About a month ago, one of our favorite blue-collar heroes, Mike Rowe, was splashed all over the news for a variety of reasons. He had just come out with a fairly controversial stance on what following your passion really means, and better yet, his new television show was just about to launch on CNN. And the show certainly lived up to the hype, with the best premiere numbers since Jeff Zucker took over the channel in 2013.
There’s more than a few reasons we’d recommend watching the former “Dirty Jobs” star’s new documentary-style show, and plenty of them have to do with the importance of understanding how jobs across America are done, and who they are done by. In a world where, as Rowe believes, the workforce is generally disconnected from the work that they do, it is more crucial than ever to acknowledge the variety of careers that exist and the passions that workers have for them. It’s something we discuss frequently here on the blog, but there are more areas of work than the general person is aware of.
This idea also led to the impetus behind the formation of Rowe’s foundation, mikeroweWORKS. The foundation was essentially founded to counteract “the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success”, and has so far helped give $2.5 milion dollars in scholarships for training in the skilled trades. Rowe told the Men’s Journala few weeks ago, “Higher education is good, alternative education sounds subordinate, and we’re affirmatively disparaging most of the jobs that I portray here [referring to Someone’s Gotta Do it]. And the result is the problem. The skills gap isn’t the problem, the crumbling infrastructure isn’t the problem, off-sourcing and outsourcing manufacturing, those aren’t problems, those are symptoms of a larger relationship with work that’s disconnected.”
So take the time tomorrow night to catch Someone’s Gotta Do It to learn about careers that you never knew existed and the journey it takes to get there. The series is essentially a nonfiction travelogue; Rowe chose to work with CNN thanks to their lack of interest in plotting the episodes like it was a scripted show, he said. After pitching the series to different networks and being shocked by the number of executives who wanted to script the “reality” show, Rowe finally found the perfect opportunity to make the reality show as real as possible.
From a behind-the-scenes look at La Reve in Las Vegas to an interview with a whooping crane sanctuary to a Watermelon Thump competition (as pictured above), the show covers just about every field and industry imaginable. We’re looking forward to seeing how shows like this change the way people look at their careers, because vocations are important (and not just the ones that require four-year college degrees). Catch the show Wednesdays on CNN, and let us know what you think through tweets, or comments below!
photo credit: “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” gallery via CNN.com