There are days, when we have to pull ourselves together to work.
The sun is shining, we meet people on the way to the swimming pool –
and we are supposed to spend the whole day in front of the computer. The situation is quite different when the job is uncertain: There are not so many things which are creating fear as upcoming unemployment. Studies show us that long-term unemployment encourages physical and emotional illnesses. Our job — whether we are motivated daily or not — seems to offer you something more than money.
It might sound strange: money is necessary, but beyond that, is not often considered very significant.
Those who have decided for a creative profession, didn’t decide for it to get rich. Even in top creative agencies the relationship of income and working time are anything else but gratifying. There are other reasons why we — sometimes against inner struggle — go to work every morning.
So, What do you do?
Anyone who wants to get to know people and get to know something about them at a party does not ask about denominations or religious values, about the favorite football club or favorite color, about the year of birth, the political attitude or the zodiac sign. We are asking in a general suspiciously way: What are you doing? And mean: What is your profession? Where do you work? What is your job about? Are you satisfied? And so on. The answer tells you a lot and the income doesn’t play the main role. It is even explicitly a taboo: You do not talk about money. We create our opinion about those people based on our small talks . The work seems to give information about our characteristics, personal interests and competencies and about the position we have found in society. Anyone who has become an “Art Director” enjoys — at least in certain milieus — prestige and social status. Who works in one of the top agencies or is self-employed, gain important recognition for it. So work gives a social meaning.
So work gives a social meaning.
But also on a psychological level, it is important: without daily work, we would not make valuable experiences.
For example, work relieves everyday life: We know when and why we get up in the morning and also when we have free time. Often work gives us a reason, indeed a compulsion, to become active. If you do not work regularly, you have no free time and never holidays!
If the temporal order of everyday life falls away, this often leads to health problems. The job also clarifies our identity: Anyone who defines himself as a “creative”, of course, does not only carry this dazzling cogency in the office. The fact that other people, when they know our professional activity, treat us as creative — and not just as a hairdresser, chief physician, lawyer or garbage men — is reflected in our self-image. Social psychologists assume that even the judgment about ourselves depends heavily on what experiences we make with other people. We first meet other people on the job — and also those with whom we may not want to surround ourselves in our free time.
Work forces us to have a wide range of social experiences. These daily professional experiences, which affect most of the day, can be a quite painful learning processes. Many are reminders of crises during formation, study or our first job in which we believe we are “suitable for the job”. Even small conflicts can lead us to fundamentally question of meaning.
These crises affect the identity as a whole and not just the excerpt of the professional identity. But even after formation, the working world is not just a place of peaceful coexistence. In psychological terms, work also becomes excited, because the collective interest of the agencies reflect certain things — these are first of all economic reasons — and most of the time are not compatible with the individual needs of working people.
That exploitation can be economically worthwhile, despite drastic consequences for the people, is shown by a brief look at the globalized world economy.
Really successful companies are dependent on a balance: When the employees feel good, so the company does well. Particularly in sectors whose capital is the creativity of employees, it is important that work is productive and healthy.