Why Do We Really Work?


“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark Twain.

It’s rare to find people going to work and loving what they do. Philosopher Immanuel Kant once said that the — ‘Rules for happiness: require “someone to love, something to hope for and something to do.”

So, why do we really work? An obvious question to what I thought would be an obvious answer. We work to earn money to live, well so I thought; but in fact there’s a deeper meaning to your daily commute.

Is work something we do because we love it or we have no choice? Well the answer is of course based on the individual, however in most cases people work to feel a sense of purpose and belonging in life.

Whilst some of us hate it, and others love their jobs, a healthy lifestyle requires to be in an environment that allows an individual to feel valued, purposeful and therefore proud of their workplace. We’re told that the only way to get ahead is to get on top; go to the right school, get into the right university and get the right job.

If we our responsible for our choices in life, why do people work in jobs they hate?

There are a few reasons, including, low self esteem and therefore a fear of change and being rejected should they go apply for a different job, geographical reasons, and lack of resources and qualifications to pursue a dream job. 

People have the innate need to feel valued, and what they do means something. A Forbes article stated some of the main reasons people hate their jobs is that they feel “they are not respected as people at work. They are viewed as production units, rather than valued collaborators.”

Furthermore, we have to remember that a healthy workplace is one where their are interpersonal relationships in terms of communication. When employees don’t fear their boss and see themselves as part of a traditional hierarchical work structure, we see creativity and productivity increase, and more ideas are shared when their is that relationship. 

French Philosopher Michel Foucault famously said – “The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning”.

People have the innate need to feel valued, utilise their skills and feel that what they do truly means something. So if you have the confidence to realise your self worth and be fearless when choosing a job (that will essentially will become a large proportion of your life and time), you will never have to work a day in your life as you will love doing what you do. Remember, a job isn’t just a job. It’s a reflection of who you are. 



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