Even more than critical thinking or time management, what the white-collar economy requires from most workers is the ability to spend the bulk of their waking hours completing tasks of no inherent importance or interest to them, to show up every day, and to not complain overmuch about it.
Christopher R. Beha, in an article on for-profit colleges. From "Leveling the Field" in Harper's vol. 323, no. 1937, p. 56.