Why Do You Work?

Why do you work? Often the first response to that is “for the money” but when you dig a little deeper money is rarely the primary motivator, although of course it is a significant factor. Take a few moments to think of 5 reasons why you work.

When money is the main reason for working, it’s often as a means to an end. As in, I’ll do this job I don’t like because it pays well, and stay until I’m in a position to do what I really want. But financial rewards are important and we women are notorious for under valuing ourselves in this area and not always asking for enough. (Latest survey says a 98 year wait for UK women to get equal pay with men – good grief)

Reasons for Working

I sometimes work with groups approaching retirement; one of the questions I ask them is what does work give them? First, with the prospect of a living on a pension looming large in their minds, they always say money. But then some more interesting facts emerge. They enjoy the status of being employed, particularly if in a senior position and they like the companionship. They like the satisfaction of a job well done, of feeling that they count.


This is borne out by research into what makes people content at work. People like the opportunity to do what they do well every day, to use their skills; they also like that work to be recognised to be their line managers. In addition they are happy in workplaces where someone takes an interest in their development, and where training and staff development is valued and supported.

If you find yourself in a role where you’re not getting any of things, you may wish to consider moving jobs. If that’s not possible, consider how you might build some of these things into your life by other means. When work isn’t working for you, then you need to take responsibility for managing your own career, because no one cares about it as much as you do. If you haven’t got a good employer, or good line manager, you just have to grab the career reins yourself!

Photo Credit: Valdas Zajanckauskas


Posted on September 1st, 2011 by

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