    Only those TRE commentators here are really genuine. They don’t comment for your so-called ‘pittance’ alms. Maybe some of them here are even real millionaires just doing their passion things. So eat your heart out. I speaks truth. Tang Li.

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  • oxygen:

    MAKING MONEY FROM BUSINESS IS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS CULTIVATION or handling, where is the counterparty of imagined connected relationships in blogging for financial return?

    In a changing world, even if the relationships exist, it is evolving and transportational to different orbit of nature. Keeping up a “relevant” product appeal is hard.

    It is more of a digital fad than asset-building.

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  • Foolish Fools Fooled Again:

    What’s the point of getting prestigious degress, condo, car Etc? It’s to show off – to show others you’ve arrived. So there are many fools in Spore, many wannabe fools from Malaysia.

    What are you waiting for? Come to Spore, come to fools’ paradise.

    Bullshit & Flying Fantasies:
    If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done…. Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory… Real living is living for others.

    - Bruce Lee

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