Why Work?

Posted on February 12, 2016. Filed under: Uncategorized |

why-work-5I’ve been under-employed, or as I like to say semi-retired, for about a month and a half now and I’ll be honest, it has not been a particularly good look on me. While I continue to think about and wrestle with what I see as our society’s unhealthy preoccupation with occupation; there are a lot of good (and some not so good) reasons to have a job. Here are the ones that keep me up at night. 

I want to get back to work because I want to have a purpose and for me I feel the most purpose when I’m in direct service to others. For me this reason is the paramount one to keep in mind as I push my job search to the next level in the coming weeks. No matter what jobs I apply for, I can’t lose sight of wanting purpose and to serve. Of course, if it weren’t for some of the items further down this list, I’d be just as willing to jump into the world of an unpaid internship or volunteer work, but alas I wasn’t born with that particular spoon in my mouth. 

I want to get back to work to prove that I’m an intelligent, hard working, problem solving, collaborator.I want to use and showcase the knowledge and skills I’ve worked hard to develop.  I know in my heart of hearts that just because someone is employed it does not mean they are reliable, hard working or any of the other positive attributes we often attach to employment. Just as importantly, someone who is not employed may possess some, if not all, of those same positive attributes. However, employment is a common medium for showcasing our talents and skills on a regular basis and I’m hungry to do just that. 

I want to get back to work so I can I stop worrying so much about purchases that come from simply living (car repairs, utilities, food, etc.). I want to get back to work so that I can I get back to saving money for property of my own, a trip to the Women’s World Cup in 2019, retirement, and my secure monetary future. After I read this over a few times, I had to laugh because it is a safe bet that I will never stop worrying about money. I’ve got a lot of nature and nurture working to keep me from overspending and (borderline) anal retentive in tracking all expenses. Of course if it weren’t for these traits, I wouldn’t have saved enough to be underemployed right now so I can’t fault myself too much for this. If nothing else, having money coming in again will feed the sick part of me that loves to create budgets and planning future saving. 

I’d like to stand a chance at paying actual, not friend subsidized Portland rent in the near future. This one comes down to pride and buying it to the long held notion that as an adult of a certain age, I should be able to “take care of myself”. The truth is that given the nature of the Portland rental/housing market right now even a full time, decent paying job (given my education and experience) won’t get me much. This is a source of fear but also a source of motivation to be creative and diligent in my housing needs and budgeting and given the aforementioned paragraph, I have what it takes to at least give it a shot. 

I want to get back to work so that I can afford to buy Portland Thorns season tickets, visit Olympia National Park, Seattle, Joshua Tree, and Colorado this year. I want to afford more explorations more of Oregon’s natural wonders and Portland’s food, bar and music scene. Aka, I want a disposable income to use towards some of the passions and interests that I have outside of work. I also need some disposable income for the dates I hope to go on in the coming months. 🙂 With this being said, I have to look for and ultimately take a job that will allow me the time off to actually do this stuff; keeping this in mind is imperative. 

I want to get back to work because I have my eye on a new computer/tablet, pair of pants, shoes, and watch. These really are the bottom of the barrel reasons for wanting to get back to work, especially as I’m reading more and more about minimalism and its benefits, but I’m not going to hide the fact that material desires still exist. The good news? Having money to buy more things won’t influence the jobs I apply for or my ultimate contentment with my job. 

So those are my compelling and socially, economically motivated reasons to get back into the working world. Why do you work? How have the reasons that you work influenced the jobs/career paths you have chosen?

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    The challenges, successes and ideas of a budding (student affairs) professional

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