How to Stop Worrying About Work and Start Living

What does it mean for you to get up and go to work every morning? What motivates you? Duty? Obligation? Virtue? Or just an unexamined way of living? Someone once said ‘if you all you get from your work is money, you’re being underpaid’.

Do you know the difference between your work in life and a job? When we first leave home, many of us know nothing about the world of work – how to get or create it, how to be paid for it, what to expect from it or how it would fit into the broader picture of our lives.

At this point in your life, do you find yourself surrounded by those who also seek more from work than money? Money is important, especially in this time of recession and job insecurity, but there are many of us who need something more – some of us know it and some don’t, but have a vague feeling of discontent. We are reputed to spend one third of our lives at work, not factoring in the travelling to and from it. That’s a lot of time to put up with being discontent.

Given that we’re living at a time of great social transitioning and upheaval with regards to work, this could be a great time to examine what we want from work. I find myself seeking and willing to settle for nothing less than work with meaning, purpose and income.

If you’ve come to a time in your life when you’re done doing work you are good at but don’t care about, work you’re bad at and don’t care about, work that under-utilises your abilities or work that demands more from you than it returns to you, it could well be you’re ready for something more.

At a time of recession, there is a tendency for us to clutch fearfully at what we have or believe we have, afterall we have bills to pay and there are those who may be relying on us to put a roof over their heads, food on the table, clothes on their backs and school them. What to do? It’s easy to lose confidence and allow our self-esteem to take a battering, so much so we can’t get out of fear mode as we hunker down waiting for better times.

If you are experiencing a job loss – or let’s just say, you’re currently between jobs – this may be the time to examine the way forward for you. If you’re retired, this may be the time to learn the difference between a job and your work in the world. If you’ve had enough of a functional job, this may be the time to acknowledge there’s more for you in life and you’re going to get it.

Quitting without a safety net is not a good idea. Resist the urge to do so. However, continuing as you are is also not a good idea. Resist the urge to do so. You need a plan. Sounds obvious, but too many of us continue to settle for less that we desire by just staying discontent and complaining. That is not necessary. We are the better times we’re waiting for.

If you decide to make the change or indeed find it forced upon you – make it work to your advantage.

Begin by asking yourself some key questions

· Do you know what kind of work you’d like to do?

· Do you want to be employed by others, self-employed, investor or a business owner?

· Will you need new skills and training?

· Does what you want to do already exist or are you going to be creating the work yourself? New jobs are emerging in new fields that didn’t exist even as few as five years ago – some are discussed below.

· Financial support – do you have money set aside to help you transition? If not, begin doing so now.

· Can you get financial support from savings, intermediary work, grants, assistance from family or spouse?

As we begin to think things through, ‘think’ not ruminate, judge or condemn the situation but consider how this can be a great opportunity to do something more true to who you are and get paid for it, we can calm ourselves.

We are told by scaremongering media about the surge of job losses, we do not always hear about the new fields emerging with new opportunities in areas such as the expanding Green economy.

In Healthcare there’s an emerging field called nursing informatics.

In Business and Management the roles of IT professionals continue to splinter and become more specialized as new technologies dominate businesses.

Growing interest in Healthy living has led to a growing business specialization of spa managers, who are employed by resorts, health clubs, and other facilities offering sports and wellness activities.

In Education Distance learning, which provides instruction to students who are not on-site, is booming providing a need for distance- learning coordinators,

In Entertainment and Media new specialties are emerging, such as User Experience Designer which focuses solely on improving the user interaction.

In PR and online marketing, Social media uses the growing social networking technologies, including RSS, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Now there is a social media career track.

The opportunities are splaying out in front of us, not necessarily in traditional fields but once we begin to look for a more rewarding way of working and we begin to plan in clear terms, a way forward begins to emerge.

The process may take months and much soul searching but will get you where you want to go. If you don’t undertake the inner work, you may well stay stuck where you don’t want to be. We can engage in work and a manner of working that allows us to express who we are and develop ourselves through our work. Imagine waking in the morning with sense of purpose and meaning knowing you also have a healthy income. It can be your reality.