Careers in Janitorial: Mike Rowe is Reinventing How We See Work

Some people love their jobs and take pride in whatever work they do, while others dread the workday and find meaning in other ventures. No matter what you do or how you feel about your job, there’s no denying that there’s work to be done. When we’re so entrenched in our own tasks, we might not think about the many kinds of jobs other people perform to keep society up and running. Some of these jobs, like cleaning and janitorial jobs, might be considered undesirable, but more often than not they’re simply underappreciated and, increasingly, in high demand.

Mike Rowe’s Impact on Our View of Work

In 2003, Mike Rowe set out to dig into these lesser-known, gritty, and sometimes dangerous occupations with the popular television show, “Dirty Jobs.” For nine years and eight seasons, the show shed light on the importance of blue-collar work, which, at least in the U.S., is often overshadowed or maligned by notions of white-collar prosperity.  From plumbing to farming to janitorial services and more, Mike Rowe saw it all, actually taking on the mantle of apprentice to learn the ins and outs of these various careers. In doing so, Rowe reminded audiences that many of the things we take for granted in modern life come from the toughest jobs and people.

Erasing the Stigma from “Dirty” Jobs

As our economy changes and more people pursue a college education, many positions in the trades are now being left unfilled. Rowe doesn’t knock higher education, but he thinks that earning a degree doesn’t need to be for everyone and that the cost of college tuition has become a major burden on so many young individuals trying to find a viable career. Rowe believes people are becoming more and more disconnected from the value of work itself, and have made “dirt” the enemy. The current stagnation in the skilled labor sector backs up Rowe’s claims.  After “Dirty Jobs” ended in 2012, Rowe continued his crusade to reinvent the way we see work by giving speeches, writing articles, appearing on dozens of other programs, and launching the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. According to the site, the foundation’s mission is to “help close the skills gap by challenging the stigmas and stereotypes that discourage people from pursuing the millions of available jobs.” Rowe’s foundation also grants the Work Ethic Scholarship to those willing to work hard and who wish to pursue jobs in a wide range of industries. Those looking for janitorial jobs, for instance, could greatly benefit from this scholarship program.

Making a Career out of Janitorial Service

Rowe makes a salient point about our current culture. For decades, popular culture has made fun of or demonized jobs that in many ways matter the most. Now, when one considers different careers, janitorial careers are probably the furthest thing from their mind, lacking the glamor and social stature of careers in finance, law, medicine, or entertainment. However, people who pursue careers in commercial cleaning, landscaping, maintenance, and/or facility support can make a good living and a major difference. Without well-trained, hardworking individuals in the janitorial sector, all other industries would fall apart. Business owners would lose customers and employees due to a lack of sanitation, organizations would be less efficient, and infrastructure would collapse over time. The importance of reliable janitorial companies cannot be overstated. And those seeking janitorial careers can find themselves in a number of positions, from daily cleaners to facility coordinators to quality assurance and safety experts, and more. Mike Rowe isn’t the only one persuading people to abandon their aversions to blue-collar, “dirty” jobs, but his presence has certainly played a big role in changing how we see work and closing the skills gap in the U.S. At The Budd Group, we’re thankful for voices like Rowe’s, as we want the most passionate, driven individuals to join our family so we can continue providing the best service to all of our clients. To learn more about our services, our people, and our mission, give us a call today at (800) 221-8158!
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