Why do you work?

Photo courtesy Pixabay
Photo courtesy Pixabay


It’s a simple question with an equally simple answer: “For money,” of course!

Why do you hit the snooze button or perhaps – how many times do you hit the snooze button? More often than not, we hit that snooze button to delay the inevitable – getting up and heading to work.

According to Swarthmore psychology professor Barry Schwartz, it’s apparently NOT about the money and in the following illustrations from his book, Why We Work, he explains:

Satisfied workers are engaged by their work. They lose themselves in it. Not all the time, of course, but often enough for that to be salient to them.

Satisfied workers are challenged by their work. It forces them to stretch themselves — to go outside their comfort zones. These lucky people think the work they do is fun, often in the way that doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku is fun.

Satisfied people do their work because they feel they are in charge. Their work day offers them a measure of autonomy and discretion. And they use that autonomy and discretion to achieve a level of mastery or expertise. They learn new things, developing both as workers and as people.

The people in the satisfied segment do the work because:

It’s an opportunity for social engagement. They do many of their tasks as part of teams, and even when they’re working alone, there are plenty of opportunities for social interaction during work’s quiet moments.

They find what they do meaningful. Potentially, their work makes a difference to the world. It makes other people’s lives better. And it may even make other people’s lives better in ways that are significant.

If you’re wondering if I am from Pluto and you have never met someone who actually enjoys their work you are not alone. According to a massive report published in 2013 by Gallup, the Washington, DC-based polling organisation, there are twice as many “actively disengaged” workers in the world as there are “engaged” workers who like their jobs.

Chances are you have checked out and are sleepwalking through your days putting very little energy into your work and perhaps carrying a deep-seated hatred for your job.

Your work is probably filled with frustration versus satisfaction.

Is it even possible at this point in your life to begin to enjoy the work you do?

Which brings me back to the initial question with a bit of a twist: why did you choose the particular job you’re in at present?

Was the pay “good” and so you felt that you’d pay the price of a joyless existence, earn enough money and live for moments in the year, experiencing your dreams?

Did you think you would like it, or were suited for it but when you started you realised that it wasn’t quite what you expected?

Maybe a good friend or mentor suggested you apply for this job because you would be good at it and here you are, five years later, disillusioned, and exhausted and – I jest somewhat – too cute to care!

Did you think you could lead the troops and create organisational change, only to realise you were charging forward alone, with no one following your lead?

One thing is for sure: we are in crisis.

It’s scary waking up every day, stepping out of your power and into your sheep suit to do the bidding of your CEO, boss, supervisor or leader and play dumb while you nod and fall in line, doing as you are told. This professional charade can only last so long before your life deteriorates in quality and your mental health nosedives.

I know you feel as if you no longer have the energy and will just ride out the last few years you have left in the world of work – except this does way more harm than good – to you!

What you need is a strategic plan for your life. You need to go back to basics and relearn things about you that you may have hidden away or forgotten about. It’s time to reawaken and re-enter your life with more purpose and possibility.

I love this quote by Paulo Coehlo in his book Aleph:

“Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.”

Only mediocrity is sure of itself!

It’s time for you to reclaim and begin using and leveraging your talents. It’s time to reassess, refocus and plan strategically regarding what’s next for you.

If you need help with a plan, send an e-mail to the address below.

For your free copy of How to Stop Putting off the Things you want Most! e-mail possibility2profit@gmail.com


"Why do you work?"

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