Why Do You Go To Work?


Is this a trick question, Greg? I go to work because I need money. I have a family, a mortgage, bills to pay, mouths to feed and send to college…

Yes, I get that. But there are infinite ways to make money. Why do you go to work doing what you do? Why not work somewhere else? Why not work doing something else? What else, besides money motivates you?

Gallup did a survey in 2013 and found that 63% of employees said they were disengaged at work. Only 13% said they were engaged, and 24% said they actively hate their jobs. So, 87% of workers around the world are disengaged or actively hated their jobs. Wow.

I guess the 87% really do just work for the money. Does that lead to happiness and our best work? I’m guessing not.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
— Steve Jobs

If you want to love (or at least enjoy) what you do, you have two options:

1) Find a new career that is your calling – whether it’s by starting your own business or working for someone else.

2) Find ways to enjoy your current position, and make that a calling – at least while you’re working on your dream job.

Ok, Greg, how do I do that?!

The first choice is what my speaking, coaching, book, audiobook, free eBook, and blog are all about. I’d love to help you on that journey in any way I can. That’s my calling and I love seeing people find and pursue their Passionate Purpose and live out the extraordinary lives of their dreams.

That might take a while. But you don’t have to wait to enjoy your work right now. You still have option #2.

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”
— Jim Rohn

You start by figuring out what really motivates you to work.

Since the industrial revolution, companies have been using the carrot and stick approach. Do what they tell you to and get paid, maybe even promoted. Don’t do what they tell you to and get fired.

Shockingly, that doesn’t always lead to a fulfilled work life. (I know, knock me over with a feather!) That approach is why we have a disengaged work force and lots of miserable employees.

Common sense and research has proven that beyond money, there are things that we want/need to truly enjoy our work.

The biggest driver in fulfillment in our work is the need for a purpose in what we do. We need to believe in the purpose of our job and of the company we work for. We need to see the good it does, the difference it makes. Without this, we feel like what we do doesn’t matter, and who wants to feel like that?

Once you have a clear purpose that you believe in, these are the other things that motivate us to do our best and love what we do:

  • To have our opinions and work valued by our colleagues and bosses
  • To have some autonomy and responsibility in what we do
  • To do our best and see it make a difference
  • To be allowed and encouraged to grow, create, and innovate
  • To feel appreciated by our clients and those we work with
  • To get lost in our work
  • To have real friends in the workplace

You can work right now on finding a purpose in your company, and in your role in the company, that you can get behind.

Are you just working a job and completing a task – or are you following a calling to be part of an important purpose bigger than yourself? What is the higher purpose or calling in your current job?

Every business that is making a profit is serving a customer in some way. What is the best thing your company does for its customers? What does your product or service do for your clients at the physical and emotional level to make their lives better?

That’s where you begin. Then start working on the rest of the list of intrinsic rewards we all crave.

How can you work with your team to shift the dynamic of the carrot and the stick? If you are a business owner or a manager, what can you do to allow your team to do work the way we all would love to do it?

Let’s GO!

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that I view as rude, snarky, mean or off-topic. Hey, this is to support each other and have fun! Let's Go!

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