Archive for November, 2009

Work and Job: Synergy Whenever Possible but Do Not Ignore Work

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Most people do not understand or know their work. They know their job but their job is entirely different from their work. Understanding ones work is key to a happy, fulfilling life.

A job is what one does to earn income to meet the basic needs of daily living. It is well known that happiness rises with increased earnings up to about $50,000 per year and that more than $100,000 per year does NOT increase happiness. Yet, 40% of American earn less than $18,000 per year. In a country that prides itself in the “pursuit of happiness”, it is paradoxical that many full time and hard working Americans cannot earn enough to meet basic their needs and be happy. The cannot devote time to their work even if they wanted to.

Ones work is what one was put on this earth to do. One knows it is their work because it makes them happy. Many times ones job is what ones work is believed to be. If true, there is synergy between job and work and the person is happy. Yet, even when there is synergy the job frequently becomes more important than work. In this circumstances, work loses out and happiness decreases.

For many, their job and work are not synergistic. Women who feel their work is their family or home are force to leave them for jobs. Conversely, many women whose job is their family or home are not able to leave to do their work. Many men do not spend time at their work because they get focused on earning more income from their job. Not attending to work is tantamount to ignoring an important part of ones psyche.

One’s success should be measured against ones potential. Work is what we were born to do and not having our basic needs meets cripples our work. “Starving Artists” and callings to ministries and charities are examples of persons picking work over jobs. But the vast majority do not have the wherewithal to pick work over jobs. It is a societal obligation to provide everyone a job that earns enough to allow work.

Yet, enough income does not guarantee that work will be done. Many wealthy and money hoarding people never do their work and believing their incomes measure their success. Philanthropy is a way some of them do their work. But, many never address their work and they are unhappy since their money cannot buy happiness.

Not knowing or addressing ones work has led to pervasive angst. This makes jobs unsatisfying. Enlightened employers know that happy employees lead to better job performance and allow their employees to incorporate work into their jobs. Synergy is key and whatever it takes to do ones work should be a focus.