You Could Live in Sweden and Get Paid to Do Nothing All Day Long (Video)
What if we told you there's a job where you can do whatever you want to do. You can read, meditate, go for a walk, bake, write a novel, knit, garden, cuddle with dogs — anything at all, for about $2,320 a month.
Lucky for you, that job will soon exist.
As part of a conceptual art project, Swedish artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby are hiring an "eternal employee" to essentially do — well, nothing — at Korsvägen, a train station currently undergoing construction in Gothenburg, Sweden. "The position holds no duties or responsibilities, other than that it should be carried out at Korsvägen," the job description states. "Whatever the employee choses (sic) to do constitutes the work."
Should you get the full-time gig, the only thing that would absolutely be required of you is to show up to work and clock in. By punching the time clock, you are turning on a set of fluorescent lights over the train platforms so that everyone knows you are, in fact, working. If you want, you can then leave and go wherever you want — the movie theater, the park, your house — and spend your day as you like, so long as you're not heading off to a second job. At the end of the day, you'd be expected to go back to Korsvägen to turn the "working lights" off by clocking out.
That's all there is to it.
If hired, you would get paid $2,320 a month and given the same benefits as the average Swedish public sector employee, including an annual salary boost, vacations and a pension. The best part? You'd get to have the job for the rest of your life, although you would be free to quit or retire whenever you want. Should you leave the role, you would be replaced by someone new. While you may wonder whether the job is only open to Swedish citizens, anyone in the world is welcome to apply, Atlas Obscura reported.
If this job seems too good to be true, it's not. In 2017, Public Art Agency Sweden teamed up with the Swedish Transport Administration to invite artists to "influence the design" of three new stations in Gothenburg's West Link district. Goldin and Senneby's proposal to employ someone to "suffer from severe 'boreout' (stress caused by understimulation), [invent] his/her own projects or creative ventures, or [simply] embrace a state of perpetual leisure" won over the jury with its unusual commentary on economic and social constructs.
"Eternal Employment not only offers a different understanding of work and the worker, but questions the very notions of growth, productivity and progress which are at the core of modernity," the artists said in their proposal. "In the face of mass automation and artificial intelligence, the impending threat/promise is that we will all become productively superfluous. We will all be 'employed at Korsvägen,' as it were."
Goldin and Senneby also hope that their art project will place Korsvägen on the map, "[making] its way deeply into the oral history of Gothenberg" via articles and social media hashtags.
According to the Washington Post, this winning proposal earned them 7 million Swedish krona (about $750,000) to pay the eternal employee's salary. And, because they are investing the prize money in equity funds, Golden and Senneby have calculated that this amount would accrue enough interest to fund the position for 120 years.
"Should the money run out after 25, 50, or 100 years, that would imply an historical shift in the relation between return on capital and wages. A sustained period in which work pays better than money," the job posting say.
But don't polish your resume just yet. Golden and Senneby will start accepting applications in 2025, months before Korsvägen station is slated to open in 2026.