A job in Sweden will pay someone to do whatever they want all day – so long as they clock in and out each day at a new train station.
The transport hub of Korsvägen in the city of Gothenburg will see the new train station completed by 2026. A public art competition was held to bring an artistic element to the new transport links – and the winner will create an intriguing new job offer.
One lucky employee at the station will show up each day, receiving pay, holiday entitlement, a pension and more – but they will have absolutely no official duties. The employee will check in and out on the station’s time clock, but they won’t actually need to stay at the station for the day. The ‘Eternal Employment’ role was the idea of artists Jakob Goldin and Simon Senneby and is designed to make a statement about the nature of work.
According to their proposal, the position has no duties other than showing up at the station. Whatever the employee chooses to do with their time is the work. It’s a full-time contract for an indefinite amount of time – if the employee resigns or retires, they will be replaced.
In order to pay the employee’s wage, the new Eternal Employment Foundation will invest the allocated budget of the art piece, with a salary paid by this investment. While this may seem like a wild idea, the project is designed to comment on how investments can make more money than actually doing any work. The artists’ proposal states that “the endless duration of this employment is feasible because money pays better than work. As long as we live in a society where the return on capital is substantially higher than the average increase in wages, Eternal Employment is kept afloat”. Once the money runs out, the job is over and will signify a time when work would actually pay better than money, according to the artists.
Goldin and Senneby also note that the project will help create stories and urban legends around the transport hub. They note that Gothenburg is marketed as an “event city” where people go for sports, music, arts and entertainment. While Korsvägen is at the centre of that, they describe it as a place devoid of historical narrative, just a place where people can switch buses or trams. The job aims to breathe life into the area with an “anti-performance of indefinite duration. A single person with no script, no climax, no crescendo. Forever.”
While the project won’t be up and running for years, that means there’s plenty of time to dream up how you would fill your time in the ultimate dream job.