I was waiting on the bus stop the other night at 2 in the morning on my way home(it was a Saturday). I got into the bus and no one was in except the driver. So I said “You are all alone!”, He said “Yes, stay on the front and chat with me” I said “happy to”. So I sat there and we started chatting; he said to me he wasn’t satisfied with the way working in London is and that many people’s life’s are very repetitive. He said his dream is to go away on the countryside and build his own farm. why do we work?
So then I asked him, why don’t you leave this job now and do it? He didn’t give me an exact answer so my next question was, how long have you been doing this job?
He said: “18 years”. I didn’t say much after that. Although, it got me thinking. why do we work? why do we work?
Its probably controversial for a recruitment agency to write on this but it’s a reality, I see all those people on the tube and wonder, why do we work? why do we work?, why do we work?, why do we work?
These obviously vary for each person’s job, culture, status and needs but I came down to the following:
We are social beings
and we need other people to have a balance in our lives. As Maslow’s pyramid suggests, after people achieve their basic needs (physiological, safety) the next step is to fulfill their psychological needs. Those include; belongingness and love (referring to intimate relationships and friends) and esteem (referring to prestige and feeling of accomplishment) needs.
And yes, maybe work is not the only place you can find those. But it’s a collective environment where you are surrounded by different people; you form relationships, group activities and hopefully achieve results which give you a psychological fulfillment.
Most things we do have a purpose
Work is one of them. You may be working for several reasons, but the job itself (whatever that is) can give you a sense of accomplishment. Try and make the most out of your work days. Hard work can make you feel stronger and more important, even if the result is not what you expected it to be in the first place. Don’t think of your work as a “job”, think of it as a step. A step which may not be ideal now but can be in the future if you have the right mindset. If at this moment you are not able to find a step elsewhere try and make your current step better by improving its surroundings. When was the last time you did something for the greater good? To serve your community? Organize a local event for your neighbours?
Its similar to the previous point made and falls under the “esteem” needs as explained by Maslow. Hopefully you have experienced the situation where you’ve ticked all the boxes of your “to do list” on your way home from work. why do we work?
Great feeling, isn’t it? Does it matter whether you hate your boss on that moment? Does it matter he didn’t give you the recognition you wanted? Well, yes and no. why do we work? why do we work?
The important thing you should focus on is your own self-fulfillment, which is also the last step of Maslow’s pyramid. On the other hand, not completing your “to do list” may be devastating for some. A solution for this is to write down smaller, achievable goals, so that each and every day is a success! why do we work? why do we work? why do we work? why do we work?
The obvious one, money. This category is a lot relevant to the bus driver I referred to earlier. What the bus driver wanted, is to live to a similar way people were leaving in the past; have a plot of land and grow his own food, while raising animals. Then trade those for other resources he needed. why do we work? why do we work? why do we work? why do we work? why do we work?
What the bus driver did? Worked for 18 years as a bus driver. I don’t think I need to expand more on this, money is a key factor for most people. why do we work? why do we work?
This refers to the need of human beings to create. The need to create deadly weapons from pieces of wood in the older days, to the creation of self-driving cars and social media networks in the current era. Working gives us the ability and networks to design, develop and eventually brings our ideas to life. With creativity comes innovation and with innovation comes easiness. Everyone likes their next day to be easier than their previous one. why do we work? why do we work? why do we work? why do we work?
People are meant to work for the purposes of fulfilment and progression. We live in an era where you can choose whatever career and company you want, you just have to find the means and self-motivation to tick those boxes. But as soon as you start ticking them, you will realize that work can give you a sense of productiveness which can be hard to find elsewhere. If I had said those things to the driver I met, he may have agreed but would probably think he could find all of those in his farm, which is very very true. No one is forcing you to work, you choose to work and there are reasons for this. Life may be repetitive at times but its in your hand to make it more fulfilling, don’t wait for something to happen. Make it happen. Today.