Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORK-LIFE BALANCE / MAY. 13, 2015
version 4, draft 4

5 Reasons We Work

We hate our jobs. No, we really do. Polls have regularly proven this undeniable fact. Whether it’s because of our bosses, hours, colleagues or the job itself; we hold an incredible amount of disdain for something that helps pay for everything we have. Why hate something that is so helpful?

See Also: Does the Weather Influence Your Performance at Work? 

To the layman, an obvious questions comes up: if you hate your job so much then why don’t you just quit? The answer to the question is the old adage: we gotta do what we gotta do - but of course we don’t have to like it.

Many of us daydream what we would do with our time if we didn’t have to travel the concrete jungle and be crammed like a can of sardines inside a train in the morning and afternoon. Some of us desire to spend our entire days memorizing the lyrics from "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General," climbing mountains or just being lazy.

Unfortunately, this is impossible unless you have won the lottery, which is not very likely.

Here are 5 reasons why we work:

1. Money, Money, Money

When someone works behind the counter at a clothing store, sits at a computer all day crunching numbers or picks up garbage, they will tell you that they do it strictly for the money. A lot of us work at jobs just because of the money. It’s the primary reason we get up at 6:30 a.m. every day. It’s the main reason we get drag ourselves to the office when we’re sick. It’s the only reason we sometimes work on Christmas and other holidays

Money is the ultimate excuse for why we work.

2. Meaning in Our Lives

Depending upon what you do for a living, meaning could have a major impact on why you work. Whether you’re working at a hospital or you’re trekking to Africa to help educate impoverished children, workers want meaning to their lives, and these types of jobs could very well produce a purpose. Think about it: folding clothes day in and day out won’t have the same level of validity as someone who works with handicapped animals.  

3. Something to do to Kill Time

It’s funny to think about people who really hate their jobs. All they do is complain about the job and how they are stuck there for the rest of their lives. You’d think that once they left they’d be ecstatic. But they’re still unhappy. The fact is that a lot of people wouldn’t know what to do with all of their free time, so they have to work to kill time. You may want to fish, but the other person is only interested in watching Netflix all day.

4. Fund Our Interests & Hobbies

One of the most commonly quoted Confucius statements is "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." However, in today’s labor market and high cost of living, it may not be too easy. The compromise is to work at a job that you may not love in order to fund your various interests and hobbies outside of work. For instance, you’re a senior accountant by day but after work you like to perform extreme sports.

5. We Love What We Do

Or, we just absolutely adore what we do for a living. This job pays well, it gives us meaning and the staff members are simply divine. It may be a tiny percentage of the population, but there is a tiny number of people who love what they do as a career. It’s not a joke! According to 2013 data from Gallup, 13 percent of the global population likes going to work.

See Also: Millennials are the Most Stressed Out Group in the Labor Market 

It can be rather disheartening when you think that you spend 40 years of your life doing something you dislike. When you’re lying on your deathbed, you will likely ask yourself: what was it all for? We can’t think like that, though. Instead, we have to look at the bright side of our jobs, no matter how mundane, monotonous or morose. At least we can earn a living. Millions of others don’t have the means to work.

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