Most Pointless Jobs: Deadend Jobs That Are Going Nowhere

most pointless jobs

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If you’ve ever found yourself questioning the point of your job, you’re not alone. In fact, there are plenty of jobs out there that seem to serve no real purpose at all. From restroom attendants to pet psychics, there are plenty of positions that are widely regarded as being pointless.

While some of these jobs may have had a purpose at one point in time, many of them have simply become obsolete. With advances in technology and changes in society, many jobs that were once essential have become irrelevant. As a result, many people find themselves working in positions that seem to have no real purpose or value.

Despite the fact that these jobs may seem pointless, they can still be a source of income and stability for those who hold them. For many people, any job is better than no job at all. However, it’s important to recognize that there are plenty of opportunities out there for those who are looking for more meaningful work. Whether you’re looking to make a career change or simply want to explore your options, there are plenty of ways to find work that is both fulfilling and rewarding.

The Concept of Pointless Jobs

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You may have heard the term “bullshit jobs” before. It was coined by anthropologist David Graeber in his book “Bullshit Jobs: A Theory.” According to Graeber, a bullshit job is a form of paid employment that is so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence. It’s a job that has no real purpose, but it exists anyway.

Graeber describes five types of meaningless jobs: flunkies, goons, duct tapers, box tickers, and taskmasters. Flunkies are workers who exist simply to make their superiors feel important, while goons are employees who do jobs that are inherently harmful or unethical. Duct tapers are workers who fix problems that shouldn’t exist in the first place, and box tickers are employees who do meaningless paperwork. Finally, taskmasters are managers who exist solely to supervise other workers who don’t need supervision.

There is evidence to suggest that many people feel they work in pointless, meaningless jobs. A study found that people working in finance, sales, and human resources were most likely to feel that their jobs were pointless. Graeber argues that a whopping 37-40% of workers in affluent countries already feel their jobs are pointless.

The concept of pointless jobs raises questions about the nature of work and its purpose in society. It also has implications for mental health, as workers who feel their jobs are pointless are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other negative psychological effects.

Examples of Pointless Jobs

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If you’ve ever wondered what some of the most pointless jobs are, you’re not alone. Here are a few examples of jobs that may seem completely unnecessary:

Elevator Operator

Back in the day, elevators didn’t have buttons that passengers could press to go to their desired floor. Instead, elevator operators were employed to manually operate the elevator and take passengers where they needed to go.

However, with the advent of automatic elevators, the job of elevator operator became obsolete. While some buildings may still employ elevator operators for nostalgic or decorative reasons, the job is largely pointless in modern times.

Manual Scorekeeper

In the age of digital scoreboards, it may seem strange that there are still people employed to keep track of scores manually. However, in some sports, such as baseball, there are still manual scorekeepers who keep track of the game’s statistics by hand.

While this job may seem pointless to some, it is still a necessary part of the game for those who value tradition and the human touch.

DVD Rewinder

Believe it or not, there was once a time when DVDs needed to be rewound before they could be played again.

This led to the creation of the DVD rewinder, a device that was essentially a motorized version of the VHS rewinder.

However, with the advent of digital media, the need for a DVD rewinder became obsolete. While some people may still have a collection of DVDs that need to be rewound, the job of DVD rewinder is largely pointless in modern times.

Why These Jobs Exist

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There are many jobs that seem pointless, but they continue to exist. Here are some reasons why:

Historical Significance

Some jobs have been around for centuries, and they continue to exist because they are deeply ingrained in our culture. For example, bathroom attendants have been around since at least the Victorian era. In those days, wealthy people would hire attendants to help them in the bathroom and to keep the facilities clean. Today, bathroom attendants are still found in some high-end nightclubs and restaurants, even though they are no longer necessary.

