The New York Times On 30th May 2014 published an article Under the Title, Why you hate work. The first paragraph read as follows.
“The way we’re working isn’t working. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’re probably not excited to get to the office in the morning, you don’t feel much appreciated while you are there, you find it difficult to get your most important work accomplished, amid all the distractions, and you don’t believe that what you are doing makes much of a difference anyway. By the time you get home, you’re pretty much running on empty, and yet still answering emails until you fall asleep.”
This is pretty much the story of our lives. It may not be exactly as above but many of us who are employed at one point in time experience this or some version of this. We get to a point and feel like we are stuck in a carousel that never stops turning. Then begs the question, “How did we get here?”
Over the next few weeks, we will try and assess this situation, find the root cause and see if there are solutions and whether we can apply the said solutions.
Why do we work?
While analyzing a problem, we first need to identify the problem. So to guide us, we will first ask ourselves: Why do we work in the first place? The answers may seem obvious but indulge me for a little while.
The main reason and most obvious answer to this question is money. We need money to get our basic needs i.e. food, shelter, and clothing. The way our society is set up, ultimately one needs money to do everything. We basically need money to survive. But is it that simple?
According to Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor in the book Primed to Perform, there is a spectrum of reasons why people do their jobs. “A spectrum of reasons” suggests that there is more to working and doing our jobs than meets the eye.
Research has shown that employees are vastly more satisfied and productive when four of their core needs are met:
Physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work; Emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions; Mental, when they have the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when and where they get their work done and spiritual, by doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work.
Society has made us believe that we need to go to school to get a good job, settle down and live out life. Most of us buy this proposition. But is it really the way to go or is there more than one way to go about life? Following this “set path” blindly trusting it since it’s a proven way and it worked for the people before us ultimately leads some of us to a frustrating life.
Is there a guaranteed path to success?
Getting a job, having money and comfortable life is not a guarantee to a happy life. Life has proven to offer more variables than we can imagine. Being in a job ‘’just because I have to’’ is not reason enough to get stuck in a job that you do not have the slightest interest. The aggregate result of this is not to be underestimated.
I believe that more often than not we have a choice in what we pursue. We should learn to assess life as individuals and make our choices on the paths we pursue. The beauty of life is that we have options. Entrepreneurship, Fashion, Arts, Music and even technical disciplines are all options in life. There is more than the choice we think we have. Money is just one of the rewards to work done. Mental Health and a sense of fulfillment are not to be ignored when choosing work. With the right mindset and calculated risk in following your greatest desires and passion, you will eventually make it in any field of interest you pursue.