The Working Life


“The Supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.”

-Arnold Toynbee

I recently read an article in Esquire magazine called Why Are You Working So Hard? which hits on the conversation of meaningful work, going on in the Gen Y blogging community.  Blogs such as Modite, life Without Pants, Mad Grad, The Art Of Nonconformity, Small Hands Big Ideas and Penelope Trunk (See blogroll for links) have many good posts, and are a good place to get in the conversation.  As a student nearing graduation day and getting closer to entering real world life, the subject of meaningful work weighs heavily on my mind.  I used to think that the most salient part of a job is a high salary.  Today I know a job is much more.

After an 8-week internship this summer I realize the importance of loving what you do, or at least liking it quite a bit.  Spending 40 hours of your week at work is a long time.  Eight plus hours everyday at work is will probable take up most your time.  You will not have much time to “have a life” when the work day is through.  I found myself coming home from work drained and usually spent the next hour on the couch.  This was after sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer most of the day.  Imagine being on your feet or doing some sort of labor!

Because of my experience this summer I am determined to not only find a job, but a career I’m proud of and enjoy spending 40 hours of my life devoted to every week.  I find it encouraging that my peers feel the same way as I do as well as the Esquire article. I find the prospects of putting my heart and soul into my work only to be unfulfilled and unhappy very discomforting to say the least.  For years people have put up with work that does not enrich their lives and making excuses for a crappy job and life.  I for one will not and know I am not the only one.

The times where people put in their hours every week, write up their reports, and be good employees only to buy a 42-inch LCD TV are hopefully coming to an end.  In the Esquire article Stephen Marche asks, why are you working so hard, is it to come home from work to sit on your ass and watch TV for the rest of the day?  I hope not.  Call me selfish but I want something more.  I want an extraordinary life, not one filled up with stuff.  I see the first part of living an extraordinary life is loving the work you do that sustains your life.  Without that love every other part of your life suffers.  Americans need to reevaluate what is meaningful in our lives in order to become happier, more sane people.

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Filed under Career, Life, Self-Development

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