Cultural Influence

Some jobs exist because they are part of a larger cultural phenomenon. For example, paparazzi are a product of our celebrity-obsessed culture. People are fascinated by the lives of the rich and famous, and they want to know everything about them. Paparazzi are paid to follow celebrities around and take pictures of them, even if they are doing something as mundane as grocery shopping.

Economic Factors

Some jobs exist because they are profitable, even if they don’t serve a useful purpose. For example, telemarketing is a job that many people find annoying. However, companies continue to use telemarketers because they are an effective way to sell products. Similarly, middle managers are often seen as unnecessary, but companies continue to employ them because they help to keep the organization running smoothly.

In conclusion, there are many reasons why pointless jobs exist. Some are deeply ingrained in our culture, while others are a product of our economic system. Regardless of the reason, it is important to question the value of these jobs and to consider whether they are truly necessary.

Implications for the Workforce

As more people become aware of the existence of pointless jobs, there are several implications for the workforce. Here are three areas that may be affected:

Job Satisfaction

One of the most significant implications of pointless jobs is the impact they can have on job satisfaction. If you feel that your work is meaningless, it’s likely that you will be less satisfied with your job. This can lead to lower levels of engagement, motivation, and productivity. As a result, it’s essential for employers to take steps to ensure that their employees feel that their work is meaningful and valuable.

Skill Development

Another implication of pointless jobs is the impact they can have on skill development. If you’re spending your time doing work that doesn’t require any significant skills or knowledge, you’re not likely to develop new skills or improve your existing ones. This can be detrimental to your long-term career prospects and may limit your ability to move up the career ladder. As a result, it’s essential for individuals to seek out opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge, even if their current job doesn’t require it.

Career Advancement

Finally, pointless jobs can have a significant impact on career advancement. If you’re spending your time doing work that doesn’t require any significant skills or knowledge, you’re not likely to be considered for more senior roles or promotions. This can be frustrating for individuals who are looking to advance their careers and may limit their ability to achieve their career goals. As a result, it’s essential for individuals to seek out opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge and to take on new challenges, even if their current job doesn’t require it.

In conclusion, pointless jobs can have a significant impact on job satisfaction, skill development, and career advancement. Employers and individuals must take steps to ensure that their work is meaningful and valuable and seek out opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge.

The Future of Pointless Jobs

As technology advances, many jobs are becoming automated, and some positions are becoming redundant. The pandemic has also accelerated this trend, leading to a shift in the job market. Here are some of the most pointless jobs that may disappear in the future:

1. Telemarketers

Telemarketers are known for interrupting your dinner with unsolicited phone calls. However, with the rise of social media and digital marketing, the need for telemarketers is decreasing. Automated marketing software can now target specific audiences, reducing the need for human telemarketers.

2. Data Entry Clerks

Data entry clerks are responsible for manually inputting data into a computer system. However, with the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, software can now recognize and input data automatically. This means that data entry clerks may no longer be needed in the future.

3. Bank Tellers

Bank tellers are responsible for handling cash transactions and answering customer questions. However, with the rise of online banking and mobile apps, many customers are opting for digital transactions. This means that bank tellers may no longer be needed in the future.

4. Receptionists

Receptionists are responsible for answering phone calls, greeting visitors, and performing administrative tasks. However, with the rise of automated phone systems and digital check-ins, the need for human receptionists is decreasing.

5. Print Journalists

Print journalism has been declining for years, with many newspapers and magazines going out of business. With the rise of digital media, many journalists are transitioning to online news outlets. This means that print journalists may become obsolete in the future.

In conclusion, the future of pointless jobs is uncertain, but it is clear that many positions are becoming redundant due to advances in technology and changes in the job market. As a result, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and develop new skills to remain competitive in the workforce.

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Jenn Leach, MBA

Jenn Leach is a Houston-based MBA with over a decade of experience in the banking industry. She writes at Millennial Nextdoor where she writes finance, money, business, and lifestyle content to help millennials create additional income streams online. Join her on Substack at https://jennleach.substack.com.

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