Work Is Synonymous With Punishment

At ‘catch-up’ dinners with friends when the subject of work life emerges, all we hear about is the dread of having to get up the next day for work, the stress, the work load and clashes with the boss or a co-worker. At the end of a good weekend, we return back home like kids waking back to the classroom after a lunch break – shoulders rolled down, frowns on foreheads carrying the work stress to be followed the next day and the overall dread of having to wake up for yet another day at work.

Then the week begins and you head to work in that defeated demeanour, watch the clock tick till it’s time for lunch break and spend the other half of the day just the same, finishing the tasks like homework. The same pattern of dread, monotony, and desperation for lunch breaks and weekends continues until they finally arrive. And then, repeat.

Now, not everyone may work in the field they are passionate about or talented at. Some might just purely work for a living. The only drive some might have to take up a job is financial requirements. To meet with those needs, they may often end up compromising on their interest and the desired work culture in general. However, those who have certain passions or interests, which then turn into professions, you may assume they don’t wake up like most of us do with reluctance to go to work. Yet, they do. Now there’s either something wrong with the work culture all around or it’s the way we look at jobs. On second thought, maybe it’s both.

We look at our job like it’s something we have to do, like it’s a compulsory subject forced to take in a class. We look at it as a means to mint money, to keep busy and to have something to do.

We might be passionate about our professional role yet still look at it with a negative outlook. This attitude we have had towards work has been cultivated in our brains for so long that we just don’t look beyond them now to acknowledge the main drive which pushed us towards that respective field. Whether you’re just working for the sake of money or it’s driven by your passion, either way, we don’t understand a few things. Jobs are stressful. Even something you love doing will instigate stress. It’s a part of productivity cycle. But that or other factors shouldn’t be the reason you look at jobs with a sullen face.  People who are willfully pursuing a career of their choice also are often seen sitting on the desk as if they’d rather be anywhere but there.

Why most of us don’t find jobs satisfactory is because the work culture or pay may not be fitting our needs, the boss may not be friendly, the co-workers may be intimidating or the job role may not be satisfying professionally or personally. There may be work overload or lack of performance. Any of these reasons could become a reason why we start looking at work like it’s a school punishment. Even when we realize there’s something wrong, we don’t do anything but continue to work there. When you know the reason, you could change it.

Although, it’s easier said than done, you got to think this way. You spend about 90% of your adult life working and earning. Since, most of your life revolves around your work, you can’t afford it to be just a place you have to mark your attendance at and just do something out of obligation.

A job is not a punishment or something we ought to simply do for a living. It has to be creatively, personally and professionally satisfying. Having some amount of stress is inevitable but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad job or a punishment. Unless, of course, there are factors that replicate it to a punishment. In that case, it’s time to find your dream job that doesn’t feel like homework.


Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash


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