A history of Job Employment, Part I: History to Currency

How did job came about? What is a job? Are we in a virtual reality

Keith Lim
6 min readDec 10, 2023

This is written based entirely on assumptions through analysis, imagination, and existing and limiting knowledge that is confined within my mind.

“Today, 18th of May, marks a new day,” the words were roared through the voices of the dean on graduation day. It was the day where the students that joined me in college, went through 4 years of late nights and project filled semesters, get to raise their hands up high in the sky and cheer for the end of our personal era. The end of studies, and the start of something new. Our very first step, and first taste into the job employment scene as a recent graduate. How did our society get here though? Why is it that getting a degree, and then slaving away for 40 years is the norm?

I’m not a researcher, nor am I a sociologist. However when I imagine, I like to pull myself back to the start of human society to understand how our current society came about. I can’t live all 500,000 years of our existent, but I can pull context from different time-frames over and over again. And here’s a glimpse of my naive visualization, of how the job employment scene came about today.

Why is this Beneficial

When we learn about our past, we’re able to understand our present. When we learn about that, we can predict our future.

Our Anchor

If we were to pull ourselves back into history. It can be really for us to get confused on what to focus on. Do we just go back to history and talk about dinosaurs? That’d be foolish if our goal is to understand the job employment scene. Therefore we have to scope our focus around job employment and the different variables around it. To make it easy for all of us, here’s the main anchors.

  1. Job/career
  2. Currency
  3. Market need

We have three main anchors. Job, Currency and Market Need. The job is the essence of the theory we’re trying to formulate. Currency is what is compensated by working the job. The market need is what creates the job. The basic relationship of this three is:

  1. The Market or Market need is the environment or landscape.
  2. The Market determines the Job/Career that needs to exists or will exists.
  3. Currency is the medium between the Market and Job as it is a way of compensation that attracts people to the job and market.

Lastly, we want to include this two very odd points. The number of people interacting within this civilization, and technological advancement. This is a very important point, because as groups become bigger, the members within the society can work together to produce more fruitful result. And Technological advancement is as important as a point, because it provides us the tools to produce results more efficiently.

Let our history begin

Pre-barter

Let’s start from when we were still living in caves. At that time, we only had three things to worry about. Shelter, Nutrition, and Safety. When we started living as a society, we realized that instead of working hard to sustain ourselves, we’re able to conquer more by delegating jobs and be more prosperous as a group. Working together not only allowed us to produce more, it also allowed us to conquer more hardship together. Like hunting for food in groups.

Yes, we hunted mammoths to keep ourselves alive.

As humans and individuals, we all have different wants, needs, and strengths. Not everyone of the members would go out to hunt, some would stay at home to take care of kids. Some would guard the territory that the tribe is residing in. Some would find water, or start the fire to prepare for the return of the hunters. At this point of time, there may not be a system for trading, but everyone helped each other assisted each other. Therefore, the currency at this time may be seen as a person’s strength, and social wellbeing. If a person is absolutely horrid to deal with and weak, they may be outcast by the tribe. This would result in the outcast having to fend for themselves alongside not receiving any of the incentives to live in a group.

Number of people communicating: 10–20

Barter

As a society grows larger, and move from places to places. Some human civilization then discovered farming. Farming allows us to produce crops without going to hunt. It’s safer, and when done right, we’re able to produce food at a higher volume. This does not mean we stopped hunting though. It gives us more variety, and more power to the people who stays at home to farm. With the different varieties and a larger social group, people can provide different products to their group. Since different groups within the tribe can provide different things, members within the group started bartering. Trading a certain product for another product so that everyone can experience all the different items that is available.

Bartering

As seen from the photo above, its not only produce from farming that can be barter. Because of the environment and landscape people lived in, they can produce different goods, and those can be used in bartering.

Number of people communicating: 50–100

Currency

Bartering is cool and all. However, there are flaws that comes with it. For example, the goods that I produce may be fish, and I’d like to get some game from member A. However, member A does not like fish at all. If that’s the case, I’ll not be able to get any game. That is just one of the flaw. And to overcome this, we need something neutral, something that can be used to determine the price of goods. That’s when we, human civilization, came up with currency. A neutral item that is used to determine the price of goods sold.

At the start of it, we were using salt, but that proved to be too heavy to carry around. Then we use metal and gold coins. The creation of currency allowed society to trade more efficiently between each other. Not only that, it created a whole new market, the financial market.

The existence of a neutral currency is essentially the creation of a market from the need of trading more efficiently.

At this point of time, we would have a huge society interacting with each other already.

Number of people communicating: 1000–100,000

Conclusion for this chapter

The chapter can be very confusing. The entropy within human society is high, and to capture the essence of it can be difficult. However, we were able to give a glimpse of how currency came about. Not only that, the essence of the article is to provide a naive framework on how a market exists in every part of human civilization. From food sourcing, to shelter, to safety, to the process of trading. As long as there is a way for us to improve the system, there is a market.

Here’s what I’d like us to ponder about though. Number of people communicating is a form of declaration regarding the number of members within a society. But that’s not entirely true. If you map our current civilization in 2023, where we have societies in physical location, and also digital societies that covers the entire globe. How would the Financial System change? How would the Job Employment scene change? How would the system for trading of goods or services between members of the overarching society change?

Readings:

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Keith Lim

I'm lost, but I'll keep trying… Come ride through life together - https://wuyaa.substack.com/