Work spares us from the three great evils : boredom, vice and need.
Voltaire, 17th century French philosopher and historian
Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor and one of the great figures of the industrial era, said: ‘Work does more than get us our living; it gets us our life.’ Most of us never really thought about why we work. It is the society norm. As W.H. Auden, English-born American poet wrote, ‘Man desires to be free and he desires to be important. This places him in a dilemma, for the more he emancipates himself from necessity, the less important he feels.’
And so it is the norm that one has to work in our society. Many retirees will recall the bitter transition on retirement. They experience a loss of identity and loss of self-worth when asked what work do they do and they realized they are retired. It is worse for those who live to work; it could tantamount to end of meaning in life. Coupled with the social phenomena of more retirees are healthy and physically fit after retirement age and the longer years retirees are expected to spend in retirement, there is more need for retirees to continue working than ever.
However, because society requires everyone to work as an economical digit, most of us rush into jobs which are not our chosen, desired vocation. A recent survey found 90% of respondents saying they are not working in jobs they wanted and for the 10% that are in jobs they elected, 70% are unhappy in their chosen jobs. So the irony is while it is important for people to work, work is not contributing to the well-being of most people. No one ever said on their deathbed: I wish I would have spent more time at work! This just means work and the work environment has to change if one wants to achieve vocational wellness.
The retirees or ‘over-the-hill’ workers actually are put in privilege and special position. Pay becomes a lesser concern. If we take away pay, we get to the crux of why we are in the job for.
Here’s a light-heart but eye-opening comparison of your workplace and prison. We hope it gives a feel of being in a job that one doesn’t really enjoy.
Still wants to get back to work? Even if you do, get back to doing something that will enrich your life and not just enrich your manager’s purse. There are several alternative routes to getting into a vocation of your interest and choice.
The first thing to do is to CHANGE. In this case, change your job. However much money you are paid, if you are not enthusiastic about doing the job, get a new one that excites you. The priority must be to live a full life rather than to earn a big pay. If you have work for pay for 25 years, it is not too late to REVERSE to work at living a happy life. If you have only work for pay for less than 10 years, it is not too early to ‘retire’ and embark on a new career that will benefit you and not the corporation or your boss for the rest of your life. Make this change for the better regardless what the world consider too early or too late. Just do the right thing now.