The Manifesto

This is the post excerpt.


What is Occupation? Is it a job? A state? Or being occupied? According to the Oxford Dictionary, Occupation is, “a job or profession, or the action, state or period of occupying or being occupied by a military force.” A military force is being in a place, and a foreign person taking up temporary residency in your area. Many people that I have asked have said occupation has to do with jobs and careers.  While every single person was right with their answers, some were more expanded and open compared to others.  Occupation can mean many things including all three mentioned earlier; a job, a state of being, and being occupied.  Another thing that could be mentioned is the use of occupancy as taking up space in something.  All of these things though, have one thing in common.  Time.  Occupation has a lot to do with time.  Time is the one thing we cannot control ourselves, but it controls us.  We find ourselves constantly running out of it, and having to be on it. Time will never stop but it is going by and constantly changing. Time is important as everything in your life revolves around it. Time spent at work, at the gym, at the library, at the doctor’s office, in the grocery store etc. Every single activity, state of being, and career are consuming your time.  Consuming it with tasks, and the one thing that never stops just like every one of us.  Time.  Time is the key to occupation. Time just like occupations never really stops.  From the moment you are born till the moment you die you are changing occupations.  School, post-secondary, career, and all the hobbies, summer jobs, family and friends that you spend your time with.  They all change but they all occupied your life with their time and will always occupy you with their consuming time. Hard work and effort are big parts of occupation.  Without hard work and any effort anything that is worth your time won’t have such a rewarding feeling.  None the less both things you enjoy and don’t enjoy are part of the time consuming activities you do in your life.  Occupations can still be about work, but not entirely about it.  A job, just like a state is only part of this definition. Jobs require a lot of time and effort in order to support yourself and any family you may have.  A lot of your life is spent working a job, or working to prepare yourself for this job like going to school.  This would make a lot of sense to why people thing occupation means a job, as it is basically what you do in your life that matters and how you wish to spent most of your time in life doing.  Everything in your life, everything you do consumes a part of your life and part of the time you have while you are alive.  Occupation isn’t necessarily only about jobs and a state but it’s about the time and how you spend that time. Occupation revolves around individual experiences and individuals.  Each person is different and has different ways to occupy their time in life.  Each individuality will have different ways of associating with occupation, but every person will have their different activities, jobs and states of mind that will take up their time and be their occupation.


Rachael is a third year Food and Nutrition student at the University of Western Ontario. She is also a part of the University of Western Ontario’s Varsity Softball Team.

I asked Rachael what her opinion of occupation was. 

“A job you get when you’re done school”

It something when your done school you apply for in order to get an income and are able to support yourself on your own.  An occupation means the beginning of being independent in the world.  It can also be the start of the best years of your life.

After reading the Hito Steyerl text, Rachael’s opinion changed. 

“anything really” 

I guess an occupation an be anything.  It can be your hobby, your passions, your job, or any other part of your life. Going to the gym, going to practice and going to class are all occupations of your time. Kinda weird that one word can mean so many things within the same realm of things.


Rebecca is a middle aged graduate from Guelph University, and lives in Barrie with her husband. Her two children are studying in post secondary. She works at the hospital as a dietary assistant.

I asked Rebecca what her opinion on Occupation was.

“its the job I do”

Occupation is the job I worked hard for. its the job that I enjoy going to everyday especially because its great knowing I help people.  My occupation is a dietary assistant so anything that i do at work would be considered my occupation.  Weighing food, making food plans and making the actual food would all be my occupation, the things I do at work.

After reading the Hito Steyerl text, Rebecca’s opinion changed. 

“its more then the tasks within my job”

I did not really realize how diverse of a word occupation was.  Its a state, a job, a placing and a period of occupying.  It all depends on the person but anything could be an occupation to a person.  Their hobbies could be their occupations or their therapy or even their workout.  Its all things they do within the day.


Keith is a middle aged graduate from Guelph University and lives in Barrie Ontario with his wife.  He is a father of two children who works for Honda.  He is part of a line that builds cars. His two children are both in post secondary school.

I asked Keith what his opinions on Occupation was. 

“part of my career, as well as thing I enjoy doing”

Occupation means mostly about a job and the thing you do within that job.  For me its doing the paper work and giving a hand to my fellow workers. When work is done with for the day I guess the things I do after are also part of occupation because it takes up my time.

After reading the Hito Steyerl text, Keith’s opinion did not really change. 

“things people do as well as still linked to jobs”

Occupation is still mainly about your career, but it would also include the hobbies and activities you enjoy doing, and some you may not enjoy as much.  I like to take pictures, and spend time with my wife.  Doing the taxes and cutting the grass are other things that I do, but I do not enjoy as much as the others. In the end i guess its the things that consume your time, these are the occupations in your life.


Steve is a middle aged graduate of Waterloo University, and works in Stirling Ontario as a Car Salesman.  He lives with his wife as his kids are all gone off to school and have started their own lives.

I asked Steve what his opinion of Occupation was.  

“my job”

I go to work everyday and do my job/occupation of selling cars so I can support my kid that is still in University.  I have worked in Car Sales for a long time as it is a family business so its a big occupation in our family and it occupies a lot of our time.  Its hard to run a business within such a small town. Occupation has a lot to do with working a full time job.

After reading the Hito Steyerl text, Steve’s  opinion changed a little bit. 

“something that you work on” 

Occupation is still associated with jobs.  This is because as an adult I am constantly working to support my family.  And it is the one that that consumes my time and it is one thing that constantly occupies all of my time.  I understand that it can be a state, activity or any thing else really, but personally it will be linked into my job.


Amanda is a middle aged graduate of Brock university and lives in Stirling Ontario with her Husband.  She has 3 children who are all grown up and have moved on with one still in school.

I asked Amanda what her opinion of Occupation was. 

“its a state” 

Occupation is a state of doing.  Whether it your job, taking care of kids, going to the gym or being with family.  Most people including myself mainly associate occupation with a job as it is flexible for all jobs as a label.

After reading the Hito Steyrl text, Amanda’s opinion did not change, 

“time consuming”

Yeah its a state of doing something.  Time you spend with people, or yourself.  Anything can technically be an occupation as it takes up your time.  Occupation is all consuming as you orient your life towards it.


Ethan is a second year Science student at the University of Western Ontario. He volunteers at a long term care home.

I asked Ethan what his opinion of occupation was. 

“something you do”

Occupation is something you do in order to receive money. It is what society expects you to do on a day to day basis in order to support yourself. Occupation gets associated with a job, but it is also a state of doing things.  Whether physical or mental.

After reading the Hito Steyerl text, Ethan’s opinion did not change. 

“its time you spend doing things”

It is a state of doing things.  Whether a job or a hobby or any other thing you do to occupy your day.  Its time you spend doing certain things, even if you are just thinking, that occupy’s your time at that moment..


Zac is a fourth year Kinesiology student at Trent University.  He is a member of the Trent University’s Varsity Men’s rugby team.

I asked Zac what his opinion of occupation was. 

“it’s your job”

You go to school for 4 years or even more to work toward your future job.  One that you are excited for and have put a lot of time and effort into it.  Something you have worked so hard for.  An occupation is what you get at the end of your schooling, a job. Even right now I have an occupation working for my dad who’s a contractor in the summer.

After reading the Hito Steyerl Text, Zac’s opinion changed. 

“it is a state”

I guess occupation doesn’t just mean a job.  Like the author stated its more then a job it is a state.  Like when you study that occupy s your day, or going to the gym or going to practice.  They all occupy your time.  I guess being a student athlete I have an occupation to go to practice, games, and do my school work.  I have a lot more occupations then i thought I did.