Sometimes “work” seems rather straightforward: It is a “nine-to-five” gig that for which you show up, punch in, perform a variety of tasks for which you are qualified and were hired to do, attend some occasional meetings, have lunch, participate in some office gossip, punch out at the end of the day, and collect a paycheck every couple of weeks.
Upon closer inspection, though, we realize that the workforce is as varied and case-by-case as the people of which it is comprised. There are countless varieties of business types and roles to fill them, from quirky service providers, online advertising ventures, and massive production-line manufacturing plants, all packed with people that, for some reason or another, applied for the necessary positions and were hired.
Why did these people pursue these opportunities, even though they often result in stress, hardship, unpredictable consistency or lack thereof, and general overall discontentment? As it turns out, there are a few universal elements that people want from work.
Call it a matter of a hierarchy of needs, but in order for a human being to survive, they must eat, and they must be able to survive the elements, often through a combination of garments and shelter. The problem is, with most governments incorporating a system of economic trade, these necessities cannot simply be requested and obtained, they must be garnered by way of trading for symbolic units of money. And, in order to gain this “money” stuff, people perform an obligation for which they are repaid. Thus, the job market, the people that apply everywhere, and a lot of grocery-shopping and house-buying in the middle. Even beyond the basic needs, though, people want higher social status, and the economic ability to buy bigger, better things, all of which require the amassing of more and more funds. Outside of wise investments and fortunate inheritance, hard work at a job is the most straightforward method towards receiving these benefits.
This one is a bit more difficult to pin down in a tangible sense, but it still holds true: People want a job that is rewarding, fulfilling, and worthwhile. Some human beings are perfectly content to perform the same menial tasks day in and day out, while others demand a more dynamic, world-changing, life-altering experience. Often, one’s choice of job relies on the position seeming like it really “makes a difference,” or somehow improves the planet in some fashion, thus seeming like it is worth it as one’s life’s endeavor in a long-term career.
Finally, we come to what may be the simplest, most provocative, yet most elusive ingredient that everyone wants in a job: Enjoyment. It is an established truth that nobody wants to dread going to work, nobody wants to hate their job, nobody wants to wish they were dead rather than punch in for the day. Yet, unfortunately, many do hate their job.
Some would say it is difficult to find a job that satisfies our desires for a solid financial basis, a pursuit that is richly fulfilling, and has genuinely enjoyable aspects, but if it truly is difficult to find a job like this, than that is sincerely heartbreaking, since these are the components everyone wants from any job they seek.