We don't run on ads. We run on donations. Please help us by committing $5 a month.

Work Myths: 9 Lies You've Been Told About Work


Lies you've been told about work.

1. “You are lucky to have a job”

We hear it all the time. But there is nothing lucky about spending most of your waking hours doing whatever someone else tells you to. You might be lucky if you really enjoy doing what you are doing (because that is unfortunately rare). But for having a job you hate…like the majority of the population? That is the opposite of lucky: common and unfortunate.

2. “You get paid what you’re worth.”

Human potential is limitless but time is limited. That makes everyone’s time a precious resource. Sadly the pervasive culture does not value human potential…other than the potential to make money. You get paid what you’re worth to your employer, which is often just enough to keep you desperate enough to continue to work for their benefit.

3. “You need a job to be productive.”

Are consultants consulting consultants on how to consult consultants…productive? Probably not. All employment implies is that you are getting a paycheck. Employment does not equal productivity. It is a myth that those who work regular jobs are “productive members of society”. In fact those with the highest paying jobs are often among the most counter-productive members of society. Take for example the rich investment bankers who destroyed the economy, or the oil companies destroying ecosystems.


It’s actually surprisingly common for unemployed to be more productive than your typical paid employee.

A good mother, for example, works nearly 100 hrs a week raising a child. It is among the most demanding and important work there is. The future of society quite literally depends on their work raising the next generations.

It pays nothing. There is no connection between work and productivity; no connection between monetary value and real world value.

4. “Good companies are good employers.”

They hire you to make money for them, not to be your friend. If they can make more replacing you with technology or someone more naïve and financially desperate, they will.

5. “The unemployed are lazy.”

If you’re unemployed that does not mean you’re lazy. Looking and applying for work is hard work. And so is accomplishing anything without the financial and social support of a job. I mean really, who’s less lazy? The unemployed with the self discipline to pursue things on his/her own without oversight or payment? Or the employee who does little else than what they are told to do?

6. “Work is life’s mission.”

“How’s work?” “What do you do [for work]?” are the first things people ask, so naturally we’ve come to believe they are the most important. We are told we have to go to school for 18+ yrs of our lives…to get a job. Not to learn, not to find our passion. Not to question authority, not to add value to society.

We are raised to make money. But there is so much more to live for…those basic human goals, we all too often put aside to for work…like happiness, health, knowledge, love, and progress.

7. “Everyone needs to earn a living.”

This was true when one had to literally work the fields for food to live. That is no longer the case. It used to take 90% of the workforce to feed ourselves. Now it takes only 1.7%.


Of course we still need to work to continue innovation and progress. But we no longer need to work simply to live. For example in the US we throw away 40% of the food we produce and there are 6 vacant homes for each homeless American. We are quite literally living in an age of abundance. But our system of money and workaholic culture keeps us from realizing it.

8. “If you work hard…”

If you worked hard enough in school and got good enough grades it used to mean you’d be able to get a good job.— That’s just not true anymore.

9. “I can’t find any work.”

There’s a huge shortage of jobs, especially meaningful ones. But there’s still work to be done. Just look around: We have growing income inequality, poverty, and global warming, among other issues.

It will take tremendous amounts of work to fix our problems. It’s just that nobody’s creating sufficient jobs to do the work that needs to be done. Because it’s not profitable. Or at least not as profitable as gambling on the stock market…

I say the best way to get work done is to just give everybody money.

That would give everyone a job to do whatever they want. And most people want to do work that matters. This idea is Unconditional Basic Income, which is being discussed seriously all around the world as a solution to poverty and all the cruel inefficiencies of work
Trending Videos
What People Are Watching Now
Happen Films: Permaculture, Living Simply, Living Joyously
Featured Documentaries

Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.

Founded in 2006, our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

  • To dive in, click the Explore button above. You can filter by subject and category at the same time, and sort by newest, most viewed and top-rated.
  • Help us keep the quality of the site high by rating content 1-5 stars.
  • Add videos to our library! Half of our best content was added by members.
  • Have a question or suggestion? Feel free to get in touch.
  • Want to support us and watch some great films in the process? Our $5/mo Patrons get access to 15 of our favorite documentaries.


Why join Films For Action?

Goal: To rapidly transition to a just, ecologically sustainable, holistic way of living as fast as possible.

We believe the first step to achieve this goal should be an information delivery network that can amplify the impacts of all our efforts 1000 fold. 

Although Films For Action is centered around film - its true objective is the transformation of the world. This means moving away from the unsustainable paradigm we have now to a regenerative paradigm, as fast as humanly possible.  

Film is the medium of delivery -- the catalyst, the metabolizing agent to speed up, amplify and multiply the effects of every transition movement on the planet. And of course, "transition" contains it all - social justice, ecological regeneration, true democracy, egalitarian economics, universal empathy, less cultural insanity and more happiness and well-being.

All of these movements need a media ecosystem that supports this transition, rather than the media we have today which marginalizes it, ignores it, sanitizes it, suppresses it, or actively fights it. There is certainly good coverage across many different news outlets, and the quality and depth varies, but in terms of volume, the good stuff is easily lost in the deluge of superficial concerns.

Watch any network TV channel for 24 hours or read the newspaper for a week, and you will see what we mean. The dominant narratives which drive the national debate and become "common knowledge" is more often superficial, focused on symptoms rather than root causes, and reinforces the conventional "two sides" within the status quo. The lies and spin promoted by figures in power become well known, while voices that challenge and expand the range of debate rarely get heard. But most importantly, the level of repetition and volume of coverage is what counts. What gets covered day after day, and what gets covered once and is forgotten, or not covered at all? That's why we need a media movement that's dedicated to elevating the voices that aren't getting heard. We need media alternatives that make social change its primary focus. That's why Films For Action exists.

Ultimately, we're just one star in this growing constellation of new media, but we aim to do our part by cultivating the best video library dedicated to transition online, and we hope you'll join us