by Marcia Hancock on October 21, 2013


Most of us work to live, to earn the money we need for the basic necessities of life, to survive.  A singular number of people meet the essentials of life without the necessity to work.

We all work to exchange our labor for the financial ability to buy what we decide is a necessary for our lives. We work to pay our bills, rent, buy food, clothing, save for college, take a vacation, set-aside money for retirement to one day give us freedom from work.

Who will step-in and pay for what is necessary for you to live, and live well?  Rarely will someone else step-in and pay for what you define as necessary for life.

Work also satisfies our emotional needs, improves our morale as productive and contributing members of the communities to which we belong.  Work allows us to feel better about ourselves, improve the quality of our lives.


The meaning of ‘work’ is as individual as the person working.  ‘What is my motivation to work?’ The answer varies from person to person.  ‘Work’ might be synonymous with drudgery, obligation, entrapment; or fulfillment, creating a masterpiece, realizing a dream; or a mechanism to move a career forward.

The adage ‘…the daily grind…’ does not always refer to the coffee maker.                              imagesCAZKK9RI


Does your work give you the emotional fulfillment you need to continue in that job? My advice to clients is not to work in the present, but to envision themselves in the future. If you are not happy in your current job, determine what it is that will bring fulfillment and job satisfaction into your life.  Then ‘work’ toward that goal.

“Find a job you enjoy, and you’ll never work a day in your lifeare words of encouragement by Confucius.

What is your dream job, and how close are you to attaining that dream?  What will it take to get you there?


Do you enjoy the competitiveness to today’s work environment? You may discover you work for the challenges posed by everyday work stresses and conflicts.  Or you may simply work to be more engaged with people, to gain a sense of belonging and community.  Your motivation may be to gain knowledge and earn recognition in your profession and discipline.

Or you may discover it is time for a job or career change because the answer to why you do what you do is not the answer you want to hear.

I welcome your answer to the question, ‘Why do you work?’

You may e-mail me to Marcia@thejobsearchadvisor.com.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Hiromi October 29, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I work for living, but I take pictures because I enjoy it. But I am not sure if I enjoy other things I have to do to run a business…


Marcia Hancock October 31, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Hi Hiromi. Your photographs are exquisite. Running a business is important. Yet we all strive to blend what makes us ‘whole’ as human beings with what we need to do to survive.


Phyllis October 29, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Marcia…I loved your post! A lot to think about! I enjoy coming into my office 3-4 days a week as it brings me joy to help business owners with their marketing plan. I am learning from them too and I thrive on learning new things every day! I do see myself teaching more in the future…that is really what I want to do, that’s my dream.


Marcia Hancock October 31, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Hi Phyllis. You are the mentor that inspires my posts and they are ‘great’ only because of your guidance. You are a teacher in every sense of the word. Glad you love and approve of the post. More to follow. Thank you.


Judy Baughman October 30, 2013 at 3:59 am

Good article and a question I would sometimes hate to ask myself!


Marcia Hancock October 31, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Hi Judy. Thank you for the positive input. A question we all hesitate to confront. Thank you.


Josie McHale October 30, 2013 at 5:00 am

Thank you for posting! Makes one think about why you work and what for. How important it is to be clear about your work and why you do it.


Marcia Hancock October 31, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Hi Josie. Thank you for your insight. It is important we all have a clear vision of what it is we want to do. But sometimes it is a lifetime investment for that realization to occur. Thank you.


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