Work: Where Good Ideas Go to Die?

Many of us swore we'd avoid George Jetson's button-pushing fate. But work rarely encourages creativity.

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Andrew G.R.
George Jetson was hired to push a button. Nothing more. Nothing less. His boss, Mr. Spacely, never wanted to hear from George about how he could push the button differently or be more productive.

Where I'm going with this is how there are many jobs where you are merely expected to carry out a function—that's it—case closed.

For some people, this type of work is easy and appreciated. Others find it boring, frustrating, and claustrophobic.

I always promised myself I would never become the "button pusher." However, on occasion of late, I can't help but wonder if many jobs are designed to beat us all into idea submission. It just seems so much easier to show up, do what they want you to do, and go home. Anything fresh or different has to be:

  • Tested
  • Proved
  • Vetted
  • Put through the motions
  • Checked with upstairs
  • Stolen
  • Diluted by others
  • Questioned
  • Delayed
  • And so on!

    All of the above usually lead to annoyance.

    Recently, I admit, I've been keeping my ideas under lock and key. It might be the path of least resistance, but it also stifles my growth as an employee—and, more important—as a person.

    So I'm curious...

    Do you share ideas or keep them to yourself because it's easier?

    Repeat after me:

    "No pain, no gain."

    "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

    And all of those other clichés.

    If you find you're like George Jetson, simply pushing a button, fear not! It's never too late to break the pattern. Now go share an idea! I know I will.

    After holding down various media jobs, including stops at MTV Networks and Fox News, Andrew G.R. was completely discouraged—not only about his own career but about the lack of job resources that truly spoke to him. Enter Jobacle.com, the employment blog and podcast designed to Make Work Better.