Work

People at WorkMost of us think of work as the time we spend earning money to enjoy the rest of our time. Or, as the bumper sticker with the seven dwarfs said, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!” And there’s no denying it, for most of us, work is a necessity in order to have money. But shouldn’t work be about more than just money? And what about those who don’t have or need a paying job; how is the action of work important to them?To start with, we need to broaden our understanding of work. Work is not just our employment. Work is where we invest our time in order to add value to our lives. A stay-at-home mom adds value to her life by raising her children. The charity volunteer finds value in giving support an important cause. Work is an investment of our time and, therefore, directly related to investing, another of the Seven Actions.

The benefits of our work come in many forms: money to spend, activities that interest and challenge us, relationships, and a sense of worth. Not everyone experiences all of these rewards, and sometimes these benefits become less meaningful over time. Job dissatisfaction is a growing concern. We feel “burn out” when the benefits of the job do not outweigh boredom, stress, exhaustion, or other work related negatives. Career changes are the common result of these periods in our lives. (For more on career changes, visit UTurnAhead.com).

Since work is a part of everyone’s lives, we should find ways to optimize our rewards for work. We must find employment, volunteer activities, or other investments of our time that provide a feeling of value. Absent of other income, our work must be able to sustain us financially. And we have to maximize the positive relationships and pleasant experiences from our jobs.

I strongly believe that we are in control of the benefits we get from working. Too often people fall victim to believing that their employer is the reason for all their woes. “If only I was treated better, paid more, or given that promotion.” Sorry, I just don’t buy it. If this job doesn’t provide enough of what we need, we have the ultimate power. We can find other, more rewarding work. Blaming our boss or the company we work for is just keeping us from the benefits we really deserve…or recognizing those that already exist.

[Photo Credit: ForestForTrees]

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