The High Price of Work and Who’s Paying It?
In many and perhaps most cases, people in the arts, advocacy and social service are modestly paid (often without benefits) and subsidize the work of their organizations with their labor. Both by their behavior (giving long hours to the work and fewer to the cultivation of life outside of work) and by the allocation of resources (focusing on program and giving short shrift to savings), many at midlife find themselves stuck in a difficult place. Although the benefits of a life anchored in a noble purpose are huge, more and more people are unable to move through their careers, change their pace, and age in a way that is both satisfying and sustainable for them and beneficial to our communities.
The implications of the changing economy and the apparent revision of our social contract are huge. Together, however, we could adjust the price of good work and better share its costs and benefits.