Vocational Wellness

Work spares us from the three great evils : boredom, vice and need.

Voltaire, 17th century French philosopher and historian

Vocational Wellness 天生我才必有用

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.


  • You spend the majority of your time in a 10X10 cell
  • You get three meals a day fully paid for
  • You get time off for good behavior
  • They allow your family and friends to visit
  • All expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required
  • You spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out
  • You must deal with sadistic wardens


  • You spend the majority of your time in a 6X6 cubicle office
  • You get a break for one meal and you have to pay for it
  • You get more work for good behaviour
  • You aren’t even supposed to speak to your family
  • You get to pay all your expenses to go to work, and they deduct taxes from your salary
  • You spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars
  • They are called managers

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.

Take on a vocation of own interest
If you have been doing a job you didn’t choose or enjoy for 20 to 30 years, it is about time to stop wasting your precious life on continuing to do the same. You cannot expect to get a different result if you keep doing the same thing day in and day out. REVERSE Co-op is set up to allow you to take on a job of your own choosing by starting a company that will employ you in the job that you wish for.
Become an owner of business
This is the route of best monetary returns. There are no managers, board of directors, CEO to share the fruit of your labour. Here the winner takes it all. And the best part is – you get to choose what line-of-business you want to pursue out of your interest. REVERSE Co-op will finance you and co-operate with you by either becoming a minority or a majority partner of your chosen business. This will lessen the risk of entrepreneurship and increase the chance of your business success. We will do this if we believe as you believe that you have the ability to build a successful business of your own.
Be a shareholder plus an employee
We in REVERSE Co-operative believe this is probably the best alternative to vocational wellness. After working for almost a quarter century for some corporation and playing by someone else’s rules, it is about time to put your interest, talent and experience together to contribute towards something you believe in. As a member of REVERSE Co-op, you are automatically an owner of the co-operative. At the same time, you can work for or volunteer in REVERSE co-op as an employee. The best use of your time for the real purpose of your life.

Taking Action

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.