It would be illusory to think that we leave our personal culture, beliefs and values in the locker room of our workplace and work mechanically.
It would be also boring, I think. Therefore, some questions about work popped up.
I believe that most of us hope to have the opportunity, through work, to gain recognition of our personal worth, of our uniqueness, in short of our identity. I have been thinking about work for some time, about the meaning of work, as I happened not to be gratified by the work I used to do especially with human resources (HR).
Some people think it is a very interesting job, and actually it is, but sometimes it is discouraging. HR departments should be leading their organisation, they should walk the talk. Where I worked, it was just the opposite, the working environment was extremely toxic.
We all work, sometimes even for free, like housewives.
Students study, and that is their job.
Volunteering work is not paid either, parents do a great, priceless, and never ending job.
Teachers, nurses, public officers, and many other workers are often underpaid.
I think we all do our best at work, considering our abilities, educational background, and experience.
Here are some questions about work that have come to my mind.
Do you feel you are doing the job you dreamed of?
My dream was becoming a teacher in high schools. Everyone discouraged me and I listened to them. I ended up doing something that I am not sure I really like. The pay is good, but is money my motivation to work? No, but it is part of it.
I changed my dream of being a teacher to become a coach, and I use to coach some teenagers who want to start up their own business.
That is rewarding and I do it for free in my free time. They also participate in coaching sessions during their free time.
Why are you working? What is your motivation to work? Why do you get up every morning? Do you like your job?
How do you make the difference?
What place does work take in your mental balance?
Moreover, do you have a best friend at work? When I was bullied, I would not have survived without one or more friends’ support at work.
Finally, do you think you have the right competencies for your future job?
I would be happy to read your insights in the comments box!
You can read more about work on my blog.
13 thoughts on “Some Questions about Work”
I have tried to reflect on this in my latest post on my blog. My concern is I think we have entered into a world of ‘total work’ in which our identities become subsumed by our job titles, and we become a sort of ‘cog in the economic machine’
I agree with you. When I watch TV series I see people who never take leave, they spend very few time home (sometimes I ask myself why they want a place to stay)
Sorry, I pressed too fast! To complete my thought, I would add that when I watched serious shot in Northern Europe (Sweden, Norway, Denmark), then you see people taking their lunch breaks , going out in the evening with friends and spending time with their families. It’s a matter of cultural differences? Hard to say.
Great post with questions that challenges our thoughts! My take on this is that I don’t necessarily dream about labour but I’m coming from a privileged point of view (confidence to make ends meet). I would definitely shift my mindset away from “my job dictates my worth”. Rather, “When you’re not working, who are you?” I work to sustain the lifestyle I want and to better understand how company dynamics and systems actually work. Having a job also helps determine whether it corresponds to my attributes. With that said, if you’re committed in giving your all towards a job, then do it. But at least have some introspection about it.
Your question – who are you when you are not working – is intriguing. I also work to keep my lifestyle because I don’t identify myself with my job. My life is much more than my job, maybe because I am not in the work I wanted to be?
Bymayve and Andrew’s replies to the original posts had me thinking some difficult questions, about labels, identity, culture, exploitation.
I don’t want to devalue the hard labor that exists in our world. Also, I want to take the pandemic into consideration, specifically the mass walk-off of jobs, and unemployment current issues and events, to set some expectations.
If I were to ask myself who I am outside of work, I have worth, living and breathing outside work, thoughts, feelings, hunger, exhaustion, all the things work told me, yeah these are things you feel and sense and think, but don’t think about it, and just do your job.
Gosh, I’d need to write a book to adequately express all my feelings on this… All I can say is that the question “who are you outside of work” causes me immense pain.
When I was in high school and college and slightly after college, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do for my profession, but I knew that I wanted it to sound impressive to other people.
I actually achieved it. I got into a niche role in an industry that sounds impressive and cool to a lot of people. But after 11 or 12 years, I realized I just didn’t like it enough anymore. Having a job that sounded cool to other people wasn’t such a priority anymore. Still in it, but hoping to transition out to something more boring-sounding, but that will hopefully make me happier.
This reminds me of the recent posts I have seen about defining success. How doing something you love might determine success but I suppose that all depends on your definition of success.
I am extremely grateful for loving my job. I knew what I wanted to do pretty early on. It took me a while to get there but I did it. I work as a recreation therapist which is a fascinating field. It’s ironic that someone who advocates for leisure opportunities for others, doesn’t have much time for her own leisure. Someone who tries to break down barriers is experiencing her own. Caring for others, especially now, is creating caregiver burnout. So the part about work/life balance resonates strongly. Thanks for your post
Motivation is hard to come by at work recently. The government in Hong Kong are making life miserable for aircrew. It is causing me to rethink everything. I used to love flying. Not so anymore. I feel change is beckoning… Thank you for making me think Cristiana 🙏
I’m a dental assistant in my day job, but I feel like where I work, who I work for, is almost equal to working in salt mines. That’s a joke from the dr I used to work for. It’s a day/night difference in how each doctor treats their employees, patients, and how successful their individual practices are. The person I’m working for now is a sinking ship. I enjoy the patients, but I’m realizing that everything that goes on, every decision the dr makes is based on his ego. So he doesn’t treat patients, doesn’t tell them they have a cavity, because he waits until they’re hurting, so he can be the hero. My dream job is/was to be a writer and to stay home with my kids. And I think I’m suffering from burnout, because I do the work of at least 2 assistants and it’s not appreciated.
Hi Cristina, I had a look at you website. It’s amazing what you do besides work. I guess you cannot earn from that, otherwise you would leave your current job, wouldn’t you? Is there a way you can turn it into a profitable business ? It is easy for me to say : – change your job – but I do recommend you to talk to a doctor or a psychologist who can help you understand if you suffer from burnout, and listen to them if they tell you that you do suffer from burnout. You can ask them to have a blood test to check your cortisol level. Cortisol is the hormone of stress and it is a poison to your body and mind. I suffered from burnout out about 9 years ago and I received as a gift a heart arrhythmia. Health is the most precious thing we have! Take care, and feel free to drop me an email (you find a form on crisbiecoach.blog).