If you enjoy your work, an examination of why you work can tell you a lot about what drives you as a person, what fulfils you. Even if you don’t really enjoy your current job, there is some important information here you need to think about.
The driving forces behind your desire to work are much deeper than just being able to make money. Perhaps they are reasons you don’t much think about until you are faced with the prospect of not working – for example losing a job, having a job-threatening injury, or when you start to see life as more than simply going to work each day, putting life first and work second.
If you find your work rewarding, you have in mind much more than just the financial rewards. Factors like being recognized for what you do, feeling you have some control over your duties, feeling like part of the team, etc. My focus here is on the factors you have always sought from working in any job or workplace for purposes of your overall life satisfaction.
Responses expressed by clients of mine include:
- A sense of belonging
- Acknowledgement by others of my abilities
- Being part of something bigger than me
- Commitment to a purpose
- Decision making / Autonomy
- Impact on others
- Learning and professional development
- Maintaining connection / interaction with like-minded other people
- Making a contribution to others
- Opportunity to be creative
- Personal space
- Professional and social friendships
- Social recognition / status in business and in society
- Structures my life
- Thrill of the chase
- Valuing my personal abilities and skills
- Meeting a valued need
- it keeps me and my mind busy and focused
- it gets me out of bed with a sense of purpose for the day
- Self esteem, self belief, self confidence
- Performance feedback
- Being supportive beyond my own needs
- Never want to feel useless
Now here’s the cruncher…the reasons you choose do not just drive your work, they drive your life. They give you your reason for getting up each morning, to make a worthwhile contribution in your world. Whether or not you get paid for doing them is incidental to the value they give to your life, your self esteem and your sense of identity.
Work life harmony is a lot about maintaining a constantly-energizing mix of interests that give you these benefits...
- at work and
- as discretionary leisure interests - something you enjoy doing simply for the sense of pleasure it gives you and which you can fit into your overall lifestyle.
This mix also prepares you beautifully for the eventual transition to the other great reason for developing your list…the fact that one day you won’t be working fulltime, or perhaps not working at all. Life after work is not like long-service leave and it could go on for almost as many years as your working career.
Whether you're working or not, this exercise is vital for sustaining your daily energy, resilience and enthusiasm and to ensure you keep enjoying living life to the last drop!
This is just one of many issues discussed in my Lifestyle Review workshops and consultations. Click here if you would like to know more.
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